Thursday, June 11, 2009

We're Holding our Daughter Back for Kindergarten

In March, 2009, I posted about our kindergarten decision dilemma on whether to hold back our daughter for starting this year. Her birthday is in the borderline month, which gives us some latitude to choose either.

My spouse has always been favoring holding her back and I have typically advocated sending her with the recommended class year. For reference, below is the table of the criteria which we were considering when making the decision.

Starting Kindergarten this Year



AgeShe makes the cutoff age for starting this yearShe may be the youngest by up to 1-1/2 years
SportsShe will compete regularly at a higher skill levelShe will be behind in physical development
Mental CapabilityShe will be challenged, which will enable her to learn moreShe won't be able to keep up, which will continue to get worse each succeeding grade level
MaturityShe will mature fasterShe will feel deficient to her peers and will be behind as she gets older
FriendsHer current friends will be starting kindergartenSome of her friends have already been held back

After closely watching her in a number of different activities, ranging from school, sports to play dates, I now agree with my spouse and we'll be holding her back. The factor that convinced me was not one of the factors in the above table. My change of opinion was due to a new criteria of leadership. While I believed she would do OK in each of the criteria in the table, I realized she exhibited my different levels of leadership with different aged children.For example, among the older children, e.g. 6 months to 1 year older, our daughter had difficulty taking any leadership role in the activities. However, among children closer in age, e.g. 3 months older to 6 months younger, she was able to take a leadership role for a portion of the time.

To me, leadership is a skill, quality and role that is very important to develop. I'm convinced our daughter is less likely to develop leadership if she attends kindergarten in the fall of 2009. Of course, there is no guarantee that she will develop leadership a year later, but my role as a parent is the ensure she gets the opportunity. And I think her chances are better by waiting a year.

Only time will tell . . .

For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

This is not financial, education or parenting advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2009 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

1 comment:

Brad Castro said...

A very interesting analysis. I've always been of the opinion that birth order plays a large role in leadership development, or at least leadership style. But if you've witnessed her interactions with various age groups, you may be onto something.

If you do hold her back, I'd urge you to help her define this decision in a positive and empowering way to offset those potential feelings of deficiency you alluded to. Be very proactive--children, especially young children, have a way of internalizing things to their detriment without parents even being aware of it.

Best of luck to you and your family -