Holding your child back a grade is one of those moments that you wish you never have to encounter as a parent. But in moments like these, you join together as a family and get ready for the road ahead. Last school year was definitely a test of faith, patience, and parenting for both my husband and me. My son began having behavioral issues that grew into us visiting the school two to three times a week. His behavior consisted of making noises while the teacher was instructing the class, bothering other students, and refusing to do work.
As his parents, we agreed that we needed to look at all solutions to aid our son in getting the best education he could. We made sure to schedule an appointment with the child psychologist to get him evaluated, and there were no major indicators of trauma or mental impairments, but they decided to classify him as ADHD so he could receive additional resources provided by his school. These resources would allow him more time to complete work, and he would have time to work on behavioral skills with the behavioral specialist.
We worked closely with the school principal, behavioral specialist, and his teacher who made the process a bit smoother. I learned some key lessons that I think moms could use when dealing with a child who has behavioral and learning issues. This is what I learned:
Lesson #1: Do A recap on your child’s behavior thus far in school.
My husband and I sat down and evaluated my son’s behavior from his last few years of school and preschool. We saw some clear indicators of him having a short attention span. During his kindergarten year, his teacher was noticing some behavioral challenges and told us that he was not actually ready for kindergarten. Yes, you read that right, he was already in kindergarten and she was telling us that he wasn’t ready for it.
Lesson #2: Teaching styles are different for each student.
After the teacher’s evaluation, which hit us pretty hard, we decided to test my son’s response to a new teacher and new classroom. My son’s test scores doubled with the new teacher, and his behavior mellowed out. But his behavior resurfaced the next year with new teachers, and the cycle started all over again. We were finally beginning to get more of an understanding about his behaviors along with teaching styles. The issue became less academic and only behavioral.
Lesson #3: I am my child’s best advocate.
I learned that the greatest lesson was to be my child’s advocate. I had to make decisions for him that will be better for him in the long run even if he does not like it. I learned that it is okay to explain the reasons behind some decisions we as parents make for our children. It helps them learn, grow, and gives them a theory behind the madness in their little minds.
At the end of the year, we had a final meeting with the principal, his teacher, and behavioral specialists. We reviewed his school year and we all agreed that my son was fully capable of completing his work academically. We also agreed that it seemed more like a maturity issue and that it was quite possible that his brain had not matured cognitively at the rate of the others in his class. My son’s birthday is later in the year, and one of the youngest in the class. But because of his behavior and missing class time, it would be our decision to allow him to go on to the next grade or hold him back.
Right off the bat, my husband and I thought giving our son the best opportunity was by holding him back. It would help by allowing his brain the chance to mature over the summer, and walk into the new year like a boss-leader with a fresh new start. All summer long, we prepared him by boosting his confidence. At first, he was very reluctant, but our inspiration got to him, and he couldn’t help but become excited. As we approached the first day of school, I found myself feeling a bit nervous too, but I stuck to my guns by staying positive, not wishing or hoping, but expecting the best.
Let me tell you, my son is rocking out this school year so far. Team Ollie for the win! I held my son back to provide my son with the best path to be a successful student. We all need second chances.
Until next times loves!!