Feeling guilty for keeping 5 yr old son in preschool one more year

Victoria - posted on 08/31/2009 ( 97 moms have responded )

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He turned 5 in June, but has some speech issues & some oppositional behavior, but I feel so guilty for "holding him back", has anyone faced this decision?

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Firebird - posted on 09/07/2009

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My daughter is age ready to start kindergarten this year, but she also has speech issues as well as other minor delays and I'm not putting her in school this year either. She is obviously not ready for it, so I don't feel a single ounce of guilt. Neither should you. If my daughter were in fact ready then I would definitely feel guilty but due to her situation, I would feel guilty if I did put her in kindergarten. So instead she will be attending the Strong Start program and will attend kindergarten next year. If your son isn't ready, then he isn't ready. Plain and simple. You are not holding him back, you are doing what you feel is best and he will most likely do much better in school next year because of it.

Ann - posted on 09/02/2009

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When I was working on my masters degree, we discussed in one class summer babies and pushing them ahead or holding them back. A summer baby can be a May baby or later. The research said that summer babies, especially boys should be kept back a year to mature more. Girls tend to mature faster. My son has a June 9 birthday and I went back and forth about sending him on. One of my issues was that he was tall and looked so much older. I didn't want him to get a "big dumb kid held back reputation" that could become self fulfilling. At three years old he was asking me questions like "Why did the bad men kill Jesus" at Easter time. When I tried to explain the Easter story and the resurrection story, I knew it was going way over his head. When I finally asked him if it made any sense, he informed me, "It was just like ET." He had also asked me if all the people on earth died, would there still be a God, at three. Years later his IQ was tested at 141. I have a masters in gifted ed to try to keep a step ahead of him. Now that he is 29, I don't waste my time and haven't since he graduated from high school (as valedictorian). I did find a private kindergarten with only 8 students and sent him when he was five. He got a little more mothering with such a small class. His elementary school later let me pick his teachers, ones who would not feel threatened by a kid who seriously questioned everything and could talk to adults who would later say they often forgot they were talking to a child. As a high school teacher I could pick the younger kids out of a class. The September babies who were not held back were immature boys. They would have been much more serious students being the older ones in class rather than the youngest. That includes the really bright younger boys, too. Better the boys be older, getting their driver's licenses ahead of their class, being the taller stronger athletes of their class, shaving first, voices lowering first and in control of their behavior more, and more settled to be serious students rather than being the babies who tend to show off and act out more to get attention and really end up annoying. Not good for self esteem. As one professor stated, "Unless you plan on renting out his room when he turns 18 his senior year, keep a summer boy baby home and let him grow up at his own pace." Just because you keep your son back a year, does not mean you have to keep your daughter back a year. Each child is different. If your daughter seems more ready to go to school, then send her at 5.

Sharon - posted on 08/31/2009

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Don't feel guilty.



I should have held my oldest back. He was so bright & so smart I thought those qualities would overcome his other issues. They didn't.



You're doing the right thing!

Heather - posted on 09/08/2009

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I let me son go on to kindergarten after turning 5 in March. I wish now that I had held him back. He wasn't ready and he had problems until he was in 8th grade. I wish now that I had held him back one more year.



Please don't feel bad about it. I have never met anyone that regreted holding a child back one year. I have always met people like me that regreted not holding hi back

Brenda - posted on 09/04/2009

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As a teacher with 28 years of teaching kindergarten and now as a first grade teacher, I always tell parents that the "gift of time" is a wonderful thing to give your child - especially if they are a boy. He will be more mature and do better in school having waited another year. Don't feel guilty.

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Cmiller292007 - posted on 07/30/2015

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Yes I am currently facing this decision and its the most difficult one yet to make! My son just turned 5 this July, already registered for K this year. He is academically ready to start, a very smart and bright boy . But he lacks maturity and high self image yet of himself. I truly believes he needs to grow another year before taking kindergarten on and then being set up to fail (so to speak . I'm afraid he'd have a complex then end up hating school. I try hard to not blame myself or feel ashame . But this seems like a normal situation after all for kids this age span (4-6 years). It has no long term effects on the child if you decide to hold them back. I try not to compare my child to his other peers of his age.
How do you finally find peace about this situation and not feel ashamed about it, knowing deep down its the right thing.

