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    Joined: Apr 2011
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    I see exactly what Howler is seeing in my area. I do believe these parents feel they are helping their children. The ones that are really annoying will be in any venue. They are the 1-uppers in life and I truly try to avoid them.

    Having children from 6 to 20 years old, I have seen this play out over the years. In general, they don't seem to get the results that lead to their decision to redshirt. We all have an aptitude limit. They falsely believe holding their children back is going to change that fact. Truly average is not going to become gifted by redshirting. In my area, these same parents are helicoptering over every moment of their children's lives. I know they believe they are helping, I just don't. I don't think they are teaching their kids how to achieve on their own or how to take care of themselves later as adults. It's a general theme in the environment and I think hurts the kids long term. The real impact is not on my children. It's on their children. The only issue I had was initially it took the school a while to see I wasn't one of them.

    My district uses CogAT, Olsat, and State achievement testing all grade normed. I know CogAT and Olsat offer age norming, but my district specifically uses grade normed results. My dd6 has 9 year olds in her 2nd grade & my DS13 has kids turning 16 as freshman. It's not the kids right on the line of cut offs. I don't know in my mind that I see that as redshirting. These kids are 18 months to 2 years past the cutoff. At the end of high school, I am not seeing these kids excel. Given the numbers in my school, these are not all kids that had some other issue going on.

    Ultimately, the parents aside, I feel for these kids. They have so much pressure on them from the parents and they are being taught that being #1 comes first and foremost. The parents believe you gotta be the best. Our circle of friends are the goofy lets go splash in the mud type of parents. I am thankful I have found sanity amount the parents I have befriend. Parents that understand that raising gifted children is not as easy as some believe. I never even thought about my kids being gifted when I had them. I just hoped for them to be healthy and not have to many struggles or obstacles in their lives. Gifted has been challenging and it's topped off with a variety of 2E and/or health issues with each one of my kids. I don't think these parents really want to be in my shoes if they understood it.



    Here interesting little article about why it may not be such a good idea


    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/opinion/sunday/dont-delay-your-kindergartners-start.html?_r=0

    Last edited by Jtooit; 08/25/13 11:34 AM.
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    Originally Posted by Wren
    And yes, if someone is willing to buy a home in a neighborhood where they can fix it up, rent out some rooms to boarders, deal with the hassles, they can do that. Anyone can do that. But you have to live under the circumstances.

    DH & I bought a fixer upper. I learned how to do every imaginable thing on that house! Tiling, plumbing, electric, refinishing floors, and more. We had nothing money wise. The fixer upper was actually cheaper than rent for us. We slowly moved up. I hope my kids have to work their way up in life. My sister had her f-I-l hand them a house. Years later I am way better off with skills I acquired, money management, and appreciation for what we have accomplished. I don't see that scenario as a bad thing.

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    Originally Posted by Jtooit
    I see exactly what Howler is seeing in my area. I do believe these parents feel they are helping their children. The ones that are really annoying will be in any venue. They are the 1-uppers in life and I truly try to avoid them.

    My district uses CogAT, Olsat, and State achievement testing all grade normed. I know CogAT and Olsat offer age norming, but my district specifically uses grade normed results. My dd6 has 9 year olds in her 2nd grade & my DS13 has kids turning 16 as freshman. It's not the kids right on the line of cut offs. I don't know in my mind that I see that as redshirting. These kids are 18 months to 2 years past the cutoff. At the end of high school, I am not seeing these kids excel. Given the numbers in my school, these are not all kids that had some other issue going on.

    Ultimately, the parents aside, I feel for these kids. They have so much pressure on them from the parents and they are being taught that being #1 comes first and foremost. The parents believe you gotta be the best. Our circle of friends are the goofy lets go splash in the mud type of parents. I am thankful I have found sanity amount the parents I have befriend. Parents that understand that raising gifted children is not as easy as some believe. I never even thought about my kids being gifted when I had them. I just hoped for them to be healthy and not have to many struggles or obstacles in their lives. Gifted has been challenging and it's topped off with a variety of 2E and/or health issues with each one of my kids. I don't think these parents really want to be in my shoes if they understood it.

