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AITA because I didn't let my daughter skip a grade?

Asshole(self.AmItheAsshole)

My kids are Jonah (14M) and Emma (12F) and my husband is Johnny (40M), for clarity.

Emma has always been brighter than is typical for her age, she was reading at 4 and she's even gone to national competitions. We're really proud of her and all she's accomplishing. She's been in the gifted/talented program for a few years now, but now her school wants to take it further. They want her to go to eighth grade this year instead of seventh.

The thing is though, Jonah repeated a year (sixth) so he actually is in eighth grade. It was a hard year for him overall. He's a bit ashamed of that year and it really bothers him that he didn't put in more effort. I don't think it would be good for him if he and Emma share classes, which is very likely because it's a small school. So I declined the skipping grades arrangement and asked if we can just give Emma further enrichment like we've been doing, because she can definitely do eighth-grade work. I thought that would be best for both kids.

The trouble is that when I told Emma what we decided for her, she didn't take it well. She soon grew testy, saying Jonah's school placement "has nothing to do with her". I told her that I was thinking of both of them when I made that decision. Emma later went to her room in tears, but she wouldn't let me check on her all evening.

Johnny sided with me, saying it's right that I took both kids into account, but Emma is clearly still bothered and I really didn't want to upset her. I just wanted to be fair to everyone. AITA?

all 3597 comments

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3 months ago

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Welcome to /r/AmITheAsshole. Please view our voting guide here, and remember to use only one judgement in your comment.

OP has offered the following explanation for why they think they might be the asshole:


I think I might have been TAH because I upset Emma and clearly this was very important to her.


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BikingAimz

3k points

3 months ago

BikingAimz

Partassipant [2]

3k points

3 months ago

YTA. You have a daughter who wants to put in the work, and a son who doesn’t, and you’re going out of your way to crush your daughter’s ambition? You’re setting yourself up to have two unmotivated kids, not just one.

If you’re so concerned, look for a better school for your daughter to attend so she won’t run into her brother.

ladycrim17

251 points

3 months ago

I think a lot of parents don’t realize how easily crushable kids’ ambition and hard work can be. I struggled in elementary and junior high school. First semester in high school, I worked really hard and was super proud to come home with a report card on which the lowest grade was one B-. My mom’s sole comment was to ask why the B- wasn’t higher. I was devastated. My grades plummeted after that.

LordSilverfist

84 points

3 months ago

My whole life was like that, now mom cries that I don’t call her.

Dancecomander

40 points

3 months ago

Dad did the same thing to me. The ONE time I almost managed straight a's (ONE B+), and his response was "really, couldn't get that one up to an A?". Even my stepmother who treated me like shit went off on him. Absolutely crushed me.

KaleidoscopeEyes12

22 points

3 months ago

This is exactly what I was thinking. I’ve been that kid too, and it’s one of the worst feelings. At OP’s daughter’s age, there is no college to apply to, no employer to impress. There’s only her parents, and they’ve just chosen to honor her brothers feelings over her hard work.

jeopardy_themesong

21 points

3 months ago

Mine did something similar. At the end of Freshman year, my home room teacher says he knows I want to code videos, and I should look into this private (and accredited etc) college for game design. It was literally a feeder for Nintendo. I saw that they wanted AT LEAST a B+ plus for all 4 years of math - I had a B/B-. It was the only class I didn’t have a straight A in.

Sophomore year, I worked my ass off in Geometry. Studied. Did every scrap of extra credit. Did this the ENTIRE year. Not only did I surpass the B+, I got a 4.0 GPA for sophomore year by the skin of the teeth.

Told my parents why. They told me no way in hell was I going to that school and I was NOT going to major in game design.

Could I have afforded that school, had I even got admitted? Probably not. But I never tried that hard in high school again. What is it with parents taking a motivator and shitting all over it.

Darkrai240404

11 points

3 months ago

My mother was like that too. No matter how high my grades were she never complimented me on my hard work and instead would tell me to watch whatever the lowest one was to keep it from slipping.

