Regretting Redshirting Your Kindgartener

Updated on September 06, 2017
M.R. asks from Minneapolis, MN
23 answers

Hello!
I'm losing sleep, hair and weight over sending my summer boy to kindergarten. i know that most people are electing to send summer boys at 6 instead of 5 (especially according to recent doctoral studies: white, educated married women which I am) ...I'm just confused if that's the fit for my son. I've talked to his teacher of he went (send him), his pediatrician (hold him due to all the others being held), his preschool (send him), read posts on here, and talked with many teachers and parents. He is the youngest of three boys. His brothers are 2.5 and 2.5 years ahead of him. So very close in age. He is physically very big (looks like a 7 year old) and academically very smart. He can count to 100, some simple addition, recognizes his numbers. He isn't as strong in his letters knows 15 out of 26, can not read yet and shapes are iffy. He is emotionally there. He can empathize and adapt to situations. I think having him older two helps him in this area. In most ways, he's very ready. If we send him as a 5 year old, the middle and him will overlap in middle school (grades 6-8) and all three will be in high school together (for a year). He will be the one of the youngest in the grade. I have also read recent studies that show there sending kids at 6 can cost them up 158,00 in life earnings when you take out a year of adulting and that being younger helps you push harder and the youngest ending doing better. I could care less how much money he makes if he's happy with who he is and is a good person. However, when I look at his personality as a student, he is more of a social, naturally gifted student that will coast most of the time. I say this with love and not angst. He's a lot like his dad ;). That being said I fear holing him back will only hurt him and he will be bored most of the time. He will always want to be hanging with his brothers and their friends and will regret being almost 19 when he graduates.
With all this in mind, there are two glaring issue of why holding him will beneiftical. One, he is asking me to hold him. He says he wants to be the biggest and the oldest. He will be the biggest no matter what: sent at 5 or 6. My hubby is 6'5 and brothers are 6'8 and 6'3. It's in his genes. He is actively telling me he would be fine if I sent him but thinks he'd do a lot better if I held him. If he's that smart emotionally to tell me this than he's smart enough to be sent as a kindergartener? The second and biggest reason is he is still having regular bathroom accidents. He really has never not had an accident since switching him to underwear at age 3.5. He has had two years of preschool and has had problems. It's to the point that there isn't a day that goes by without pee or poop accident. He tells me this is another reason why he doesn't want to go. Fear of embarrassment. The pediatrician and I are working together to see if there is a medical reason to this. Frankly, if this wasn't on the table: I"d send him. I want to be a mindful parent and don't want school to be traumatic for him and with him asking to be held it's hard. He would have friends from preschool in both kindergarten grades.
I know they say no one regrets sending them when they are six. my question is to all of you is there anyone that has regretted waiting and if you have any advice for me!

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M.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Send him. If he has major problems, have him repeat kinder. Have him wear pull-ups for extra confidence. Do not talk about this in front of him any more. You will stress him out, for goodness sake! Let him know you think he is totally ready!!!

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R..

answers from San Antonio on

My son missed the cut off by a week and was redshirted by the district...and I have friends who's boys have July birthdays and she redshirted them for a year because they were not socially ready for Kinder.

I never discussed it with my son and she didn't with her kids. I just told him he was going to do another year of preschool which for us was two days a week. He didn't respond or even register that there was life beyond his two day a week school with his "friends".

I don't regret him having to wait a year. He has always been one of the tallest but he will be tall anyways. He NEEDED that extra year of social development he wasn't ready to go to kinder....I thought he was at the time and was mad he couldn't start...but now with him in 7th grade I am so thankful he had an extra year at home.

My mom sent me early and academically I did fine but socially I always was a little off. Good luck!!

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C.C.

answers from New York on

All I will add to this discussion is: the person who *really* needs to work on being emotionally ready for Son to start school is you, mom!!

Whatever you decide, just remember that this is not something that can be delayed forever. Eventually the laws of your state will kick in and you will be forced to either send him or homeschool him (if that is an option for you).

I am guessing that one year from now you might STILL have some "reasons" (excuses) why he should not start school! So - work on your own thoughts and feelings, to prepare yourself for the inevitable of Son having to start school at some point, whether or not he starts this year.

(For example - there is always a chance that he will still have bathroom concerns a year from now...you might just need to work with the school on ways to handle that, even if you wait a year.)

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

We held our child, and never regretted it. We had a lot of reasons. He's a June birthday. But everyone is different. Being the first one to get a driver's license was kind of fun, you know? Being 19 at graduation was not a problem at all, and my son wasn't the only one in this category. I compare this to a friend who was started very young in another state and was more than a year younger than my son - he struggled emotionally and socially all through elementary, middle and high school. So older is always better.

First of all, take the academic ability out of the equation. I truly wish people didn't feel it was important to send a child to kindergarten already knowing the things that are in the curriculum: numbers, letters, etc. It has nothing to do with how smart they are. Really, it doesn't. School, particularly in the early grades, is about so much more than facts and figures and academics.

I'd also take out of the equation the comments about how close he will be to his brothers or when/whether they will be in the same school. It's a complicating factor and not really relevant. Same with height. You'll see that most classes have kids a full 10 inches taller than the smallest kid. It may change a lot in 4th grade or 7th or whenever individual kids get their growth spurts. They're tall, period. It has nothing to do with maturity or socialization or coping skills.

I'm surprised your son is actually participating in this decision. Most parents don't share these discussions with their kids although it sounds like he has picked up on discussions with teachers or others. So it's kind of too bad he's in on it.

What's relevant to me is that you are not sure. That tells me, "hold him." What's also relevant is that he's unsure. While many kids are nervous about kindergarten, your son has been involved in these conversations so he seems to know more about the reasons why he's not ready. I think physical size is irrelevant - I'm more concerned that HE thinks being bigger is more of a confidence booster.

But the absolute deciding factor for me, tacked on at the end of your post, is that he has toileting accidents. That's a deal breaker. Every kindergarten class requires a change of clothes for each child, for exactly this reason. Everyone has a potty accident now and then, throw up from the belly flu, and of course they get covered in paint/glue or fall in a puddle. But your son has issues every week. He needs time to get this resolved, and he needs time to feel confident about it. A small preschool class can keep tabs on this. A large public school class with 25 kids makes it much, much harder.

I'd put him in another year of preschool, perhaps with a pre-K component or an extended day option a few days a week especially if you're talking about all-day kindergarten in the public schools. Your son needs another year of nurturing in a smaller class setting.

My son was not reliably dry, particularly at night, for long past the age of 6. We saw a pediatric urologist around age 7 and wound up putting him on a medication that changed our lives. But it sounds like your child has issues during the day, so it could be something else. He also has poop accidents, which could be related or could be something different. So yes, talk to the pediatrician but also consider a pediatric urologist and gastroenterologist. It's possible that he could use some therapies to go along with anything medical. I had a student with encopresis which caused poop accidents - this was in middle school. She worked with an MD but also with a psychologist who specialized in behavioral control. Please keep your son as far as possible from these conversations once he has the exam and answers a few questions with the doctor. Send him to the waiting room to play. It sounds like he's picking up on way too much and perhaps that's stressing him out too.

It's September, so I don't know what your options are for pre-K programs that have enrollment openings. But find something. Don't send him to K if you and he know that he's not ready now. Stop worrying about what will happen in middle school and high school.

K if you and he know that he's not ready now. Stop worrying about what will happen in middle school and high school.

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J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

I have never met anyone who regrets holding their child back. I know several people that regret moving them ahead. Both of the regrets came from social issues their boys had/have and both think their boys could have benefited from another year to mature.

Is your son socially mature? Where will he fit in with other kids, older or younger? I view acedemic readiness and social readiness equally. If one was lagging, I would hold back.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

The only thing I see here that would cause me (as a mom) to be concerned is accidents (poop). I get it. That would make me wonder if my kid would feel badly having an accident at school. Pee - think that's fairly common. The kindergarten teachers at my kids' schools all would remind kids to go - even up to grades 1 and 2 it was still fairly common. I don't think accidents are that rare quite frankly. You could ask the teacher how they handle it - to see if that would alleviate your stressing over it. May not be that big a deal at all.