Cynthia - posted on 04/15/2015

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God, you have no idea how much this means to read this! I have a son who just turned 5 in March and he's still having speech problems and behavior issues as well. I wanted him to start Kinder this year but husband and I (along with pediatrician) feel he isn't ready. I've cried thinking about him being "held back"...until I saw all this! I no longer feel a bad mother! thx a million!

Kerry - posted on 09/10/2009

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yes i have... my son repeated prep this year... he started when he was 4 and he so wasnt ready he didnt have any speech problems but he was very shy.. He only got in2 prep by 2 days..he turned 5 in june last year... He is doing so much better this year gets up and talks in front of the class and everything now... we didnt want him to struggle if we put him in year 1...dont look back.. its for the best.. i also understand speech issues as i have a twin with autism.. you are a caring mum keep up the good work...xx kerry

Romilda - posted on 09/07/2009

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I kept my son back for another year his birthday is in October, he was not emotionally ready - it was the best thing I could do, he is going from strength to strength and nothing is ever too difficult for him. If I sent him a year earlier it would not be the same!

Karyn - posted on 09/07/2009

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As an elementary teacher, I just want to say thank you! If your son is not ready, as a lot of boys aren't, another year of preschool, getting to know how to behave and adjust to other kids, and just a year to mature is great. If your son has speech issues, he can be assessed by your local school's speech and language pathologist and can receive services at your neighborhood school now, even before he starts school. My nephew who is now a freshman in high school seemed completely ready to go to school at 4-turning-5 due to a late birthday, but my brother decided to hold him back one more year. He is now a straight-A student, stellar athlete and well-rounded, mature young man. You know your son better than anyone. Great job for doing what is right for him!

Peggy - posted on 09/05/2009

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Don't Think of it as "holding him back"---Think of it as "giving him an extra advantage"!

My two winter children-January and February had an easier time socially andemotionally and academically at 5yrs. 9mos adn 5yrs 8mos than my summer children- June and Sept. although they all did fine academically. I did question whether to give those summer children another year. But the school encouraged me to send them on at barely five. i wish I had followed my instincts. They are all collage grads. with good careers now even though they did have to work hard. One of my sons gave his summer child an' advantage year" As a prescool teacher I reallized the advantage some children would have to wait a year. But I witnessed the preassure parents have to see "their ' child be/get ahead. Mother of Four, grandmother of ten.Peggy Biros

Julie - posted on 09/05/2009

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Yes I have and do not feel bad about it; our son is ADHD and was showing signs of oppositional behavior as well at age 5 ( his birthday is in April), therefore we held him back a year ( he lasted 3 weeks in Kindergarten). It was the best thing we could have done for him; he is now in the 8th grade and doing very well with staight A's and good compliance both at school and home.

Louise - posted on 09/04/2009

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My son turned 3 at the end of july he starts nursery which is attached to my other sons school next week i feel he is far to young seeing as he is still not dry, this time next year he will be starting school at age just 4!(our borough does 1 intake per year, and if we don't take our space we lose it,If we choose to put him in school later than his peers he would be put in with them weather he had any schooling or not) i feel guilty that he has to go to school still a baby and wish i could keep he at home longer, I wish we had the choice not to send them till much later to give them more time to be emotionally ready. When are the people in charge going to notice they are still babies and need their parents. I feel as if my hands are tied and he has to go but he is far to young.

Megan - posted on 09/04/2009

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Do not deel guilty if thats what your son needed. My mom started me too ealry in school and I struggled through kindergarten and and first grade and ended up having to be held back anyway. With my brother she kept him in preschool an extra year and he has excelled from the time he started school. Every child learns at a different pace so dont go with society go with your your gut!

Renee - posted on 09/04/2009

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I have child with multiple physical and MH disabilities.I kept him back in the 4th this year.He wasn't ready for 5th educationally or social/emotionally either.I know in the long wrong He'll benefit.I know the guilt you describe.I struggled with this decision.It will give him time to catch up at his speed.Does He have an IEP so He can get speech at school?