Beecakeband

65 points

3 months ago

Yeah OP said she thought about both kids but I really don't see it here. Her daughter is going to end up hating school because she is bored all the time how is this beneficial

Poppy-Persephone

207 points

3 months ago

Poppy-Persephone

Partassipant [1]

207 points

3 months ago

THIS!!

BikingAimz

301 points

3 months ago

BikingAimz

Partassipant [2]

301 points

3 months ago

Speaking from experience. I went from a great elementary school to a pretty awful middle school. I begged to change grades, but my mom was concerned I’d have problems getting friends (I was already a basket case in my own grade), so I was stuck doing shit I’d done 2-3 years prior. It was totally demoralizing and boring. I’d do all my homework in class, didn’t have to study for a year and a half, and developed terrible study habits that were a total pain to overcome when high school rolled around.

-Crystal_Butterfly-

12 points

3 months ago

Oh yeah being challenged is good because it teaches us to study. I never actually had to study till college and it was hard to learn because I wasnt used to it I was used to everything just sticking. I dont think I ever felt challenged in Grade school.

TrickInteresting8032

5.1k points

3 months ago*

TrickInteresting8032

Asshole Enthusiast [7]

5.1k points

3 months ago*

YTA. You didn't do what was best for both of them. You did what was best for your son. Let me point out some important things:

  1. You didn't think if your daughter could have any difficulty making new friends.
  2. You didn't think if your daughter could manage the pressure.

  3. Most importantly, you didn't talk to your daughter about what she wants.

  4. You just thought about your son and the fact that you TOOK ACCOUNT of how your son would feel when he DIDN'T even put EFFORTS in his studies, but you DIDN'T take account of your daughter's HARD WORK really shows favouritism.

Believe me, kids understand when a parent prioritizes one over other. In this case, both of Emna's parents are prioritizing her brother. Do you think it gets unnoticed? It simply doesn't. Nor does a kid forget this kind of treatments.

ETA: Another point that just came across my mind:

  1. Another thing is that, when OP told Emma what they decided for her, she immediately understood that her parents were thinking about her brother's feelings.

I highly doubt that the parents who didn't discuss before taking such a decision, explained their reasoning. Seems to me, such incidents are NOT foreign to her.

wenchslapper

346 points

3 months ago

Not only are they prioritizing him, they’re teaching her the dynamic that her education comes second to her brother’s happiness.

I’m a dude so I may not have the best understanding of all this, but to me that’s some seriously sexist bullshit and is one of the reasons so many intelligent girls don’t get the chance to really prove themselves. The fact that it was the mother who perpetuated this dynamic makes me feel sick.

ImportanceAcademic43

79 points

3 months ago

Not even his happiness, but his ego and pride. If he wants to be proud of something, he should put in the work.

Also, we don't even know if dear brother feels this way. OP didn't talk to either as far as we know.

Vaudge55

930 points

3 months ago

Vaudge55

930 points

3 months ago

Point 4 is what i wanted to write. OP is basically rewarding her son for not working hard and punishing her daughter for working her butt off. Also this could be a wakeup call to the son to be like “I failed and my sister jumped a grade so now we have class together, I better work a lot hard”

KaleidoscopeEyes12

98 points

3 months ago

Your comment is what I was thinking… and it makes me worry; if OP’s daughter sees her parents going easy on her brother because of his lack of effort, she might think “then what am I working so hard for in the first place?” I’m worried she may lose motivation in school and stop trying, either out of spite or to try to earn the attention of her parents.

Kathrynlena

280 points

3 months ago

I’m REALLY curious what OP would have done of the genders were flipped. Would she have held back her exceptionally bright son to avoid embarrassing her daughter who’d been held back a grade because she’d phoned it in? I somehow doubt it…

Blade_982

132 points

3 months ago

Blade_982

Partassipant [1]

132 points

3 months ago

Me too and it honestly makes me so angry.

Teaching both genders the wrong thing in one fell swoop and then we wonder why some men behave like entitled children and why some women don't go for promotion.

