A dad with his sons feeding a giraffe, London, 1950s

Growing up, Alex was obsessed with the Golden State Warriors basketball team, so he always hoped he would be closer to 6’8″ than 5’8″. But that didn’t happen. Now he’s pinning his height dreams on Anton and Toby. He even jokes that he married me for the height, since my brother is 6’3″ and my dad is 6’1″. Well, this week, I stumbled across a formula for predicting how tall your kids will be…

Some doctors use a formula for loosely predicting kids’ heights, says the New York Times:

For boys, combine the height of both parents, add five inches and divide by two.

For girls, combine the height of the parents, subtract five inches and divide by two.

Obviously, it’s not a perfect system — the final height can vary depending on the child, genes, nutrition and a bunch of other factors. But fun to guess at least, right?

Five-year-old Toby is an average height for his age, but he’s getting long and lanky. Two-year-old Anton is shorter and stockier for his age (I love those toddler bellies). Interestingly, studies show that younger siblings tend to be shorter.

How tall might your kids be? Does this work for you? When I add my parents’ heights and do the formula with my parents’ heights, I get my height exactly (5’6″).

(Photo of circus entertainer Paul Remos and his sons feeding a giraffe at the London Zoo, 1950s)