Lynn Colliar

Growing up Teagan – by Lynn Colliar

To all those who mean well, but sound mean…
My beautiful girl is turning 6 in a few weeks. She is off the charts in height and weight – she’s also a great conversationalist… so many people make the honest mistake of thinking she’s older than she is.


She’s been in the 99th percentile since her first year… back then it was only me who had to explain her age compared to her size.


One example stands out to me, and i’m sure you’ll understand why.


It was a beautiful spring day – we were at the park with lots of other littles running around. The moms were standing off to one side when my 18 month old ran over to me and gabbed something only I could understand, we both laughed and she ran back to the slide… one mom gave me a “knowing” look and said – yes, out loud – “That’s what happens when you have children when you’re older.”


I was so shocked at the inference I’m sure my jaw dropped. I said “she’s 18 months old… and who cares if she’s 3 – you don’t say things like that to anyone!”


We left the park.


Now Teagan is getting it first hand… most comments are coming from the right place, wanting to say something kind – but not realizing for her little brain to hear over and over again “you’re so big” “it must be hard to be so tall” “no one’s going to push you around” “you must be the biggest kid in kindergarten” “are you bigger than all the boys?”…. it starts to stick.


She asked me the other day if she’s always going to be a giant. If everyone is always going to tell her “she’s so tall” like she didn’t already know that… my almost 6 year old is already aware she is somehow “different”. Her chin wobbled as her eyes pleaded for me to tell her she was going to be “average”.


She’s been trying to conquer the monkey bars at school. It’s tough when you weigh 60lbs and you can only get 2 rungs along before you fall. And your 40lb friends are hand over hand scampering across.


But she is tenacious. She isn’t giving up. In a week she’s managed to get to 4 rungs… the end goal is in sight.


She’s so proud of being almost there. My tall, strong girl.


So, if you see her on the monkey bars, sweaty-headed trying time and again to do them, please – feel free to encourage her.  She loves talking to people – so please chat with her – but remember, their wee brains are sponges and your words will stick with her.



She hears the same comment over and over… and no one is saying it to the kid beside her.
I’m tall. Glenn is tall. It’s a no-brainer T will be tall.  But we want her to be proud of her height. To own it. Not to feel it’s something “different” that she should be ashamed of.


Now go, my monkey, go.



monkey achieved her goal yesterday!!!! That’s one tenacious girl  see video here:


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  • Reply Gord Dieno June 7, 2017 at 7:44 am

    People can be quite thoughtless, especially when children are in earshot. Little ones are people, just less experienced. I used to get teased about my red hair by adults as I’m sure you were too. it was, “Oh, red hair, I bet you have quite a temper.” Which of course just made me angrier and angrier ….. It’s tough, the easiest way to reassure Teagan is to tell her how insensitive or just plain stupid some adults can be. We can’t do that but of course, but she’ll figure it out. She has good strong role models and she will learn from them.

  • Reply Elaine June 7, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Your beautiful daughter will be so thankful of her height, when she’s older. My sister and I got those very remarks, when we were growing up. As we got into our teen years, the comments reversed! You are so lucky to be so tall. Clothes look great on you. There really is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!
    Teagen is a lovely youngster, and go girl, you can do those monkey bars!

  • Reply Louise Leduc June 7, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Thank you for an excellent article. It is sad when people make inappropriate comments. We have all watched our children grow, from chubby, short, tall youngsters to regular folks. Miss T is beautiful, smart and a precious gift, she will show them!

  • Reply Matthew June 7, 2017 at 8:44 am

    So very well written Lynn, I had the opposite problem as a youngster and kids can be cruel . Love from my mom and explanations such as you are doing make the world of difference.
    Well done my friend

  • Reply Leslie Hill June 7, 2017 at 8:48 am

    My son was in the 30th percentile (at the most) all his life and I couldn’t believe how many people felt the need to tell me he was small…like I didn’t already know. And my sweet boy, he heard it all. It broke my heart.

  • Reply Wynnene June 7, 2017 at 9:34 am

    When my son, who is now 50, entered grade one a parent spoke to him on “opening day” and insinuated he had been there the previous year. His answer to her was ” I are just big for my age”,,, adults can be so cruel with their comments. My son was always in the back row of classroom photos til about age 14 when suddenly his classmates had their growth spurts. It is a joy to watch T grow and develop into a strong young lady. With a mom and dad as strong as she has, she will have to trouble putting those that speak before they think in their places!

  • Reply Faye Hutchison June 7, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Lynn you just described my daughter Yasmin’s journey through childhood as a big boned tall girl with large feet, that some how now at 23 seem to have gotten smaller lol. She was always bigger then the girls in her class and with her solid build she always stood out. The whole time she was growing up she was encouraged to appreciate and respect her healthy, strong, amazing body and her large feet that would serve her well on the many worldly adventures she was sure to have in her future. She has become one of the most amazing,compassionate, community involved, environmentalists, animal rights activist and 1000 other things that I am proud of as a mother. Watching Teagen grow up and seeing all the amazing love, support and opportunities that you and her dad show her, she will come to appreciate her strong healthy body and the amazing parents that gave it to her.