Michele - posted on 09/04/2009

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Don't feel guilty at all! You are his mother and you know him best. That being said, it is a little known factor that men are less mature than women. I have heard many people keeping boys back until 6 years.

Morag - posted on 09/04/2009

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Never regret, you are not holding him back. The experts think 6 is the best age to commence structured education. Three of mine were 5years six months and are and have all done exceptionally well at school. In Britain we are in such a rush for our children to grow up enjoy this extra time with your son and don't let anyone make you feel guilty.

Laura - posted on 09/04/2009

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Has somoeone recommended that you keep your son in pre-school at this late of an age,??? if not then what is t he reason?

Dyanne - posted on 09/03/2009

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Better to do it now and give him the time to mature,,,kindergarten has changed and there are lots of expectations the minute they start...is he getting the help he needs to address the issues he faces? The earlier the intervention the better the outcome!

Sarah Jamie - posted on 09/03/2009

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Don't worry. This is your kid. One thing you could do, if its available. Put him in a montessori school for a year if you can. My daughter is actually ahead in most areas, but the school district we live in wouldn't allow her to start school when she was 5 because she didn't make the cut off date. So she actually is the oldest in her class now, but she is in all of the accellerated classes and is going to test out of some of her 6th grade class at the end of this year (she is a 5th grader). So the debate is, do you want him to be behind from now on in school, since you yourself think he has some valid reasons for being held back, or would you like to see him shine as one of the older kids in class and have that natural leader tendancy that comes with it. My daughter had several friends who were in the same boat that you were in, and they put her in the montessori school too. Its almost like a individualistic arena that can help him learn more in an environment that is more "ability" appropriate for him right now at this time in his development. I loved it and so did my friend and her daughter. The girls were about 9 months apart in age, but got along as if they were twins.



Just remember you are the mom, and you know what is best for your kid... even if it is hidden behind all that doubt.



Good luck!

Always, Jamie

[deleted account]

In washington state you have to be 5 by August 31st to go to Kindegarten, my son will be turning 6 in kindergarten within the first month of school. But, I would have kept him in preschool anyways, I did with my oldest who is in fifth grade now and doing great! For me, raising only boys I just feel thay have benifited with being the one fo the oldest in their classes rather than the youngest..do what your heart and gut tells you...in the big scheme of things it is only one year and could make a HUGE difference in his future school success! I have never heard a parent say they should have let their child skip a year but I sure hear parents wish they had held their child back...

Brenda - posted on 09/03/2009

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My youngest son has apraxia of speech and I held him back one year as well. He started kinder today and he is going to be 6 next month. I don't regret holding him back because in the long run, this was what he needed. Every child is different, don't let anyone pressure you to conform or put your child in a specific category or box. Imagine if you would have put him in kinder and found it wasn't working and the school wanted to make him repeat. I think that would be harder on him. You know your son, trust your instincts. :)
Good Luck!

Nancy - posted on 09/03/2009

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Do not feel guilty! Go with your gut feeling Mom. Looking back I wish I had gone with my feeling of keeping my son another year in Kinder. I allowed him to go forward. He was not mature enough. Always trying to keep up. Much better to have him one of the older ones.

Christel - posted on 09/03/2009

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You are not holding him back you are very much helping him because some childern need more attention than others. IN one way you should be happy that the preschool wants to help with the speech. Because once you hit grade school the teachers have so many childern in the class there is not much help for them. Its better to have the childern start closer to age 6 any way.