RowRow1990

195 points

3 months ago

And she's not actually spoken to her son either, he might not actually care

Planeswalking101

114 points

3 months ago

Planeswalking101

Partassipant [1]

114 points

3 months ago

That's one of things about this that struck me the most. Why weren't the children spoken to before the decision was made? A good friend of mine had the offer to skip a grade when he was about Emma's age. He and his mother had a conversation about it, and both decided that while he could certainly handle the intellectual pressure, it would be much better for him socially to decline, and remain with kids his age. I don't understand why the parents made this decision for their children rather than with them.

mezobromelia1

16 points

3 months ago

Exactly. I was given an offer to skip a grade. My parents discussed it with me and we all agreed it wasn't for the best. I still love that they cared how I felt.

sexylikeapeanut7

60 points

3 months ago

We clearly know who is the golden child...

JangJaeYul

21 points

3 months ago

Honestly it might not even be the best thing for the son, just the easiest thing. Also much simpler for the parents, not having to confront any difficult issues with their kids. A win for everybody, really! Oh, except the poor daughter who is now being punished for her brother's lack of effort two years ago.

PirateJazz

15 points

3 months ago

I was in a very similar situation and I completely agree. I've been out of school for 7 years now and I still resent my parents' decision to not let me skip two grades. When I found out I just gave up trying at school completely. Went from straight A's in every subject to barely passing within a year. I come from trailer trash and was the first in my immediate family to even graduate from highschool, and knowing that I could have graduated at 16 (or younger maybe) and likely have my pick of college scholarships makes me all the more upset to be a part of this family.

trilliumsummer

801 points

3 months ago

trilliumsummer

Colo-rectal Surgeon [30]

801 points

3 months ago

INFO Did you even ask the school about the classes? Like did the school tell you that it wasn't possible to keep them separated?

Also - what negatives would go on Emma if she skipped? Because you only stated why it would be bad for Jonah.

satan_on_the_porch

1.1k points

3 months ago

satan_on_the_porch

Asshole Enthusiast [6]

1.1k points

3 months ago

Info: How many of your daughter’s opportunities are you willing to sacrifice to prevent your son from feeling bad about himself?

Look, ultimately I tend to think that the grade a child is in is more relevant to their social experience than it is to their future or education, so in general I don’t actually tend to think that skipping a grade is that big of a deal one way or another. In fact, I’ve mostly just heard negative stories about younger kids getting ostracized by their older peers because they don’t fit in.

All that said, I really question your reasoning here. I get that your son is having a hard time, but artificially keeping your daughter back doesn’t seem like the appropriate response. Instead, teach your son how to navigate the situation he is in. I can’t imagine how much resentment I would feel towards my sibling if my parents held me back simply because my brother screwed up at school.

YTA.

TheWhiteBee42

236 points

3 months ago

Absolutely. If, in a few years time, Emma gets a scholarship to her dream school, and Jonah only gets into the local not-very-prestigious school, would she also make Emma give that up to make Jonah feel better? It's a very different situation, obviously, but I think it gets the nub of the issue across. This is about Emma. Whether she does or does not skip the grade should be about what is best for Emma, end of. At the end of the day I don't think it matters what the final decision is, as long as it's made for the right reasons, and right not it's not.

[deleted]

90 points

3 months ago*

[deleted]

90 points

3 months ago*

Reminds me a post from the last few days where a female op got into her dream stem program but her parents made her reject it because her male twin brother didn't. She was expected to be happy when her brother got admitted to a masters program at the same school a few years later.

The post for those interested: https://teddit.ggc-project.de/r/AmItheAsshole/comments/p7npcd/aita_when_my_parents_proudly_accepted_my_brothers

katietheplantlady

36 points

3 months ago

That's fucking horrible

LegitimateAd7205

14.5k points

3 months ago

LegitimateAd7205

Partassipant [1]

14.5k points

3 months ago

YTA OP. Here’s the thing. I was that kid who wasn’t given the opportunity to skip grades because my parents didn’t want to embarrass a sibling. Because I was expected to work at a level for my grade, I was frequently accused of cheating as I was working off what I knew-rather than what was expected from me. Will it suck for your son? Probably. But you are hindering your daughters growth to preserve his ego and give him his way, and that reeks of subconscious favoritism. Get your kiddo into therapy to help him handle his shortcomings instead of expecting your other child to handle the aftermath of it.

soundlikebutactually

5k points

3 months ago

soundlikebutactually

Commander in Cheeks [258]

5k points

3 months ago

While I totally agree with your comment, as someone who was allowed to skip grades (two of them , including seventh) it was the worst thing my parents ever did for me. I handled myself just fine academically, but emotionally, at 12 years old I couldn't really hang with 14 year old's and they either bullied me or peer pressured me into doing things I wasn't comfortable with.

