child development

I Think It Sucks To Red-Shirt Your Child For The Wrong Reasons

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Red-shirting has always been around but has gained a lot of traction in recent years in the parenting world. For the grade school uninitiated, this is the practice of holding back a child from beginning school even though their birthday falls within the confines of a state’s school cut-off date. Holding back kids from starting school is a controversial topic and is done for a variety of situations- developmental, academic, age and the (dubious) possibility of future athletic prospects are all reasons cited for delaying entry to school.

A parent on Reddit posted about his concerns with having a child entering kindergarten with a few developmental delays. The comments in this thread show what a wide range of strong views parents have on this topic. I have a child where this was a concern so this topic is something I’ve thought about. My daughter’s birthday is September 19th. The New York state cut-off is December 1st so there are many parents that hold back children with fall birthdays. My husband and I gave this a lot of thought and spoke with our daughter’s pre-k teachers to help us decide. She is smart and catches on to academic concepts but there were times where she showed her age and maturity level- namely, with her attention span.

In the end, we came to the conclusion that she would do well in kindergarten despite these concerns because she was strong in other areas. The teachers also mentioned that it would be beneficial to be around older children so hopefully, she would emulate their behavior. We agreed. She began school just shy of five years old and did beautifully. She is entering 2nd grade this fall and is a great reader and flies through her homework- there is no doubt that we made the right choice but at the time, I was nervous to see how it would all shake out.

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