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How do I tell my child that they are being held back in 1st grade?

By Guide August 10, 2014 - 2:18pm
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I am worried about my child's self esteem, but more concerned about her academics and getting a solid foundation in 1st grade. She's starting a new school this year and repeating first grade is in her best interests. How do I break the news to her? I am concerned about her self esteem. Any advice would really be appreciated. Thank you!

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Thanks Susan!

I love all your thoughts :-) I really appreciate all the time you put into helping me out! I am really embracing the opportunity for her to get a stronger foundation. She is also one of the youngest, so I think it's a great thing! 

It's nice to know you have children and can relate!!

Have a great week and thank you!



August 11, 2014 - 12:10pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Krisitin

Thanks for this question, it's something many parents have to face - as well as their kids. 

There is nothing wrong with being held back - sometimes it's because they need more time for academic reasons - or a change in schools. Other times it's due to their young age or that they have not yet matured into a child who can handle the next grade on the ladder. 

Turn this into a huge positive. Tell her that she did a great job in 1st grade and that she is being allowed to get another year of it (kids love 1st grade!) because she had such a great year and that her experience of last year will allow her to be a special helper to her teacher and to the new kids coming in. Tell her this new school has a different way of doing things and another year is just what she needs. It's kind of like needing extra training when getting a new job. The work may be similar but every company has a different way of doing things. 

Tell her teacher to allow your child to give a quick speech to the new kids about how great 1st grade will be and that she is there if anyone needs help. Kids, when not talked down to, will be fine. 

Her first few days will start in such a positive frame of mind that will set her up for a great year ahead. 

Your child is very young and this is a good thing! Teasing and hurtful comments could happen with a teen but being held back at age 7 or so isn't really a big thing in the whole scheme of things. She is also starting a new school with all new kids so there is no need to tell everyone that she is repeating a year if she wants to keep that to herself. There is often close to a year difference with some kids in classes - one of my children is the second youngest in her class - she has classmates turning nearly a year older than her in a month or two!

Your child will have another full year to work on the skills she needs to enter 1st grade with confidence and in a few months, she'll be integrated into her class with all new friends and not know the difference. 

Your positive input is all she needs to realize that this could be quite an advantage for her. She will be a very important part of her class and allow her to take the lead when she can.

Work closely with her teacher on the things she struggled with last year so that she reaches her goals this year.

She will have a great year! 



August 11, 2014 - 4:40am
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