Nancy - posted on 09/03/2009

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You made the right decision! I'm a former Kindergarten teacher and currently I direct and oversee Early Childhood Programs. Although the public schools encourage parents to send their children, it's always more difficult for those children who are a little younger (especially boys!) and those children with development delays. Giving him the extra year will help him to build his self esteem and confidence for when he does attend school next year. It's always better to be a "big fish" in a little pond then to have to always worry about keeping up with older and more confident children. As I always say to parents, "when in doubt, leave them out!" Trust me, you'll be so glad you did! Nancy

Teresa - posted on 09/03/2009

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DONT FEEL GUILTY!!! Our now 1st grader was the same. He had speech delay, social issues, and just plain not ready to start kindergarten. He has a summer birthday and turned 5. EVERYONE was pushing us to put him in school, but I knew that he would not be able to handle it. Keeping him out and starting him in kindergarten was THE BEST thing we ever did. He blossomed in kindergarten last year and is having a wonderful time so far in first grade this year (1 week down). I am positive it would not have been the same situation if we had started him the previous year when he turned 5.



Ultimately it will be your decision and you will make the right one for you and your child. You are your childs best advocate. If you dont feel he is ready and have concerns, then by all means dont start him and dont feel guilty about it. Your child will probably thank you in a few years when he has more of an understanding and is functioning better in social situations.



I know I was so afraid of ruining school for him. I was afraid if he had a bad experience it would set the tone for future school years.



Whatevery you do, make sure it is the rigth decision for you and your son and not the decision everyone wants you to make or is forcing upon you.

Laura - posted on 09/03/2009

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I fought with this this past year. My little boy (he is nine but will always be little to me) was put back in 2nd grade because of his theme test. He did good through out the year no Fs on report card but he was put back in 2nd. I felt if I would not fight for him to go to 3rd he would be looked at as stupid or people would laugh at him. He did not go to a pre-K they did not have that for his time it started a year after he was in K (he was also in K twice) But if it helps let him stay he will grow up with his not having to struggle that would be a blessing. This is how i made the decision not to make my son go to 3rd. This is the first time we are not sitting at the table for 6 hours doing homework. It was hard but you know its for the best you will not regreat it later I know I don't.

Lis - posted on 09/03/2009

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My son is a June baby as well. It was a very tough decision to hold him out for a year, but I did. He had speech issues as well. He's in 5th grade now. His speech is still not quite what it should be. However, socially, emotionally and psychologically he fits perfectly with his peers. Speech issues may also give rise to reading and writing issues, they are both connected to speech. The extra year has given him a slight edge in maturity and dealing with the frustrations. The preschool teacher (school district run b/c of speech) did extra things with him...he did some computer work, math sheets, etc. The only negative I will say is that because he was in the school district program, the other kids in his class went on to kindergarten and are now a year ahead of him. Every now and then he gets upset by that. Less so over time, but he is aware. I've been very straight with him about my reasons for holding him back and that I did what I thought was in his best interest.

Hope that's helpful

[deleted account]

I was just discussing this topic with a friend. She made a great point, it is easier to hold back a child in preschool than it is to hold them back later. When they get into school, kids will notice the child has been held back. Holding you child back at this age isn't as problematic. I may be in the same situation next year with my daughter. Her birthday is August 30th and the cut off is September 15, but I notice a big difference now between the kids that were born earlier in the year and her. It's amazing how quickly kids learn and develop.

Darla - posted on 09/03/2009

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I think they should make the cut off for kindergarten June 1st. That way, all kids would be at least 5 years and 6 months when they were allowed to start kindergarten.

Darla - posted on 09/03/2009

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I kept my son out the extra year as well. He turned 5 on July 25, which was 6 days from the cutoff date. He would have been the youngest child in his class all the way through. There are so many benefits and so few drawbacks. Aside from giving your son a chance to improve on his speech issues before starting to school, you are giving him an extra year of maturity that will benefit him as well. Honestly, I did not feel my son would have trouble in kindergarten academically. Or even in 1st, 2nd, 3rd... But I figure by the time he was in 5th or 6th grade, I would start to see that he is a year younger than the other kids. And in jr. high and high school, he will have that extra year of maturity to combat peer pressure and etc., which, in my opinion, they need all the help they can get! When my daughter turned 5 in July also, I chose to keep her back as well. Again, I did not want to take a child who might have been a leader and make her a follower because she was a year younger. So never mind what other moms say, or the looks they give (I got my share). You are doing what you feel in your heart is best for your son. And that's all we can do!