    Here interesting little article about why it may not be such a good idea


    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/opinion/sunday/dont-delay-your-kindergartners-start.html?_r=0

    Ahhh yes, I see ... Yeah one - uppers are always toxic, whether their kid is gifted or not (and parents of gifted children are also guilty of this). And interesting that some districts use grade norming! As much as our district likes to sing the praises of red-shirting the tests ARE age-normed (so far as I can see the sports are too, When I register DS for anything I have to plug his birthdate in and he is placed according to that not his grade... but for now these are the community sports as I don't believe their are any school sports teams in elementary). I agree this kind-of parent is not good but they'd be that way with or without redshirting and you find them in parents of gifted children and not-gifted imo ... Poor kids either way. And yes they are annoying and toxic.

    This is what I see and my point in it not being really all that big of deal:
    Quote
    In general, they don't seem to get the results that lead to their decision to redshirt. We all have an aptitude limit. They falsely believe holding their children back is going to change that fact. Truly average is not going to become gifted by redshirting.... The real impact is not on my children. It's on their children.
    At the end of the day, 'normal red-shirting' (and by that I mean within a month or two of the cut-off NOT holding a kid back two years!) is not going to make a child gifted so to me it's not that big of a deal. Like I said, as far as I can see many parents just want to do the best by their kids given their child's maturity level, self-esteem, strengths and challenges, etc. I just don't see it as that big of a deal. If a parent wants to hold a child back because it serves their child's individual needs best, to me that's fine just as fine as grade-skipping if a child would be best served by that.

    Last edited by Irena; 08/25/13 04:20 PM.
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    I haven't read the other responses, so I don't know how much of a problem it is in other areas. Most of the parents I've run into who redshirted don't seem to be hyper-competitive about it, but they have done it to give their child an advantage in one way or another. Understandable, all parents should want what is best for their children.

    My only real problem with it is in how it affects those like my son, who is on the younger side of his grade even without considering the redshirters. He attends a very small school and is the youngest boy in the grade, as far as I know. There is an age range of 2 months to 15 months older than my son for the boys, and the school has repeatedly given that as a reason for him not to be moved up 1 or 2 grades for his math class (his teacher initially requested this move, not us). The schools' response was that he's already so young for his grade, why make him feel any younger?

    Never mind that the only thing he feels is boredom, let's just worry about an artificial construct based solely on the year in which the students were born.

    Anyway, I do understand why some of the parents are doing it, and perhaps some of the kids are benefitting (despite the several reports I've seen indicating otherwise for the long term). My only wish is that the schools would be as willing to allow parents to appropriately accelerate their children as they are willing to allow parents to hold their children back.

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    My kids have been to both public school and private school. We live in a fairly blue-collar community with a lot of recent immigrants, so in the public school there is some redshirting, but almost exclusively with boys with summer birthdays and not in the lower socio-economic groups. In the private schools, though, there is a ton of redshirting of both boys and girls with summer birthdays, including at least 5 boys in my DS's grade of 65 kids who have birthdays in March-April-May and pretty much every other boy with a summer birthday. The reported reasons are both academic and athletic. In fact, I've had one parent who redshirted her July-birthday daughter refer to a girl who was a year younger and not redshirted as being "young for grade." I'm not sure what that makes my two youngest kids, who were both skipped confused

    Interestingly, quite a number of the kids who were redshirted actually socialize primarily with the kids a grade up, who are their age mates! On the other hand, they are also more frequently "moved up" to the higher-grade athletic team, (although that really just means that they are playing with their age mates). But it sounds more impressive to say that their child played hs ball while still in ms.

    My neighbor actually brags to me that her 15yo son is accelerated one year in math. What that means, though, is that he, a 9th grader who is one month older than my son, is actually doing the same math as my son, who was not redshirted and so is in 10th grade.

