Is Holding Your Child Back a Year for Kindergarten Start a Crime?

by MyDadBlog on March 21, 2012

in Advice

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I was pretty annoyed by a recent 60 minutes “expose” on what they call redshirting, which evidently, refers to starting your child in Kindergarten a year later than they would normally be eligible.  They paint a portrait of these helicopter parents who are altering the flow of the timing of their child’s education to give (usually their sons) a leg up by starting a year later.  They go on to cite that especially for boys, starting school a year later conveys benefits ranging from being bigger than other boys in the class to doing better in sports to driving earlier in high school.

So, I’ll just say that I was born on Sep 1, which was the exact cutoff date so I was literally the youngest child in my entire grade.  In hindsight, I can’t say I ever really noticed a difference other than not being able to compete on the highschool baseball team.  Due to my birthday, I played Little League with kids n the grade below me and I killed.  But when I went to play highschool baseball, I was basically playing with kids 1 year ahead of me from a baseball cohort standpoint.  Not a big deal; school isn’t for baseball in my opinion.  Scholastically, I always did fine.

However, I’m an anecdote.  On a broader scale, there is plenty of evidence indicating that boys born in the summer are often much better off being held back a year.  They are often not as mature emotionally or scholastically compared to similarly aged girls.  Once these boys enter the system and start off at the bottom, they never recover.  They go through grade after grade at a substandard pace and end up graduating highschool as a C student or less.

We had one son that wasn’t ready when he turned 5 and we gave him an extra year.  My wife’s a teacher and it was abundantly clear that he wasn’t ready.  The pre-school teachers suggested this as well.  Aside from being born premature and having some health issues, there are still constant speech lessons and emotionally he’s just not there.  So, we held him. I never hear of parents regretting holding their kid back but I DO hear of parents regretting sending their kid early when they fail.


Are we bad parents? 60 Minutes would paint us as such.

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