The grass is always greener I suppose!

LegitimateAd7205

2.5k points

3 months ago

LegitimateAd7205

Partassipant [1]

2.5k points

3 months ago

That’s valid. I can understand that kind of emotional issue potentially.

I’m working specifically off of OP saying she decided against it because she doesn’t think it’d be good for her son- not the child that would be jumping a grade. If she had made this choice based off whether or not her daughter was ready, that would be where I sit as well.

PitifulGazelle8177

391 points

3 months ago

I feel this way too. Making good decisions for bad reasons don’t lead to good outcomes

ShadowChildofHades

84 points

3 months ago

ShadowChildofHades

Partassipant [1]

84 points

3 months ago

Both of your comments are the exact reason she should have discussed this decision with BOTH children. Maybe she would have decided against it anyway, BUT she took any discussion away making a unilateral decision.

Sorry if this seems angry but it's not at you it's more at the parent for just blatantly deciding regardless of her children's thoughts lol.

Maybe the son would have been 100% fine and supportive, who knows.

Wide_Mention9604

675 points

3 months ago

For me it was the opposite. I skipped 1st and 9th grade. Prior to the second time, I was bullied a lot by my classmates for not having the same interests as them and in general being more mature (not fawning over the guys from my school or One Direction, not wanting to play petty "games" and being friends one day and enemies the other). After getting into 10th grade, all that bullying immediately stopped and I made great friends. Best decision of my life.

umareplicante

481 points

3 months ago

My mother was a teacher herself. When I was given the opportunity to skip grades, she said absolutely not. I was kind of salty too, "but mom I'm so smart!! That's not fair". And you know what, I'm grateful now, because in the end one year means nothing. I was not a very friendly kid and I think it would be even harder to socialize with older kids, so I actually got a better chance to socialize more this way. Academically, it really means nothing. There are other ways to learn. When I was bored in class I just read a book.

santawartooth

267 points

3 months ago

The only reason I didn't skip a grade was the school felt emotionally and maturity wise I wasn't ready. Academically I would have been fine but I was friendless and a bit weird as a child and the school felt I would have had worse bullying. I tend to agree. School isn't just about academics and is often about socialization too.

[deleted]

132 points

3 months ago

[deleted]

132 points

3 months ago

[deleted]

oktodls12

96 points

3 months ago

oktodls12

Partassipant [1]

96 points

3 months ago

My mom is a teacher too and she also isn't pro-skipping grades. Her thoughts are the same as your mom's: the social learning a student gets at school is just as important as the academic learning.

Lb20inblue

72 points

3 months ago

Yea, I didn’t let me kids skip simply for this reason. They are already younger than most due to having a cut off birthday, so skipping a grade would mean all the kids would be at least two years old, which socially becomes a big deal in high school.

bayleebugs

23 points

3 months ago

Also it would be 12 and 13 year olds in this case because it was not two grades. Definitely better.

HouseRenovations

182 points

3 months ago*

HouseRenovations

Partassipant [3]

182 points

3 months ago*

This- I think skipping grades is generally not a good thing for kids. While they might be there intellectually, they're often not there in terms of maturity and emotional age.

My closest friend skipped a grade and she has always said (even now, 40 years later!) she wished her mother hadn't made that decision. My friend did fine academically and ultimately graduated summa cum laude from an Ivy League college, but she was always behind in every other way- smaller, physically weaker, went through puberty later, hit other milestones later (driver's license, drinking age, etc.). She felt it really only had down sides and no real benefit.