    As far as my kids go, the fact that they are in class with kids sometimes more than two years older than them means that they are with their academic (well, close enough) and social peers, so it saves them yet another skip. So far it has even worked out in sports (which are grade-based here). My kids aren't althetic stars nor would I call them natural athletes by any means, but they more than hold their own with their teammates because they play up to the level of coaching.

    Of course there is always the dreaded driver's license issue. Some of my son's classmates were fully licenced drivers this spring and my son won't even start driver's ed until this fall (and this is my son who is in the correct grade for age, although the youngest in his class since he has a July birthday). Honestly, it hasn't been an issue at all.


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    I am seeing the opposite in my area (Sydney, Australia). Our son is early entry and non in his class have been held back. Some are 12-14 months older but is hard to notice a difference between him and his classmates. I do like hearing about the redshirting on athletic grounds because I am yet to hear a highly successful athlete put his or her success down to the age they started school. As far as I am aware it usually more like natural ability, time and effort that leads to athletic success, not age compared to kindergarten classmates.

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    Originally Posted by Portia
    Now the physical aspects are a different thing altogether. The bigger boys definitely used their size and physical prowess to their advantage. The younger kids were often weights they used to lift to impress the other older kids. Younger kids were easily chased down, etc. The older kids tormented the younger ones if they could - lots of experimentation here. Real bullying had not set in just yet, but you could tell who would be the source of the problems within the next year or so .


    I'm sorry, this description made me sad. I realize that it is just your experience in your child's school, but as the parent of a not red-shirted gifted older child (he turned 6 two weeks after starting Kinder, now in 4th) who was also tall and big for his age, I have found these stereotypes about big kids to be very frustrating. I spend much of his early childhood years explaining to him that, yes it is completely unfair that the smaller kids can push and harass you as much as they want but if you retaliate or defend yourself in anyway, they will immediately tattle and YOU will be the one to get in trouble not them. In our experience, the smaller kids were the instigators not victims, but then played the victim role to get out of or someone else into trouble. Eventually, I learned that I needed to tell the teacher immediately when he told me kids were hassling him because I could not trust the school staff to recognize the real situation. They always saw him as the aggressor because he was bigger. For my son with his keen sense of justice this was a really hard time. Especially since he has never, not once, instigated a physical conflict with another kid at school.

    I understand that you are talking about specific children, but it comes across a bit generalized. And I am admittedly quite sensitive on this topic. I just wanted to share a different perspective. I am sure that there are quite a few red-shirted, big kids who have experienced this as well.

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    Not sure if this has been coverered, but I wrote something recently on this topic and thought I would share some data on redshirting. Nationwide, about 5% of kids are redshirted, but it varies dramatically by district, with some districts having as many as 20% of kids redshirted. Most redshirted kids are male, white, and wealthy. Date show that at age 4, children who later were redshirted were no different academically or socially than children who were not. While many poor/working class/middle class parents are also worried about their kids' academic progress, they simply can't afford to redshirt, so they don't.

    The belief among academics is that redshirting is a social/peer pressure phenomenon of the upper middle class that also is a response to fear about increased K expectations.

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    The only kid that I know was redshirted fit the above mold. The motivation was athletic - father had been a Harvard footballer so desired his to play football with a size advantage. Ironically, once of an age to play the kid had zero interest in football preferring theatre and dance instead which his loving parents fully supported.


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    SoCal reporting in and YES, in the last 2years--I know of many kids who have been "redshirted"...many many many.

    Some of the parents I have asked directly about this have basically brought up the athletic issues, but many are also thinking class President!

    They all seem to believe if the child is 1year older than his grade peers- he will be more superior in stature/strength/athletic prowness and also more socially mature... and this will help them become team captain or class pres.

    When I have asked specifically regarding the academics- they have responded that the child could easily do the work, but they feel the advanced physical and social maturity is more important.

    Unfortunately, I heard so much of this type of talk that I second guessed my own choices and have truly made a mess of my DS6 school choices! & Still trying to sort it all out!



    One can never consent to creep when
    one feels an impulse to soar!
    ~Helen Keller

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