My 14 year old resents me for redshirting him?

Sandra - posted on 03/28/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Hello my sons birthday is in the middle of June and we decided to redshirt him in kindergarten for a number of reasons. We wanted him to be the oldest so he doesn't risk falling behind. We wanted him to be a leader in his class (but he was nowhere near a leader) and we wanted him to have an extra year to mature. Many moms told me to redshirt him, and my husband also has a June birthday and I have A Nov. birthday and we are both redshirted, and were both glad our parent did. Many of the moms I've talked to say they regret not redshirting, but are glad they redshirted.

Now my son is in 14 and in 8th grade. He is very angry at me for redshirting him, asking why he isn't in high school. He hasn't slept well for a few nights, hates school and he's extremely resentful of me for redshirting him and this has been going on a little more than a month. His performance is declining and he constantly says "I want to be in high school" "I wish I was in high school", etc. What do I do?

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Sarah - posted on 03/28/2014

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If you held him back in kindergarten then how does he remember that now at 14 yrs old unless you have made a point to talk about it. My guess is that you have pointed this fact out throughout his years growing up. This has made him feel different then the rest of his classmates (even if there are others in the same position as him). He now feels ashamed and inadequate. You now have to undo those feelings that at 14 yrs old will be a tough and long road.

My advise to you is STOP pointing out the differences. I have a daughter that I started a year later. We made no point in pointing that out to her as it was not an importance. The only difference she sees is that she turns a year older sooner then many of her classmates (though there are also some that are older then she is). Instead of talking to her about how we started her a year later we point out the positives about being the oldest.....drive sooner, etc. This then makes it a positive instead of a negative. I would also stop calling it redshirting as that also has a negative response. It is starting him a year later.....just that simple.

Ev - posted on 03/28/2014

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First, what is redshirting mean? I have never heard the term before and if its what I think it is, you mean to hold back or made to wait until the age of six years old to go to kindergarten.

I know a five year old does not really know what he or she wants in going to school but what really indicated that your son needed to stay behind another year and be the oldest, a leader and so on in his class. I was a July baby and I was the youngest in my graduating class at the age of 17! I did just fine as a younger kindergarten student. If him being the oldest and being a leader were the only reasons you made him stay behind instead of looking at his maturity, his level of ability and such, maybe you did to him an disservice.

At 14, most kids are in the ninth grade and maybe he sees this being held back as holding him back. Maybe he feels slighted because he might have a few friends who are in high school now that he wanted to be with.

Just because you and your husband were held back to start at a later age does not mean it was the best choice for your child. Maybe he can handle the stuff the high school provides for education where you live. Have you asked him why he is so upset instead of just wondering what to do?

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