I haven't been in your shoes so can't tell you what I would do - but I see that as being your only concern that seems valid (just as an outsider). If he's otherwise developmentally and socially ready - then this really is about whether your son can handle accidents at school.

If it were me - I'd talk to the teacher and school counsellor - just to see how common this is, do they think this specific concern warrants holding a child back (who otherwise is ready), etc.

I'm going to guess that kids who are not near cut off age also experience this - and they go to school and they just handle it. A friend of mine's child still wets accidentally - I know he was in grades 3 and still having the odd accident. It really wasn't a big deal. He was used to it and as far as I know, they were discreet about handling it. He outgrew it.

I would take all the rest ... out of the equation. His size, being in same school as his brothers, etc. out of it. I think you are just confusing the issue.

What does your husband/partner say? When I get emotional sometimes over the kids, I trust my husband's more head (over heart) approach to keep me focussed on what the real issue is. I know - we moms want to protect our kids as much as possible, but if he's ready now - then he might be bored next year.

My mom - if this helps - was a kindergarten teacher her whole career. She said it is a transition year - she had 'young' for their age kids, kids who were advanced for their age, socially aware kids and super naive kids, special needs kids .. etc. There was all kinds of kids essentially with every background under the sun and her job was to help teach them how to learn. There were accidents and kids who still wanted their moms and dads .. there was everything. Kindergarten teachers are not only used to all these scenarios, they are very good at dealing with them. So that would be my advice - talk to the teacher.

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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Kids are supposed to be 5 years old when the enter kindergarten. Why do you think your child should be held back? Holding a kid back is not always good for them. The department of education says kids that turn 18 their junior year often just drop out and don't even want to graduate. They want to go out and get a job and be with their peers. Something like 45% of those held back never finish high school.

When he's in 4th grade and starts growing his adult body and overnight he's a head taller than anyone in his class or even his teachers he's going to feel alone and weird. When he's in 5th or 6th and is 6' tall he's going to wish he could jump ahead to the right grade because he's out of place physically.

There doesn't seem to be any logical reason to not let him be with all the other kids that are the same exact age he is. He's supposed to enter kindergarten at age 5 so he will enter his senior year at age 17 and turn 18.

So don't hold him back. It's kindergarten.

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V.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

I may have missed it, but how much are you holding him back (if you do)? It sounds like he is ready on all fronts. Are we talking an August 1 birthday and he will just hit the cutoff, or are we talking a December birthday and he's already been 5 for many months already?

The bathroom issue is an issue whether he is in Kinder or Pre-school. He shouldn't still be having poop accidents during the day at age 5. Delve into that and listen to Diane B's advice about keeping him away from too much discussion about it.

I can't speak to having done it and not regretting it. We didn't do it. Our son has a mid-July birthday, and he started on time.. a month after he turned 5. He did fine. Would he have done even better if we'd redshirted? Anybody's guess. He matured an amazing amount in the last 6 months of high school and his first year out. Did that maturity come from simply his age, or did it come from the opportunities he was afforded by virtue of being a senior... no way to know. He was working a regular job during his senior year and he gained a lot of maturity from having those responsibilities to an employer. He truly blossomed in maturity when he started college and moved into the dorms. At just turned 18.

I would suggest you manage the bathroom issue, and do so as something entirely separate from the question of when to start kindergarten. If he broke his arm, would you delay for a whole year? Doubtful. You'd manage the medical issue outside of the school question, and work with his teacher/school for whatever accommodations were needed during the process.

Good luck.

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K.M.

answers from New York on

You are stressing me out!!!! Two of our 3 boys were late July birthdays (I think school cut-off was Sept 1). I sent them both on time and they are doing GREAT! They are now in 2nd and 7th and definitely on the higher end of their classes (academically). My 7th grader is on the small side, but would have been one of the smallest if he were only in 6th grade right now. My 2nd and 4th grade (March birthday) boys are also the smallest in their classes. My 7th grader is socially shy, but would have been regardless of grade. I was a little on the fence, but my husband (August birthday--graduated at 17--West Point grad) was adamant about sending them.

