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We have been thinking about holding our son back and having him repeat first grade. Are there any books on how to talk with our child about repeating first grade? - Don't Know What to Say
We don't know of any specific books on this subject. If you are absolutely convinced that your child needs to repeat first grade, the best explanation is a very simple one that he can understand. How he reacts initially will depend on the way you tell him. If you speak calmly about the positive aspects of repeating a grade and don't show any negative emotions, your son might not be very upset. He might even want to repeat the year if first grade was a difficult time for him. It is not likely that your son will fully understand what is happening until he returns to school and sees that all his friends are now in second grade while he is in first again with a new group of students. He might find the adjustment to repeating first grade easier at a new school.
Beyond casually thinking that retention might benefit your son, we hope that you have talked to his teachers and have carefully considered all of the positive and negative aspects of retention. Do be aware that there is a strong possibility of the retention not benefiting your child unless he is given remediation to address the academic and/or social deficits that he has. Under certain circumstances, such as missing a lot of school or being very immature, retention can be helpful.
Before you hold your son back, we suggest that you look at the following material online:
1. The position statement: Student Grade Retention and Social Promotion under "Helpful Information" on the National Association of School Psychologists' Web site at www.nasponline.org.