Big Little in 5-6 Years - Part 2

Deal With Teasing

Talk about the fact that all kids get taunted about one thing or another, even though it isn't nice. You'd be surprised by just how many children think they're the only one in their class who ever gets picked on, says Dr. Goldman. Then work with your child on a smart (but not nasty) comeback to use. Unemotional responses usually work best since a bully is trying to make your child feel bad. A couple of good options: Yep, I'm short just like my mom or So what? Also reassure your child that her size won't prevent her from being well liked - even when she gets a little older. A recent study from the University of Michigan of 712 sixth-graders found no difference in friendships, popularity, and reputation based on a kid's height.

Big Little in 5-6 Years - Part 2

Watch Your Own Mouth

You've probably been talking about the differences in kids' sizes with your friends since you had your first baby. Most likely your child has overheard you say something like, Is she small for a 6-year-old? or He's getting so big. How tall is he now'1

Bringing up the topic a lot - even if you're not discussing your own child - can make him think that size differences matter to you, explains days, or just waiting out constipation did not help. The study determined that many pediatricians don't recommend a long-enough cleanout and thus delay a child's recovery.

Ryan's pediatrician prescribed a typical regimen. Twice daily, Ryan ate a square of chocolate-flavored Ex-Lax (check with your doctor before giving it to children under 6) and we dissolved Miralax, a tasteless laxative powder, in his morning juice. For the first week, we also inserted a Fleet enema into his bottom each day. Thankfully, Ryan realized that his belly felt better after each enema, so administering them didn't turn out to be a huge battle. During that week, Ryan still produced only pellets, but then things began to improve. The goal was for him to have at least one soft daily poop, and we got there after about three weeks.

In rare instances, laxatives don't help enough and a child may need to undergo endoscopy, in which a soft scope is inserted through the rectum into the colon and the doctor breaks up and extracts the poop. This procedure is typically performed by a pediatric gastroenterologist while the child is under sedation. (These doctors often have a sense of humor about this admittedly disgusting part of their job. When I was at Harvard Medical School, residents would place bets on how much would be removed from a child's bowels. Whoever came closest to guessing the actual weight would get all the money in the stool pool.)