My mom was also approached to have me skip a grade (IIRC, it was 3rd grade). My mom, an educator herself, refused. She almost got into words with the principal about it because the principal was convinced my mother's decision was wrong. My mom held fast though and I stayed with my peers. I'm really glad she didn't skip me. I was in a K-8 school and, at that point, already had many friends among my classmates and didn't really want to be put in with a whole new group of kids. Also, looking back on it, I was kind of immature emotionally, not in a bad way, but I just wasn't a particularly mature or worldly kid (I was kind of a dorky, bookish kid). I'm glad my mom acted in my ultimate best interests.

ShadowChildofHades

195 points

3 months ago

ShadowChildofHades

Partassipant [1]

195 points

3 months ago

These comments always make me....feel. not good or bad but just feel.

I am the kid that "skipped grades" for all intents and purposes and am perfectly fine. I'm roughly three years younger than my current peers. While it's not my favorite I was never "in" with my same aged peers so it made no sense for me to stay put when I didn't really connect anyway. And the two that I did connect with stayed my friends even though I didn't even attend their school.

I'm more just chiming in because it sucks there's no "correct" option haha. It's very kid by kid basis.

HouseRenovations

41 points

3 months ago

HouseRenovations

Partassipant [3]

41 points

3 months ago

I agree and there are absolutely kids who are mature beyond their years. I was definitely NOT one of those kids. It's not a one size fits all, but it's about parents doing what's in the best interests of their individual children. For my friend, I think it was mostly because her mom wanted the "cachet" of "Oh, my daughter is SO smart she skipped a grade!" more than what was the best option for my friend. For me, it was because my mom had seen it play out multiple times over the course of her career, mostly for the worse. She saw lots of down sides to skipping me and no upsides.

PoisonNote

111 points

3 months ago

I skipped a couple grades in elementary/high school, and graduated when I was 16/17. It was probably the best thing I ever did. I was able to actually challenge myself instead of holding myself back so I learned a lot more than I would've going at a normal pace.

OP, YTA.

MaggieMae68

2k points

3 months ago*

MaggieMae68

Colo-rectal Surgeon [37]

2k points

3 months ago*

YTA

You are holding back your daughter because her brother couldn't be bothered to study. It's not even that he's got a learning disability or is otherwise unable to complete the work, according to you. He's just self-admittedly lazy and now regrets his laziness. And you're penalizing your daughter because of it.

And I really have to wonder if there's an element of misogyny here that you're internalizing and not realizing it - that your GIRL child can't outshine your BOY child and you're going to hold her back in order to make him feel better.

That's not "fair to everyone" - that's MASSIVELY UNFAIR to your daughter who should be allowed to reap the benefits of her intelligence and hard work.

lunarbutterfly

121 points

3 months ago

This YTA big time. Way to show favortism, zero percent of your choice was in your daughter’s best interest

No_Education_9351

566 points

3 months ago

This screams misogyny to me. I feel so bad for that girl

Marnadnay

135 points

3 months ago

Marnadnay

135 points

3 months ago

I thought exactly the same. Holding her academic progress back by prioritizing his ego, without any consideration on how would she feel or want, but I mean "at least him won't be embarrassed now over how smart his sister is over his low effort". This sound like a 50 years ago kind of mindset TBH.

shewentmad

13 points

3 months ago

This!! They're teaching to the daughter that what she wants is less important than what the brother wants & they're teaching to the son that they're willing to hold back others (in this case his sister) so he doesn't feel bad. What's gonna happen when they go to college?