Christina - posted on 09/03/2009

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do not feel guilty about this, I had to put my daughter in a dycare/preschool environment at the age of 2, now shes in first grade is excelling at all subjects! This social enviroment is great for your son, even though he may show some signs at first of abandonment if this is the first time hes away from you, but as time goes on he will be up before you all ready to go cause he can't wait to get there!!!

Good luck and relax : )

Meri - posted on 09/03/2009

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I felt the same way. My son was born in September and he was the youngest and smallest in last year's Pre-K. We could tell he wasn't quite ready.... well, my in-laws were.
Me? I was in such a hurry to send him off to a public kindergarten. After having many discussions with my family and teachers, we've decided to hold him back.
He just started his 2nd year in Pre-K, but he's loving it!! Now he will be READY when he goes to "big kids school" next year!

Mara - posted on 09/03/2009

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I totally agree. My daughter turns 5 this month, she is smart as a whip, the oldest in her preschool class and I could have tried to send her early. But, she needs some more emotional readiness and she is SUPER sensitive and I thought she could use another year of growing in that respect! You are doing the right thing for you!!!

Tanya - posted on 09/03/2009

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Don't feel guilty!! My son is turning 5 on Oct.14th and I'm keeping him in preschool another year. He has a couple of speech andOT issues that he is going to get help with and he is painfully shy. I wish I did this with my second child it would have helped him a great deal with school. You have to do what you feel is right for your child, someone told me that she always hears about parents wishing they held their child back a year but never parents saying they should have sent their child to kindergarten instead of preschool another year.

Katena - posted on 09/03/2009

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My son has speech problems and I did not hold him back; what I did do was request he stay with the same teacher for another year. We are a military problem and he has other issues also. I felt guilty in the beginning but figured out it was the best for him. Never feel guilty for doing whats important for your child. My other other son who is very bright I wish i would have held him back because he is very bright but not emotionally was he ready he was one of the youngest kids in the state of Fl.

Emily - posted on 09/03/2009

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My son is turning 5 in oct. and we're holding him back for his benefit in the end. I feel guilty too. and to make matters worse two boys on my block (that he plays with) are starting kindergarten. But like I said we're doing this for him and in high school (yes I think it will take that long to see we did the right thing) we'll see that we made the right decision! School is so hard now, it's nothing like when we went. I think he'll thank you in the end

[deleted account]

A speech therapist and cognitive behavior modification should help, by delaying kindergarten could create more oppostional behavior if he is not challenged, preschool is more about child play and group play.

Carol - posted on 09/02/2009

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Never feel guilty for doing what is best for your child. After working in the field of education for over 13 years and my own kids now out of school I think the most unselfish thing you can do is support them and get them in an environment where they will not struggle but thrive. We as parents at times push to have them do to much too soon and it then your are faced with that day to day struggle.

Joan - posted on 09/02/2009

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oh, one more comment. I held my oldest son back and he was actually born in February. He is so confident and is doing great... I also plan to hold back my second son, he was born in June also.

Joan - posted on 09/02/2009

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Well, it looks as if you have recieved a great deal of responses. All positive, I hope. I am a mother of 3 boys and 1 daughter and also a kindergarten teacher. I have never, and I express, never, experienced the "down" side of holding a boy back until they are ready for kindergarten. I hate to stereotype, however, girls seem to automatically "play" school, boys have a tendency to want to avoid it. They prefer being outdoors avoiding school as much as possible. The up side....he will probably be at the top of his class and boys also love the physical advantages that they have when being the oldest. On the down side...boys that do start kindergarten when they are not ready seem to struggle from the get go. finally, you are the parent, you know your son, you call the shots. Don't feel guilty for doing what you feel is best for your son. God bless....

Kristie - posted on 09/02/2009

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My daughter has a birthday in June and I didn't send her till the following year. I will never feel bad about it. They have to no so much by kindergarten so I felt another year would help. She is now in 4th grade and is doing very well. She had all A's last year. You will never regret it. You did the right thing. I hope he has a good year in preschool.

