Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What shirt color will your child wear?

Ever heard of "redshirting"?

I had not until a few months ago.

A friend of mine has two little boys, both born in July, one four , the other two. This friend has always had concerns about the older boy, ranging from speech to immaturity.

Said four year old started Pre-K this year and this has brought up yet another issue:

Should they prolong his start of kindergarten next year?

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Wikipedia provides a clear definition of redshirting: the practice of postponing entrance into kindergarten of age eligible children in order to allow extra time for socioemotional, intellectual, or physical growth. This occurs frequently where children's birthdays are so close to the cut-off dates that they are very likely to be among the youngest in their kindergarten class.

This friend seeks my advice frequently, feeding from my mom knowledge of raising a 17 year old Yogli.

This time, though, my mom bank was empty and confused.

Yogli, too, is a July baby. Once in kindergarten, his teacher sent home a referral to the school psychologist. She insisted that Yogli had behavioral issues, I sensed that she was inferring that he had some form of ADD/ADHD. I concluded that he needed a bit more discipline from me at home. I knew that the extra discipline would require more work on my part but there was no way my kid was gonna be labeled, especially if I knew there were no real behavioral issues.

So, I got to work. This is probably how Yogli and I became so close. I would talk to him about what type of behavior I expected from him. This is when I started becoming a bit more involved in his school. These are just some of the things I did. Is Yogli perfect as a result? NO! Did I expect him to be? NO.

Exactly what am I implying?

In my opinion, redshirting seems lazy and selfish. Parents who don't want to do the work of parenting their kid, expecting the school to do it. Selfish because they want the kid to be a better athlete, fattening future sports aspirations.

So in other words, Mrs. Gladiator, you oppose redshirting?

Yes and no.

If redshirting helps the kid gain a better academic sense, then ok, get your reshirting on! I know that kids grow at different rates, both mentally and physically. Would this then give the redshirted kid an edge over his/her peers?

Speaking of his/her...in the articles I've read, redshirting seems to be done mostly with boys. As if boys need one more area where they're being told they lack...

If you redshirt, wouldn't the kid get bored, it would be a replay of the same material from last year. That boredom would need an outlet and you know how kids and boredom don't mix.

What happened to being challenged, digging your heels in and get er done?

Kids are mean and they say mean things. What if the redshirted kid is much bigger than his classmates? Can't you hear the taunting now?

There have been studies done, however, most of them are not recent.

I've had some conversations with others, and the opinions are split down the middle. No one can really prove whether or not redshirting pays off in the long run or not.

Ultimately, it is the parent that makes the decision. After all, we all have to do what is right for our families.

My friend still hasn't decided what to do about her four year old.

What would you do, redshirt or not redshirt, what sayest you?

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  1. I went through the samr thing with my oldest who was a July birthday. It is s hsrd decision but she entered K at 5.I didn't regret the decision but it has a different set of challenges in high school when the older classmates are driving , dating, etc.

    1. My son is a July baby, but the thought never crossed my mind to hold him back. I never knew it was an option. He's always the youngest in his class, we've had typical problems that most people go through with kids. I don't know, it's just an interesting concept to me. My friend's husband pretty much has already made the decision, they're holding him back.

  2. With one September and two November babies, I can't even remember whether my girls were early or late for kindergarten. Either way, they survived and thrived. You just have to put a kid in and give her a chance to show what she's capable of.

    1. I totally agree! Everybody needs to challenged, even kids. By delaying this kid's start to kindergarten, it's like setting him up to not try as hard.