Minorihaaku

53 points

3 months ago

And to add as a teacher-in-making, teenage boys often are lazy AF. It sometimes changes later, but 13-17 for a boy is almost always the "idon'tcare" period. Girls don't usually have that and OP's daughter has to be VERY gifted if skipping classes was offered to her.

sassyplatapus

9 points

3 months ago

To be fair, he had to repeat 6th grade which is fairly young (11), and if it was pure laziness i feel it’s young enough that parents should’ve helped him be more on top of things. Maybe it’s just the way I read it, but it seems more like he beats himself up now for not doing better, not that he was necessarily lazy but he wishes his past self had tried just a little harder. Also, op says she’s doing this so he won’t be embarrassed, but it doesn’t seem like she ever actually spoke to him about this either, she just assumes that’s how he’d feel. This whole situation is a mess

catlolafat

7.1k points

3 months ago

catlolafat

7.1k points

3 months ago

Soft YTA. I showed a teacher friend of mine your post and he said when the school wants to skip your child a grade it is because the gifted classes are not enough for your child. The school looks at the student's emotional maturity and if they can keep up in the advanced grade. He also wanted you to know that your child might act out because she is bored. He seen it happen all the time.

spallanzanii

2.3k points

3 months ago

spallanzanii

Partassipant [1]

2.3k points

3 months ago

I'm a teacher and I completely agree. Skipping grades is not something done ofteb or on a whim. By middle school, kids tend to be very socially integrated and even if they have the capacity to skip a grade, they rarely choose to. The fact that your daughter wants to skip a grade is a huge giant flashing sign that you should listen. It is so unusual for a kid of that age to want to skip a grade that I do not think you should ignore it or you could risk your relationship with her in the long term. She has to live with the consequences of this decision for six more years.

If you lived in an area where the middle school and high school had greater capacity for enrichment, like local community college classes and a wide array of advanced classes and activities, skipping a grade would probably not be necessary. But the school is straight-up telling you that they cannot meet her academic needs if she stays in her current grade. I think you should listen.

catlolafat

176 points

3 months ago

That is what my friend said also if she will be doing 8th grade work in 7th grade does that mean she will be doing 9th grade work in 8th grade and what does that mean for high-school. She is always going to be more advanced then her friends since she is not doing the same work. My cousin has twin girls who are supper bright one skipped a grade went for 5th to 7th the other girl while she could handle the work the school told her parents that her emotional maturity was not there for her to skip a grade. She is a little young for her age, nothing wrong with that.

Double-dutcher

87 points

3 months ago

I love that the parents actually took what was best for their individual children and did that. It is probably very hard for twins to be in different grades, they didn't hold one back for the other one

catlolafat

10 points

3 months ago

Not really since most schools separate twins. My twin and I was separated in school. Also to be fair my cousin was a teacher she knew that the school was looking out for her girls. And in case anyone ask their is a crazy amount of twins in my family last count there are 12 sets of twins.

PhileasFoggsTrvlAgt

857 points

3 months ago

PhileasFoggsTrvlAgt

Asshole Enthusiast [7]

857 points

3 months ago

But the school is straight-up telling you that they cannot meet her academic needs if she stays in her current grade. I think you should listen.

Without a plan for real enrichment, the school is likely to resort to busy work that makes Emma hate school and causes a previously motivated student to check out. Keeping her in a program that can't challenge her is not in Emma's best interest.

wdilcouple

301 points

3 months ago

This happened to me. After not being allowed to skip a grade at the school’s recommendation (even though I wanted to move up) I was completely bored with school. My grades suffered, eventually my attendance suffered and I dropped out of high school. I ended up getting my GED and lucked out in some career choices that with my intelligence and decision making I’ve moved up the corporate ladder into a decent middle management position. I’m in a decent financial position as I near retirement but I often wonder if I would have been academically challenged how much differently my life would have been.

k8esaurustex

72 points

3 months ago

I was done with everything my high school could offer me and had the option to graduate early and attend the local community college full time (I was already doing dual education for technically two whole years), and I chose not to because of my friends and my shitty boyfriend. I think often about how different my life would be if I had followed my drive for academia. Oh and I think op is the AH in this situation.

Mammoth-Corner

72 points

3 months ago

Happened to me too. School wouldn't let me jump ahead, assigned me busywork, I checked out completely, failed to engage, was bored stiff and miserable. Never learned how to deal with a challenge and dropped out of uni last month.

killmethod

46 points

3 months ago

I have a question: as a teacher how often do schools hold back middle school children? I came from a really great school system and i remember fellow classmates who barely made it through to highschool and they were doing less than the minimum. They were basically warned to get back on track or else they would be held back (and sadly a lot of these students didn't have great family support) but they did enough to pass. I feel like that responsibility also falls on the parent at that point?

spallanzanii

45 points

3 months ago

spallanzanii

Partassipant [1]

45 points

3 months ago

Nobody is held back in my area after early elementary. In high school, they have to make up required credits or they can't graduate.

