You can grow taller than your dad, or you may not reach his height. Height is determined by the genes that you received from both your parents. You must consider all the members of your extended family tree when looking for clues. Environmental factors are also at play but to a lesser extent.
Many teens feel awkward when experiencing a growth spurt. Suddenly you start to tower over your friends. At home, you may find yourself quickly catching up to your dad’s height and may begin speculating about whether you will overtake him. It is fun to predict how tall you will get as we are all interested in our future selves and what we will look like later in life. So, can you grow taller than your dad? Let’s find out.
It is not true that sons always grow taller than their fathers, or the world’s human population would have experienced a massive average increase in average height over successive generations. While there is no blueprint for how tall you may become, it is helpful to consider both your dad’s and mom’s height when making predictions about your expected final height.
There are, however, some other factors that you should take into account while speculating.
What Determines How Tall I Will Become?
Genetics and environmental factors are the two main two determining factors that affect a person’s final height.
Every living creature is unique. Humans are born with genes provided to them by both their parents. It is impossible to alter this pattern. Scientists have determined that your inherited DNA determines about 80% of your expected height. But this does not only come from your dad. This DNA comes from both of your biological parents, who in turn are products of their parent’s DNA and so on.
Some of the genes that you inherited affect the cartilage in your body’s growth plates. These are the area in your bones where new bone is produced. The length of your bones and the speed at which they grow were passed down to you. Height is also affected by other biological mechanisms like hormones, which are also largely controlled by the genes you inherited. You will usually be approximately as tall as a combination of your parents.
While it is impossible to grow beyond the maximum height predetermined by your genes, it is possible to limit any obstacles that could restrict them. Children who receive a balanced diet, enough sleep, and regular exercise are well set to reach their maximum height.
An improvement in access to food and availability of vaccinations has created a steady increase in the average height of adults in the US over the past few decades. This was not due to any genetic changes but rather improved access to nutritious food and good healthcare. Factors such as poor diet, access to health care, and childhood diseases can profoundly impact how the growth plates develop, which will hinder maximum potential tallness.
Do Long Babies Become Tall Adults?
A combination of gene variants controls height, so it is difficult to predict how tall a child will be. Lengthy infants who grow fast may not necessarily continue on their early growth trajectory, and their peers can catch up. The best clue to know how tall you will be is to take a close look at your entire family tree, not just your father.
Can I Make Myself Grow Taller When I’m An Adult?
Once your body’s growth plates have closed, there is no way you will be able to increase your measurable tallness. This process happens towards the end of puberty. The growth plates harden, and the length of your bones will be set for life. In women, this is usually around the age of 16, while it can range from between 14 to about 19 years of age in men.
Regardless of your actual height, you can make yourself appear taller by improving your posture. Many fashion and accessory tricks can make you instantly appear taller than your measurable height.
There are some great YouTube videos available that can help with this, for example:
Why Does My Father Seem So Short?
You may have inherited your genes for height from another family member, and you are taller than him. This does not mean that you are less related to your dad; it just means that you may have taken more after someone else in your genetic family tree. Also, he may have had other limiting environmental factors at play while he was growing that prevented him from reaching his genetically determined maximum potential full adult height.
Humans tend to lose height as they age, so the height you are seeing your father at may not have been his height when he was in his twenties. While you are growing, the cartilage in your bones is being built up. Later in life, it begins to wear thin, and your dad may have lost a few inches as a result. Your father may also have bad posture or old injuries, which will cause him to look shorter than he once was.
What Is the Mid-Parent Method Of Height Prediction?
While this is only a prediction tool, it is fun to calculate your expected estimated height. The mid-parent method of height prediction is a tool that is widely used, but it is only a predictor of possible expected maximum height. One of the shortfalls of this method is that it doesn’t accurately take into account extremes in the height of individual parents – children with one either unusually short or tall parent do not usually end up being as tall or short as the respective parent.
This is how it works. You can estimate your maximum projected tallness as follows: Step 1: Add the heights of your mother and father together and divide the total by two. Step 2: If you are a male, add 2.5 inches. If you are female, subtract 2.5 inches.
Step 3: Voila – the answer you obtain is the outcome of the mid-parent method of predicting your final maximum height. Take note this is only a ROUGH GUIDE and not an exact predictor. If you still have some years of growing left, you could still become much taller than your dad.
So long as you did not suffer any early childhood malnutrition or have a medical condition that will impair your growth and development, you will grow the height you were predestined to be. Your father’s height can certainly guide you when estimating how tall you will become, but you need to consider the entire genetic recipe that contributed to your uniqueness. Whether you are taller or shorter than your dad, walk tall. You are the best version of a unique person.
After earning his Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto, Stuart gained experience working with families in community mental health settings and in the child protection sector. Since becoming a father himself, Stuart now works in private practice offering psychotherapy services. FatherResource is an opportunity for Stuart to share what he learns on his journey as a father with a larger audience.