Thursday, March 25, 2010

Parents Holding Kids Back

Crazy Youth Sports Parents Series

This is the craziest story about youth sports that I have heard in a long time.

My friend's son came home from school and had the following conversation with his mom:
Son: "I was talking to Johnny today."
Mom: "Johnny who?"
Son: "Johnny from my baseball team last year"
Mom: "What was Johnny doing at your school today?"
Son: "Going to school."
Mom: "What do you mean?"
Son: "What do you mean, he goes to our school"
Mom: "No he moved to the 3th grade school building"
Son: "No he didn't. He has been in our school all year"

Johnny's parents had their son repeat second grade again. According to posts on Johnny's dad's Facebook page, Johnny had always done just fine in school even though he was young for his original class. According to my friend, Johnny was socially confident, so that was not an issue.

Johnny is an exceptionally good athlete. Did the parents hold their kid back to give him an added advantage in sports? That's what the members of the community think. If so, that's nuts. I am no psychologist, but the stigma associated with holding a kid back could have lasting emotional implications. Implications that could undermine a strategy to help the kid succeed in sports. Time will tell.

My wife and I were in no rush to send our kids to kindergarten. We always thought that another year of maturity would be beneficial for school, social life and sports. We also selfishly wanted to keep our kids at home as long as possible. Life is short, there is no need to rush off to college and the realities of the world.

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