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 FamilyEducation.com 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.

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 Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks


Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
Need some fun ideas for decorating Easter eggs with the kids? Look no further for colorful and cool designs!

7 Ways to Curb Kids' Exposure to Violence
American children are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Learn how to limit your child's exposure to violence and manage the mental health and behavioral effects it can cause.