Holding a child back a grade

Today’s modern times are complicated, especially for our children. In the old days it was a lot harder to “flunk” a grade. The world was simpler and it was a lot easier to breeze through primary school and high school – college was almost a given. However, these days education is in a little bit of a bind. What kids learn and retain in school will determine how well they do in this new wild and crazy world we live in. This is why it is becoming harder and harder for children to make the passing grade to go on to the next level. This can be a result of a parent’s concern, poor grades, or as a result of a non-pass on a standardized exit exam. Here are some things to consider before you make the tough decision of holding a child back.

First of all, it is important to know why you want to hold back your child. Are they getting failing grades on all their exams as a result of poor scholastic performance or have they been sick and missing most of the school year? Holding back your child is an extreme circumstance and may only be necessary in rare occasions. For instance, if your child has a learning disability and might need an extra year of a particular grade or if they have received failing marks in all their classes. You should not hold your child back as a punishment or if they’ve only failed one or two courses– that’s what summer school is for.

It is also important to understand the social context of holding your child back in school. Most kids have grown close to their classmates over the school year. To hold them back means that you are taking them away from the comfort of their friends and peers, and also it means that you are potentially subjecting them to harsh and embarrassing ridicule. Seeing your friends go off and do bigger and better things is not fun and can damage a child’s self esteem, especially if they are being held back in the 12th grade and seeing all their friend’s go off to college.

Next, it is critical to consider the future of your child. Holding back your child can seriously increase their chances of dropping out of school. In addition, retaining your child in a certain grade – especially in high school – can virtually eliminate their chances of going to college. That means no¬†MBA MIS¬†program will accept them, so that they can go on to become the business leaders of tomorrow. That also means that they won’t get their MDs or PhDs to become doctors either.

Lastly, before you make the tough decision it might be wise to get quantifiable proof that your child should be held back. There are many standardized tests that they can take – in all subjects. All you have to make sure of is that they have the reading comprehension and math skills of their age and grade level. If they don’t, it might be a sign that they would benefit from spending another year in their grade.


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