Honestly, your son will do well either way. Just make a decision and don't look back. You can always send him and hold him back, if you felt he wasn't ready. Also, there are several studies saying the "advantage" they have by being red-shirted disappears as they get older:

"The data, however, belies this assumption. While earlier studies have argued that redshirted children do better both socially and academically—citing data on school evaluations, leadership positions, and test scores—more recent analyses suggest that the opposite may well be the case: the youngest kids, who barely make the age cutoff but are enrolled anyway, ultimately end up on top—not their older classmates. When a group of economists followed Norwegian children born between 1962 and 1988, until the youngest turned eighteen, in 2006, they found that, at age eighteen, children who started school a year later had I.Q. scores that were significantly lower than their younger counterparts. Their earnings also suffered: through age thirty, men who started school later earned less."

It's truly a case-by-case situation! Best of luck!

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G.♣.

answers from Springfield on

Our son has a July birthday, and he started kindergarten when he was 6. I have absolutely no regrets. It was absolutely the right decision for him.

Remember, you are the number one factor in your child's education. Every study done on kids who succeed in school proves that the parents are the number one factor in a child's education. Not the school, not the district, not the teachers, the parents! Most of the studies you are reading about and the statistics you are looking at are not taking that into consideration. Your son will succeed if you make his academic success a priority.

Our son is 11 years old and in 5th grade. Academically, he would have been just fine. Socially, he would have always been the youngest. He would have always been behind, and that's not a fun place to be. I don't believe that the youngest kids in the class will rise up to meet the oldest. From my experience, the youngest kids are always the youngest, always feel like the youngest and always feel like they don't fit in. The oldest kids tend to be the leaders in their class. My son fits right in with his peers and is doing great! I don't believe he would be doing as well if he started kindergarten when he had just turned 5.

Kindergarten readiness, in my opinion, has very little to do with academics. Some of the kids will know how to read. Some of the kids will barely know their letters. Most of the kids will fall somewhere in between.

Kindergarten readiness is all about social & emotional maturity. Can he follow directions for an adult other than mom or dad? Can he play with other kids? Can he deal with disappointment?

A child who struggles with reading or math can work on those skills at home or get extra help at school. A child who struggles emotionally or socially or is less mature than his/her peers is going to have a rough time.

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T.D.

answers from Springfield on

my summer baby started kinder when they were 5. they are the youngest in the class. they are average in size and testing out academically a grade ahead of where they are at. so i do not regret my decision to start them at age 5. they are already bored in school if i would of held them back and started kinder at 6 they would be disruptive and agitated with being bored all the time.

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B.A.

answers from Columbus on

I’m a bit confused. Most Minneapolis area schools have already started school or start tomorrow, correct? Are you talking about NEXT school year? If so, you really need to take a step back and reevaluate this next spring, after his kindergarten screening. If you’re talking about THIS year, I think you need to live with the decision that you made. I think that the last thing you want to do is to scramble to get him registered and have him start a few days after everyone else starts. Those first few days of kindergarten are all about learning about the school and classroom routines, getting to know each other, and becoming comfortable in the new environment. I think he’s going to be at a disadvantage if he misses that experience.

It seems a bit odd that he’s so involved in making a decision about this. I’ve never met a child that age who had the insight to know that he’d be smaller than everyone else, so I have to wonder how much of your conversations he’s had, and I wonder if he’s picking up on some of your anxiety. I think it would be far healthier if you just told him that he doesn’t need to think about it and you’re going to make the decision for him.

Honestly, other than the fact that he doesn’t know his shapes, there wasn’t much in your post that would lead me to think he needed to be redshirted. Until you got to the toileting issue. Kindergartners sometimes have accidents, but from what you describe its’ every day and is sometimes poop. Are these day time accidents? If so, it may be better to get that under control.

