Posted by: Dad...Guess What?! | October 6, 2011

A very critical decision

We’ve been confronted by, what we think, a life changing dilemma.  We had a meeting with my son’s pre-school director a few months back and they want to hold him back a year.  He is not late born, but they feel he lacks something socially.  The information they provided to prove their case was a shock but it was conflicting to what we see outside of school.  Now, I know I’m sounding like one of those parents.  “No no, my child is not like that…you don’t know what you are saying.”  But really, I don’t know what they are saying.  He is a social kid, and pretty much plays with anyone…from what we see.  However, it is hard not to compare but he is not grasping his letters and numbers as quickly as his older brother but he has a lot more common sense.  Then again, he’s 4.  Anyway, kindergarten sign up is right around the corner and we need to make a decision very very soon.  I’ve been searching the web and thinking about my upbringing to help me, us, make a decision.  And I feel whatever decision we make is going to make a HUGE impact, and this makes me very anxious.

I need some kind of sign.



  1. Hey Shel

    First of all both you and Corinne are excellent parents. Normally goes without saying, it does occasionally have to be said. I’ve seen how much time and effort both of you put into raising your boys even from our distant vantage point, and it’s humbling and wonderful to watch.

    Not being a parent take this with a grain of salt; secondly I’d say talk to a child psychologist, speech therapist, or someone around that field. Getting an independent evaluation from an expert sounds like a good idea to help make the decision, particularly since what the administrators see doesn’t sync with your experience.

    Finally, one year held back (or skipped for that matter) won’t be the defining decision in your son’s life. I’m sure whatever you decide, your self-awareness, your love for your children and your careful and dedicated approach to parenting will absolutely be the critical factors in their happiness and well-being; and to this point it’s clear you’re succeeding.

    • Thanks dude. We really appreciate your support. Its hard not to think that this decision will have a lasting impact. But you are right, in the larger scheme of life he’ll probably be just fine. One thing we can’t shake is when the director said something like, “we tried everything.” So in my mind, does that mean they are not going to entertain other options? Life is interesting. Thanks again guys!

  2. When I was in 4th grade, the principal of Enchanted Lakes told my parents that I would likely never graduate high school, that I probably had a learning disability, and that it was unlikely that I’d be able to lead a normal life. Based on that, my parents moved me to Noelani rather than try to convince the teachers and staff that I wasn’t a complete screw up.

    That decision had a lasting impact on me; I did have to make all new friends, and I didn’t have any real ties to my neighborhood because of that. I also spent every day driving to work with my father, which strengthened our relationship. I had more time for swimming (since Noelani is closer to Manoa pool), which really helped with I started to get good at it. And I went to Stevenson, and Roosevelt, and met some of my best and closest friends.

    Whatever you decide to do, in the long run your support will be so powerful and overwhelming that the impact of whatever you choose to do, however profound, will be positive. He’ll make the best of any situation because he’ll learn that from the two of you.

    I’d still recommend talking to someone else – it sounds like the director may not be as invested as any of us would like.

    • Thanks for sharing. I would hate to think what my life would be like if you attended Enchanted Lakes.

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