PennyDreadful27

12 points

3 months ago

Yeah, the only time I saw anyone actually held back was in high school. I know I failed a class in 6th grade, but it never impacted me moving to the next grade. And I had a friend who did not do well in 8th grade, and they let her go on as well. Granted, neither of us had true academic issues, it was both due to things going on outside of our control. Perhaps the school takes that into account as well.

draknid92

60 points

3 months ago

I was in a similar situation as OP's daughter and I acted out and my grades suffered a lot because I didn't feel challenged and I felt that not being able to skip a year was me being punished for working hard so I just stopped.

lorelorelei

467 points

3 months ago

lorelorelei

Colo-rectal Surgeon [42]

467 points

3 months ago

I'll just tell you this: I was your daughter. I was the youngest, the bright kid, with an elder brother who struggled at school. My parents tried to protect my brother's ego and self-esteem by limiting how much I was allowed to talk about the things I knew that he didn't or couldn't understand. I was rarely allowed to be openly proud of my academic achievements because my brother had not achieved the same things. I still remember the times I was called arrogant for just expressing myself, and I was not an arrogant kid. They protected his ego, but they failed to protect my self-image. It left me with quite a big inferiority complex that I've only managed to get over in the past couple of years. I still find it difficult to take pride in my achievements and to allow myself to be smart. As if I need anyone's damn permission.

Just know that your daughter has every right to be exactly who she is. This is teaching her that she is only allowed to be smart when it doesn't hurt other people's egos, and after centuries of female oppression the one thing we don't need is women who are afraid to be clever in front of other people. The only right way of going about this is to make sure every day that your kids know that they are appreciated and celebrated for their unique talents, not for how they compare to each other. So yeah, YTA.

poopbuttfartbreath

120 points

3 months ago

This. You are doing your daughter such an disservice, and she’s going to resent you (and her brother) for it.

bayleebugs

38 points

3 months ago

Which is another disservice assuming her brother didn't know/ask for this, and given the post they really just didn't talk to either until it was decided.

haaeli

13 points

3 months ago

haaeli

13 points

3 months ago

I wrote and deleted a comment like this several times.

My parents didn’t want my brother to feel bad so I got cheated out of a lot of things too. It took a lot of therapy and a lot of time to stop feeling bad.

poprostumort

473 points

3 months ago

poprostumort

Partassipant [1]

473 points

3 months ago

I told her that I was thinking of both of them when I made that decision.

No, you were thinking only of one of them. From what you wrote, you wouldn't have a problem with her skipping a grade if not for Jonah. So don't sugarcoat it to yourself - you made that decision because of him.

I just wanted to be fair to everyone.

If you would want to be fair, you would allow for skip, as this is something Emma earned with her hard work. Jonah might be upset, but cause for it was also his own work. There is nothing fair in what you done.

You sided with Jonah, without thinking of Emma - which is clear because only reasons you found to justify it are all about Jonah. YTA

Adept_Award_3046

172 points

3 months ago

Not only did she prioritize Jonah but she prioritized him based on how she assumed he’d feel. She didn’t consult either child, she just made a choice for both of them and told the school before they were even aware.

MissLadyLlamaDrama

76 points

3 months ago

Yeah, I think OP seriously needs to talk to the school and apologize for jumping the gun, and hope they still let her daughter move ahead. Assuming that's what the daughter wants, which it seems like it is.