One of my friends struggled with this decision for her August birthday son. She ultimately decided to enroll him in a private kindergarten program with a certified teacher. If he did well in that kindergarten program, she would be able to enroll him in first grade in the public schools the following year. If he struggled, she would enroll him in public school kindergarten the next year. The private school route wasn’t that much more expensive than preschool and it gave her a lot more flexibility. At the end of the year, she collaborated with the private school teacher and the public school district and they agreed that he would benefit from another year in kindergarten. He started public school two weeks ago, and, because it’s a new environment with new faces, he doesn’t feel like he failed at something, and he’s not bored

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K.G.

answers from Fort Myers on

My son turned 5 in April and he started kindergarten almost a month ago. Ignore the studies you have read. I was worried about my son too. He's extremely shy in school. I think I thought too much about it, worrying about everything. But hes adapted and loves school.

I think you should send him. Your seems like a smart kid. Hes only going to learn more. You don't want to have him acting out in class because hes bored. They start from the very beginning in school kindergarten with numbers and letters. He's going to learn from his teacher and other kids. I got books from the library that helped my son. I explained to him that everyone is going to feel shy or scared at first in school. Send him, see how it goes.

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E.T.

answers from Rochester on

I have a late summer boy. He turned 5 just 2 weeks before kindergarten. He was ready to go. In fact, he sounds a lot like your son (including the bathroom accidents which is more common than you might think). I have never regretted sending him.

My son had a friend at daycare/pre-school who had to wait a year because his birthday was 2 weeks after the cut off date. His dad told me that the extra year in preschool was a really tough year. His son was bored because he had already done that curriculum. They started seeing behaviors that he had never had before.

I'm a reading teacher and work with struggling readers (including kindergarten). The kids we worry about are the ones who don't know any letters (including the ones in their own name), don't recognize numbers and can't count, don't know shapes and colors. Of all the kindergarten students that I have serviced as a reading specialist there has been only 1 or 2 late birthday kids that I think would have benefitted from red-shirting (one was a girl).

Don't worry about what might happen in 10-20 years. Think about what is right for him now. Go with your gut and not what the "experts" say. You know your son best.

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C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

I think you are worrying WAY too much about this! It's going to be just fine. I think you should send him. Lots of kids still have accidents at times at this age. My son sure did. My daughter who is in 2nd grade just had an accident yesterday bc she didn't want to stop playing at the lake and go use the bathroom. She also didn't want to admit it. I think you should send him to school and not wait a year. Tell him he is going to love it and is going to have so much fun. Tell him to go use the bathroom every time there is a bathroom break at school even if he doesn't need to. He sounds more than ready in academics and if you wait a year he will be more ahead and will easily get bored in school which leads to kids acting out in the classroom. My son also had almost daily accidents in Kindergarten and he would not tell anyone. (Poo accidents daily too! gross) I talked to the teacher about it and she told him she was going to remind him during the day and he was to go try each time. So at the specific times he would go to the bathroom even if he thought he didn't need to and it ended up stopping the accidents for the most part. Kids at that age never really think they have to go until it's coming out! I know both my kids were like this. I helped in the classroom with both my kids for Kindergarten through 2nd grade and your son is ahead. In my opinion you are worrying too much. The accidents thing is super common. The fact that your son is so ready academically is a good reason to send him. He is not old enough to make this kind of decision...a young child will almost always want to stay with what is familiar over choosing to do something new and unfamiliar. Anyway, that is just my opinion. Really, all will be fine either way. PS - My daughter has an early October birthday so she is one of the oldest in her class. I WISH I could have sent her a year early because she was reading and spelling in preschool. She is so ahead of most of her peers and I can see that the work she gets at school is not pushing her at all..it's too easy for her. I am working with the teacher to get her to give her harder work this year. So far again, I can see that the academics are too easy for what she is capable of. She is reading books like Harry Potter but they are giving her spelling words like "ball". PPS - I read a study saying don't hold your son back...that putting your son with the slightly older kids rises him up to a more mature level in life. That it is very beneficial to those younger kids to be put with the slightly older kids. There are a LOT of articles on this. Now if your son were super super behind in academics I would maybe give you different advice, but he sounds like a very smart boy.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