Tamara - posted on 09/02/2009

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i did this year. D's issues are stubbornness and he just wasn't ready for the "Big K" yet. After a few days in his second year of preschool, he's doing wonderful so far! Helping the teachers with the younger kids, and showing huge growth, I was unsure about the decision, but am now convinced it was the best thing I could've done!

User - posted on 09/02/2009

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Victoria, I just had to respond to this. I taught preschool for 15 years and am now working in an elementary scholl with K-2nd grade. If he seems to have issues or is struggling, the best thing you can do is keep him in preschool 1 more year. I have seen so many children get "pushed" through grades by their parents because that is the "norm" but the struggles will only get worse over the years and their self esteem suffers. At this young age, the children really don't understand the whole concept of "repeating" anyway and they can benefit so much emotionally that it helps them in their other dev'tal areas. My daughter had that extra year and it was one of the best things I ever did for her! Good luck!

Diane - posted on 09/02/2009

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Don't feel guilty. Theres to much preasure on our kids to preform when , were and , how. If he needs an extra boost, then keep him there1 more year. You are doing a great job, you are giving him what he needs. Don' ever feel guilty for doing what is right for your son.

[deleted account]

My son didn't have any issues and I still held him back. His birthday is in September and he could have started a year earlier than he did. He is now almost 10 years old, in 4th grade, and I haven't regretted it once. Don't feel guilty. You are doing him a favor by letting him mature more before beginning school.

Joanne20 - posted on 09/02/2009

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Quoting Victoria:

Feeling guilty for keeping 5 yr old son in preschool one more year

He turned 5 in June, but has some speech issues & some oppositional behavior, but I feel so guilty for "holding him back", has anyone faced this decision?



I kept my son back as well at 5 and it was the best thing I ever did for him.  My husband was opposed to it, but I told him to trust my decision.  He now admits it was the right thing for our son.  You know if they are ready or not, trust your decision and you will see come 3rd-4th grade, it was the best thing!

Kara - posted on 09/01/2009

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Both of my children turned 5 right before school started. They were both alot smaller than the other children, and not as mature. We did not hold our son back because he seemed to be doing okay. When he got to the 6th grade, he started having problems with the work. He chose to do the 6th grade again, and really couldn't be happier. My daughter's kindergarten teacher told us that she was fine, and would have no problems. When she got to the 1st grade, it was apparent that she was too immature to continue on to the 2nd grade. We decided to hold her back, and now she is doing so good. I can tell a huge difference with both of my kids and the size and maturity level of the children they should be in class with. I am glad that I held mine back when I did, but wish that I would have done it before they ever started school.

Jennifer - posted on 09/01/2009

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I thought about doing the same thing for my son. His teacher had some concerns about his maturity. I was really upset about 'holding him back". I never thought that I would feel the stigma of "holding one of my children back" due to an issue in preschool and pre-K. My mother helped me to see it in a different light. She said, Jenn, if you hold him back, you will give him advantages the other kids don''t have: he will be smarter, bigger and more mature when he does go to kindergarten. You will have reinforced all that he learned the first year of Pre-K and it will make his year of kindergarten much more productive. My son's school actually has a summer program that he attended and if he had not done such a great job, I would have held him back. It is so much better to do it now, then to do it when he is in 2nd or 3rd grade.
Do you have access to Parents as Teachers? To his school counselors? Did he have a summer school type opportunity? Really, this program made all the difference for us.

Shelly - posted on 09/01/2009

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I would not feel guilty about this at all! this is a tough choice, one I can relate to well. I debated for some time whether or not to move my 5 year old on to Kindergarten material. You know your child, and you know what's right for them. Keeping them in preschool for another year won't hurt at all. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty. Go with your gut, your first choice, and feel good about that. I hope this helps. :)

Belinda - posted on 09/01/2009

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As a teacher I have helped lots of moms with this decision. Just because your son is 5 doesn't mean he has to go to kindergarten. I have seen so much growth from that extra year of social development. Don't feel guilty. You are his mother and know him best. He is still very young and by next fall he'll be ready to go.

Karen - posted on 09/01/2009

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Don't feel guilty, you know your own child and what is best for her. Pray about it and move on.

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