• Seena Elbaum

Stay or Go

One of the most common arguments I hear in my office with couples who have a 5, almost 6 year old  year old son is another year of pre-k, or onward and upward to K. It’s really something to watch how committed people can get about one position over the other, digging their heels in, to the point that I hear the voice in my head saying, “This has nothing to do with the child, rather, it’s all about the parent’s ego, worries, unhealed old wounds, insecurities and lack of clarity”. Now, there is literature that supports one route over the other, but depending on what year it is, which journal it is and how carefully it is read, one decision may look better on Monday, and the other decision, better on Thursday. Causes me to wonder, do we really know our children? How much of what we want to see happen is for our own needs, versus what is really best for the child? And when parents start thinking about how is my child going to fare on his achievement tests in high school, or will his math skills be on par with the other kids, I am very clear that this is more about the parent’s insecurities than about the child’s well being. Undoubtedly, I stand firm on my statement that 5 and 6 year old children need to be learning and growing emotionally and socially more than any other way.  If your son is younger, smaller, and has a harder time keeping up socially and emotionally with the pack, these are real important telling signs. Ask the classroom teacher and the gym teacher; they see a lot. Their opinions matter. Parents sometimes don’t have the objectivity to make a clear decision, and what they think is in the best interest of the child, may really be a reflection of their own fears and frustrations. After you’ve gathered your information from those people who see your child for hours on end, day in and out, get an objective professional opinion to help you find a clear space in which a sound decision can be made.

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