We didn't have a choice in this.
Where we were, you had to be 5 yrs old on or before Sept 30 in order to be in kindergarten.
Our son's birthday is end of Oct - so he was 5 yrs old for about 2 months in kindergarten before turning 6.
He was always the tallest and almost always the oldest unless there were any earlier Oct birthdays in his class.
It worked very well for him.
When younger classmates had trouble sitting still for long periods of time - it didn't bother him as much.
He was seldom picked on and in the few cases he was he knew how to handle himself.
He did have to deal with being bored in class - but he loved to read and the teacher gave him permission to read after he got his classwork finished so he wouldn't bother kids who were still doing their work.

My sister started school when she was 4 yrs old - she turned 5 early October (where we grew up the rules for starting were different).
Our Mom regrets it.
Academically sis was fine.
Emotionally and socially not as good.
She cried over everything and was forever worrying about following friends and eventually got in with a troubled crowd in high school.
I think a year more of maturity before starting would have made a positive difference in her school experience.
There is more to consider than just being smart, knowing letters and counting.
Especially being the youngest sibling - it might be good for him to be older among his classmates.

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M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Well, I sent my summer birthday boy at 5 and I don't regret it at all. He was academically and socially ready and, even though he's one of the youngest and smallest in his class, I can't imaging having held him. He coasts through academically as it is, and if he had been redshirted, I am afraid he would have ended up acting up in class because he was bored.

I do hope you can figure out the bathroom accident issue. Can he wear the big-kid pull ups to school in the meantime so if he does have an accident, it's not so embarrassing?

When does school start? I'm surprised at this question because we are already 3 weeks into the school year. Unless you are asking for next year, in which case you have a lot of time to sort out the potty issue. I'm also surprised that you are giving your child a say in this or even discussing it in front of him. He's 5. This is a parental decision, completely.

V.S.

answers from Reading on

My son is 13 with a July birthday and is just starting 7th grade. I have zero regrets waiting and would do it again. Your son is not ready and the accidents would be traumatic in a kindergarten setting. Plus, he's asking. Find a young fives program at a preschool.

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J.W.

answers from Harrisburg on

Where I live the cutoff is Sept. 1. My kids bdays are Aug. 1 and Aug. 31 and I did not hold either back. The only issue so far has been my daughter turning 21 after all her friends lol.
The only reason I could see you holding back is the bathroom issue which it sounds like you are workng with your pediatrician...I would really ask the doctor on this one. Good luck.

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D..

answers from Miami on

Are you talking about school starting NOW? You are still trying to make this decision at the beginning of September? Surely not... he's 4 years old now and this is all about next year?

IF his is 5 now, there is an issue with your child not knowing his letters at 5 years old. Also there is an issue with him not knowing shapes. It's fine that he can't read. He probably has a higher math aptitude than he has language aptitude.

If your son is 4 years old, I would work on his this if I were you. Have him tested - a psycho-educational evaluation will help identify his strengths and weaknesses. If there are low percentiles on this test, a speech/language pathologist can help. (I know this because I went through it with my own son who also had major speech issues.) Speech therapists aren't just for speech problems...

I do think that you are talking too much to your son about going to or not going to school. There are certain things that you tell your children that they are going to do, and not ask them how they feel about doing them. This is one of them. You should not be including him in your mind's debate regarding whether or not to send him to school. That actually puts a lot of pressure on this little guy. And he is too young to understand that the issue of being the biggest and the oldest is not something HE should be thinking about. It's not something that he gets to control. He thinks that by not going to school yet, that he can...

My younger son couldn't figure out the alphabet at 4 years old. He also had shape recognition problems. It was so different from my older son, who was counting and saying the alphabet with Sesame Street at 27 months. My youngest was an early April baby, and would have been one of the youngest in his class, according to the school. He was not short (my husband is over 6 feet, and both of my sons are 6 feet tall now...) His preschool director told me that I needed to have the school evaluate him for school readiness and that I might think about keeping him in preschool one more year. I listened to her advice, and informed the school counselor of this. She tested him.

