Does redshirting / being the older one in the class make your child more likely to be a leader?

Cynthia - posted on 06/07/2014 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I always here parents say they redshirt because they want their child to be the leader. Does being older in the class or in a group make you more likely to be a leader?

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Ev - posted on 06/09/2014

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Kallisti--
Thank you for the information about the redshirt thing from a TV show but that is not what is meant here. Redshirting is what I said in a previous post where parents hold back kids in hopes that it makes a difference in the child being the oldest in class and therefore more likely to become a leader. Its just not true. From common sense point of view as a mother and a preschool teacher, there is not a way to tell if a child who is the oldest in the class will be that leader or not. It depends the person. Each is different and because one child who is older is a leader does not mean all older kids will be leader material. There are a lot of younger kids in those classes that turn out to be leaders long before the older kids do. My kids were some of the oldest in their class only because the kindergarten cut off date was in September and they were both born in Jan and March and were only four years old by the cut off date still. It had nothing to do with me holding them back for reason of them being the oldest and more mature. There are plenty of kids who are older but less mature than their younger classmates.

Erisreignssupreme - posted on 06/09/2014

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"redshirt" is a reference to star trek. when on an away mission to another planet there would be the normal crew members that you see every week {william shatner leonard nemoy etc} and a random extra crew member {usually acted by an extra with no lines} these guys had red shirts and usually died..so you could always tell who was gonna get eaten by aliens and not come back to the ship..cos he had a red shirt. this is not the case in every episode. i suppose then that a redshirt is a bit like cannon fodder..a nobody an expendible person. a low rank disposable member of a team. so parents are using this term incorrectly. or perhaps it has changed meanins ....you are statistically more likely to be taller if you are a ceo of a company. i read that somewhere. ceos are taller than their workers. i guess being more mature will make you more likely to be able to use your leadership qualities. being seen as older might influence the perception of otehrs of you as a leader. and being older and wiser means you may have understanding of litteler kids which you could use to your advantage. there are many types of leaders..from hitler to ghandi and i dont think age has much to do withit. but then ive never seen any statistics ont eh subject. you could try googling it you might get some answers. im sure someone somewhere has done research into this.

Ev - posted on 06/08/2014

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Gena--I think reshirting means that they are purposely hold back their kids from starting school a year to be better leaders and in some cases be better sports players. It really is a negative impact on the kids if its done for those purposes alone. My kids were not redshirted as the saying goes but their birthdays were in March and mid January. The cut off date before their 5th birthdays was in early September of that fall before their birthdays. So techincally they were not allowed to attend kindergarten until the next fall. Both of them were in the middle range of the class ages. But I do know for a fact that my ex's one brother and his wife did hold back their child because they thought he needed to mature a bit more before he attempted school. He was a year behind my daughter in school because of that.

Gena - posted on 06/08/2014

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I dont know what redshirt is?I know what a red tshirt is lol,but i dont understand what you mean with it.All i can say is that when i went to school we had those "leaders" of the girls,but they werent older then the others or bigger.Its the personality that makes a child or any grown up aswell a leader. We had a boy at school that came from another country,he missed alot of school and was 2 years older then the rest of us,he was also alot taller/bigger,but he was actualy one of the shy types,eventhough he speeks our language.

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Chet - posted on 06/10/2014

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@Shawnn Redshirting in reference to school aged children has it's roots in sports as well.

People noticed that athletes with birthdays that made them the oldest in their cohort were over represented in professional sports. Something like half of all professional soccer players in Europe have birthdays in the first quarter of the year. The generally accepted explanation for this has been that the kids who were older than their peers had a relative advantage. They tended to be bigger and more developmentally advanced, which made them more likely to be selected for elite teams and special training opportunities.

Being the oldest doesn't guarantee you will excel in a sport, but it can give you an advantage when you're young and competing against other children when every little bit counts.

Over the last ten or fifteen years, maybe longer, I'm not sure, it's become a trend to start kids in school later to give them the same kind of advantage. Parents frequently cite leadership and athletics as areas where they hope their kids will have an edge by being the oldest - their kids might not be less mature than the average child, but the parents are hoping to have their child be one of the most mature students by redshirting.

The trend tends to be very pronounced in affluent areas where there isn't pressure to get kids out of costly daycare, or to get a stay at home parent back to work. It's also been spurred along by highly academic kindergarten programs where there is a lot of focus on things like early reading.

Ev - posted on 06/10/2014

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Well, according to what some people say, if they red-shirt the kid=holding back starting school time; that their kid will be leader material because they are older and more mature. But like you said, and others too, it depends on child, and their personality and how they handle things socially. My daughter and son were not the oldest in their classed but in the middle. Neither a leader really. I was born in July. THe year I went to kindergarten I turned 5 in July before school started in September after Labor Day. I was the youngest in my graduating class with two other people. I was still 17 years old when most of my class was 18 already. I had to wait a month after graduation before I was 18.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/10/2014

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Evelyn, you made me LOL...We're ALL special!