  • Reply Valerie Callaghan June 7, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    I, too, was tall “for my age” when I was a kid. Tell Teagan from me that she will be so glad she is tall when she gets into her teens. She will be the envy of all those short girls. Everything looks better on a tall girl.

  • Reply Shari Whittaker June 7, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Living down the street from Teagen I have seen this beautiful little girl. Your article broke my heart. I was never lucky enough to have children so I would not know if one is big or small for their age. I would give anything to be taller myself. From what I know of you and Glenn, Teagen will grow to be proud of her height and own it. Thanks for the article as it made me understand how important our comments to little children are.

  • Reply Shaughn Cairns Gamblin June 7, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    T will soar with the monkeys because she has something nobody else has…
    She has you and her Daddy. Both of you live amazing bigger than life lives in so many amazing ways than just how many inches you take up on a growth chart.
    T is unique, as are every other child out there on the playground. It’s just one of her ways is easy to see. She will one day embrace this power and use it to build herself up even bigger. You are such a blessing to her just as I know she is to you.
    I love you my Red!

  • Reply LostHunter7 (@LostHunter7) June 7, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    I’m 5’3″. But until Grade 5, I was the tallest in my class. Sometimes, taller than the next grade. Tall is good. You can reach what others cannot. See what’s ahead and clothes look great on you. Everyone should have a tall friend and a short friend. Teagan might be tall or finish at short. It’s not going to matter. Lynn – your precious little one will be strong and self confident no matter her size. Because she never gave up on the monkey bars. Just don’t let her get hung up on what her friends say – those words can be worse than an adults’.

  • Reply Holly Connell June 7, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    My daughter went through the same thing -she was actually kicked out of an Easter Egg hunt because one of the organizers thought she was 10; she was six, and totally traumatized. In grade four a teacher told her to sit down properly in her desk and when she didn’t move (she was sitting properly), he came over to straighten her out and was quite shocked to see she was doing as he asked. His comment – “do you play basketball?”. Childhood was hard, but I am pleased to say she is a strong, smart young woman, whom I am very proud of! Teagan, you go girl!! You are perfect!

  • Reply Barry Joneson June 8, 2017 at 10:41 am

    I hope you tell Teagan that she is not a giant now nor will she ever be…..everyone grows up differently in physical, mental and emotional terms, why are people so cruel these days is beyond me….I was so happy to hear she didn’t give up on the monkey bars, that tells me that T isn’t a quitter and will in all likelehood come out the other side of the younger years with no long term ill effects and may, in fact, be a role model for those who are outside the “norms” of physical growth as a youngster…most kids who come through adversity on whatever level with the support of their friends and parents etc., go on in life to be a voice for others who are going through tough stuff in their youth, whether it be at a professional or personal level…whatever the case may be in the end of her younger years, miss T will come out of it as most kids with parents who have their child’s best interests at heart do, with the “giant” years being a memory and learning experience on her way to becoming the very best person she can be.

  • Reply Linda June 9, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Children, teenagers can be incredibly unkind one to another. It can be a tribal, bullying manner to anyone that is different. When you are older you can see it for what it is, as a youngster you can’t. I know because I had a terrible acne from a very young age. I was extremely sporty to boot so my spots used to shine like beacons after any kind of sport or dancing, which I did later in life. I used to run to the washroom when the lights went up after a sequence of intense jiving, just to get out of sight.

    You are aware and can help Teagan. It will. Mum was brought up to be tough. Likewise me. But, that didn’t help at the time, although it did teach me resilience. I held my corner. This had the effect that I could stand confidently alone later in life, making my own way forwards. In a sense it also gave me an insight into people’s true character. There is a person behind the spots! It works both ways……’s called body language!

    Go for those monkey bars Teagan…….ignore the unkind remarks…….they know not what they do!



  • Reply Shelley Kothlow June 10, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    It’s so true, and some people have no filters. I have a beautiful granddaughter, who was diagnosed with Leukemia at the tender age of 21 months. She lost her beautiful curly hair with her treatments to save her life. One day, we were at the Safeway store close to Children’s Hospital, picking up some groceries. I had Serenity with me in the cart. She had a smile for everyone, even when sick. The lady behind me in the line-up asked me how old Serenity was. When I told her she had just turned 2, the Woman said “Two years old, and she has no hair!!!!” I was infuriated, and told the woman that the reason she has no hair is because she is fighting Cancer! People have no idea how hurtful their comments are. It hurts the parents, and has lasting meaning for these dear children. People need to think before they speak. Children are beautiful in every shape and size. Serenity has always been tall for her age too and now in grade 5, she is average. You are beautiful Teagan……and keep reaching your goals!

  • Reply jennjilks June 12, 2017 at 8:39 am

    It’s tough, isn’t it?! You’ll have to think of a snappy comeback.

  • Reply Ellen Nielsen June 18, 2017 at 11:35 am

    I was the tall one also.

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