I ASKED the counselor, if he were HER son, what would SHE do? She told me that if I had financial difficulties, and needed him to start school, that it would be okay to enroll him. He tested below 50 percentile in some things, a little above 50 percentile in others, and just at 50 percentile on some. That's pretty much where he stood on school readiness. But then she said that if I could afford preschool for another year, he really could use another year to mature.

I had my heart set on him being two years behind his brother in school. I almost felt like it was a personal failure on my part that I didn't have him ready, especially after all of the early intervention my son had. But I had to put MYSELF behind my son, and do what was best for him. He needed that extra year to make sense of how to order his thinking in order to be able to keep up with school learning. I worked hard with him on this, with FUN ACTIVITIES that the professionals (speech therapist, occupation therapist, and tutor with preschool experience) helped me with.

He is in his senior year in college now. I have never regretted holding him back. I will say that it didn't occur to me that I would be paying double college expenses for two hard years in a row if I hadn't redshirted him. One year of it was hard enough with my two kids! That might not matter to you now, but it might matter to you later! What I do know was that it didn't hurt his relationship with his brother being 3 years behind him. And it really helped him having that extra year.

If you DO end up redshirting him, make sure that he doesn't think that he was "held back". Instead, tell him that the school feels that he needs to be older to come to school. And then don't talk about it anymore. Just get into the business of getting him testing and help so that he has a good kindergarten year. Do not worry about him being bored in kinder! Kindergarten is so different from preschool. Half of it is learning HOW to be in a school, how to follow directions, how to get along with others, how to be part of an academic learning experience. How to be ready for VERY difficult first grade. Your son will spend half his time doing this, and the other half with demanding academics.

There are certainly kids who have toilet accidents in kinder. If he is having these every day, there are ISSUES with him that must be addressed. If it's not medical, it may be emotional. I urge you not to just discount this outright. I really do feel that you are putting pressure on him right now discussing school with him. If you aren't sleeping, this has all stressed you so much, you are surely stressing him out. Children feel their parents' stresses. And this has been going on for a long time...

Try to remember that each of your children are different. And even though you know he takes after your husband in a lot of ways, don't just "expect" him to follow that into his academic career. That can color your judgment and you may not even realize it...

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F.B.

answers from New York on

We found out after the fact that the nursery teacher and kindergarten teacher discussed whether to advance our October boy (December cut off) and agreed he was ready making him the youngest in his grade. His is a very small school and his class consists of seven kids, the others are all girls and all at least 6 months older. We wish that they had included us in the discussion as we would have advocated holding him back. To do so now would be too conspicuous. Ours is our first born and while academically strong, needed some help with self control. I suspect he would have been more confident had he been redshirted. Good luck in your decision

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H.M.

answers from Dallas on

Normally I would say send him and let him repeat if there are too many problems. My youngest is a summer baby and we did not hold him back till 2nd grade. But my husband was a summer baby and he go straight A's all through school without trying. My concern would be his accidents. If he's insecure about that sending him to school to have them will cause more insecurity's. You said that you are working with him pediatrician. Have you talked to a councilor about this? Most kids by this age don't have poop accidents. (I am not judging) Pee ones are still more normal but hard at that age.

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X.Y.

answers from Chicago on

Our daughters bday is 8/25. We decided to put her in when she turned 6. Great decision for her. She was in a small private school and the entire class turned 6 within 3 months of school starting. I'm happy she will be the oldest. I wasn't worried about her social skills during elementary but I was worried about them during middle and high school. Kids know so much these days, I wanted her to have some maturity to know how to handle situations.
I saw my niece go thru hell being the youngest, less mature. She was a straight A student until high school. She didn't have the maturity for all the 'mature' conversations and would get made fun of for not understanding. She's 20 now and still is a mess and she blames it on high school and not knowing how to handle it.

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