Preaching to the choir here, though! I just realized that my youngest will be the oldest in his class when they graduate because of the hold back...and he's most defintely not a 'leader', per se...he isn't a 'follower' either, so...how was that supposed to work again?

Ev - posted on 06/10/2014

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Yeah, Shawnn, they do. For every little thing that does not seem "normal" you got to have some sort of "label" to go with it. I work with those with special needs. I have over the year learned that even though they have more needs that I might need, each of us has some quirk or other that special needs people have too. i have texture issues for example with chicken nuggets (breading), wet toilet paper (makes me gag), and other off the wall things. But does that mean I need a "label" to explain things...NO. LOL,

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/10/2014

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LOL...Evelyn, here we just call it what it is...but I guess people need a 'term' for everything these days, eh?

Ev - posted on 06/10/2014

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Well, I have heard of the stand point that this OP is asking about. I have heard of people doing this so their kids can be the leader because of age. I did not red-shirt my kids but went by the cut off dates the school had which was the September before their birthday. By the time each of my kids turned five years of age...it was the new year and past. Jan and March. So the next September both were 5.5 years old and were more than ready to go. My ex's brother kept his son back a year because of maturity issues. But they were not red-shirted so to speak.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/10/2014

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Kallisti, a nice dose of reality would be good for you right now.

Redshirting is benching an eligible athlete who would otherwise have playing time. I have never once heard it in reference to making the kid a 'leader', or anything other than getting eligibility to play their senior year, and it's usually applied in college athletics.

A redshirt freshman is a second year student that set out his/her first year of athletics, so that he/she could play in their senior year. Its used because most NCAA programs only allow four years of eligibility, but most college degrees take on average 5 years to complete. This allows the athlete to work out and train with the team for the redshirt year, and then fully participate through their senior years. It's also used in injury situations, where the athlete would otherwise have still been considered 'active'. If an injury happens early enough in the season, the player redshirts so that they can still play their full college careers.

A true freshman, on the other hand, is a freshman student who plays actively from day one, and generally redshirts for the sophomore or junior year to be able to play as a senior.

If a parent is using it in reference to a primary or secondary school child, I would assume that it means they're holding their kid out another year for maturity reasons. I held my youngest out a year from starting kindy, because he wasn't socially ready for that.

Chet - posted on 06/09/2014

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Emerging as a leader within your peer group is a complicated process. Relative age is only one of many variables that can come into play. And unfortunately, many of the contributing factors are completely beyond your control - like the personalities and social strengths of the other children, and the overall dynamic of the class.

That said, I'm a fan of later starts for school and one of our four children was technically "red-shirted". I say technically because we weren't aiming to make her the biggest kid in the class to gain an advantage in sports, or the most socially sophisticated kid in the class so she'd be a leader. Given the choice between formally delaying her school start to have her be the oldest in her grade, or following the usual protocol where she would have been the youngest in her grade, we felt it better that she start a year later and be the oldest.

However, while red-shirting may not guarantee that a child will be a leader, it does have the potential to give them an advantage over their peers.

For example, I am aware of two studies (one done in Canada published in 2012, and one done in the US that was probably published the summer of 2010) that found the youngest children in a classroom were much more likely to be diagnosed and treated for attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorders than the oldest children in a class. No matter when the cut-off date was for school entry, the youngest children in the grade were significantly over-represented in the group with ADD or ADHD diagnoses. It is harder (on average) for the younger children to meet the behaviour standard than the older children which can impact school success and social success.

When we made the decision to delay school start I was more worried about what would happen later on. I felt it would be better to be older rather than younger when all the kids in the grade went to sleep away camp, started going to dances, were leaving for university, etc. I also felt really strongly that growing up isn't a race and that more time meant more opportunity for a broader, richer, childhood. I didn't see any particular advantage to being the youngest.

It's also worth nothing, that in some areas red-shirting become so common that if you don't red-shirt your child could be WAY younger than the average in their class. The red-shirted kids are the new normal in some schools, and the younger kids are that much younger comparably.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/09/2014

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No it does not automatically mean you will be a leader. That all depends on your personality as an individual....not your age.

Ev - posted on 06/07/2014

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Being the oldest in the class or even at home or in a family where its cousins or something of the like does not make one more likely to be a leader type. What makes one a leader is the personality, traits, and characteristics he or she has that makes them leader material. Parents reshirting a kid to make them have the chance to be a leader may be doing their kid/kids a disservice in this. My kids went to kindergarten when they were both nearly 6 yeras old. It had nothing to do with them being a leader, it had to do with the fact that the school district had a certain cut off date the year they both would have turned five later in the year and had been the youngest in class that kept them out of kindergarten until the following fall. Both my kids were born in winter and early spring and cut off was in September back then. I also know of a cousin of theirs who was held back on purpose to start at six years of age because his parents were not sure he had the maturity as yet to handle school. Those are the only reasons a kid is or should be held back to the next fall.

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