Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Held Back

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: How can I help my child cope emotionally with being held back a year in school?

A: Your child is going to take his cue from you about how to handle the retention. If you are sure that this is going to be the best thing for your child, that will come across when you talk with him. Make sure that other family members (siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles) know that you believe that this will be the best solution and that they should be positive about it as well.

When you talk with your child about the retention, focus on the positives. Remind him of the things that were difficult this year and how much easier they will be next year. Help him understand that next year he will be the leader of the class and the one who will be able to help the other children.

Talk with the school counselor. She may be able to give your child some individual time or include him in a small group to help retained children feel positive. If you see that your child is having problems next year, ask the counselor to help him with self-esteem issues.

More on: Expert Advice

Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


8 Epic Emoji-Themed Crafts, Activities & Recipes
Check out the best emoji crafts, activities, and recipes! They're perfect for an emoji-themed birthday party or anytime you need DIY (and screen-free!) summer activities for kids, tweens, and teens.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme!

10 Free Summer Learning Worksheets
Print these free printables for preschoolers and kindergarteners to help your child's mind stay sharp until September!

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks