Fast forward a year and I had the smartest kid on the planet! He knew all his letter - lowercase and capitals - at 18 months old. He also knew all of his animal sounds at the same age. Full disclosure: I didn't teach him any of that, but he loved Wheel of Fortune and Sesame Street. At 16, if Sesame Street is on, he's glued to the television.
Let's fast forward some more. 14 years old. An age I couldn't imagine when he was 5, starting kindergarten. He was 13 when he started high school band camp at the end of July, his freshman year. He was barely 14 when school started.
Freshman year is a big adjustment for any kid, but for a younger boy, it's a lot of responsibility juggling the schedule and meeting deadlines. It was a lot of pressure, but he did fairly well and his grades were pretty good.
Next, if he is the youngest, all of his friends will drive before he does. He will be in a car driving around with his friends at an earlier age instead of being the first to learn.
His friends will all be working the summer they are 16, while he is waiting around to be old enough to get a job. They'll have money to go to the movies or to Sonic because they work. Your son, on the other hand, will either be mooching off his friends and driving them crazy, or he'll be begging you for money so he can keep up with his friends. Again, I might be speaking from experience.
He'll only have one summer at home (hopefully) of managing a job, money, time management, homework, etc. before leaving for college. Learning to juggle those things on your own, away from home, is likely stressful for parents and son. Many boys find themselves in debt.
My husband is a September birthday and was the oldest in his grade. He did great. He was always a leader, not a follower. I think age was part of the equation.
Many parents, especially moms, are ready for their kids to go to school. I was one of them! I had several little ones at home and I was ready to push one out the door for a few hours for half-day kindergarten. Don't judge me! If I had had a crystal ball to see the future, I would never have sent him! I would have held him back a year. My husband was opposed to that, and even as I've express my regret over the years, he would always assure me that it's fine that he went "early". Since starting high school, and especially since being 15, he has changed his tune.
If you are in this position, I hope this post helps you get a glimpse into what you are looking at 10 years down the road. It's all about informed consent, right? Let me put it this way, I never hear parents say, "I really wish we hadn't held him back," but I often hear the opposite, as is our case. Hold on to your babies as long as you can. The payoff may not be immediate, but 10 or 15 years down the road.
|My "baby" at almost 15.|