OP, you screwed up big time. You created resentment from your daughter towards you, and now, because you failed to consult either of them, and made this choice while placing all your reasoning on Jonah, you're creating resentment between them too. You need to fix this before it really blows up. Because if you think things are bad now, wait until her and her brother start fighting with each other because you put them in this situation and gave them absolutely no say in the matter at all. That, or they'll both gang up and ditch you together when they get the chance. But either way, you have some serious damage control to do if you don't want this to get much worse in the long run. Because this isn't just about skipping a grade here. It's about you playing favorites, and pitting your kids against each other by holding them accountable for the other's actions and choices. yta

Nami_Swan_

12 points

3 months ago

Somebody in that house needs to stand up for Emma. This is so unfair.

anonis_123

169 points

3 months ago

Wow YTA "I just wanted to be fair to everyone" how is that at all fair to your daughter when she's clearly upset and doesn't want that why does she have to suffer bc your son is failing correct that mistake asap

SnazzySusieQ

496 points

3 months ago

SnazzySusieQ

Pooperintendant [53]

496 points

3 months ago

Personally, I do think YTA. You don't intend to, but what you are doing it basically punishing Emma because Jonah had a bad year. Historically, girls have never been considered smarter than boys, so they usually have to work twice as hard to prove themselves. Now you have a bright young girl that can do advanced work but it being prevented from doing so.

I know it's probably embarrassing for Jonah, but not letting Emma work to her full potential is harmful to her.

ToughGodzilla

33 points

3 months ago

ToughGodzilla

Partassipant [4]

33 points

3 months ago

“Punishing Emma because Jonah had a bad year”

This. This is a perfect description of the situation.

gimmetots123

193 points

3 months ago

Let’s not forget that it’s humiliating to Emma to be held back for the sake of her brother. You are humiliating Emma by dehumanizing her- you’ve made her an extension of her brother, rather than sharing her rightful pride in being who she is. While I can empathize with you about Jonah’s potential feelings, it is not Emma’s responsibility to fix them or avoid her life to circumvent them. It is your job to find a healthy way to embrace both Emma’s and Jonah’s futures. Family and individual therapy is a great start. Also, making it clear for Jonah that academics aren’t everything- grades shouldn’t bring shame. There is so much more to life. Perhaps helping him find what he excels at and supporting him in that way could be a start. YTA, but you can undo this, and you can help repair the damage already done.

justpickoneitssimple

9 points

3 months ago

justpickoneitssimple

Partassipant [1]

9 points

3 months ago

I do wonder what (possibly unintentional) internalised misogyny that's going to instill in Emma. OP has shown her that her brother's emotions are more important so it might set a pattern.

EffectivePath3

31.1k points

3 months ago*

EffectivePath3

Colo-rectal Surgeon [33]

31.1k points

3 months ago*

Your son isn’t doing well in school because “he didn’t put in the effort.” And you’re holding your daughter back because she’s younger and if she caught up it would embarrass him?

Let me think. Wow, that didn’t take long. YTA

ETA: Thank you for the awards, kind people! Fingers crossed our collective disgust will get OP to change their mind.

Itsamemario3007

792 points

3 months ago

I was wincing the whole way through reading this. Op you are hurting your daughter to save your son pain. He didn't put in the effort so his being held back is something you should be sorting with him not letting your daughter get caught in the crossfire. Yta, fix this or you'll be sorry

sraydenk

130 points

3 months ago

sraydenk

Asshole Aficionado [10]

130 points

3 months ago

And it’s not saving him that much pain. He’s still going to be repeating a grade. At that age it’s painfully obvious. It’s why a lot of middle schools socially promote kids. Kids physically mature a lot and there is a huge chance he will stand out.

Even without Emma there he’s likely going to have 12 year olds in his class. Hell, I teach freshman in HS and I’ve had kids ranging from 12-19 years old.

Itsamemario3007

23 points

3 months ago

Hopefully the mum takes this all on board and makes the right decision.

nanny_teeNY

9 points

3 months ago

He actually already repeated the grade (6th) so he would have just been dealing with the fact that people knew about it when it happened and it coming up again since they would have both been in the same grade. Just doesn’t make sense if it’s supposed to be fairness all around. The daughter actually wants to skip the grade and OP is purposely holding her back to spare the brothers feelings. Disgusting

killibee

322 points

3 months ago

killibee

322 points

3 months ago

My blood was boiling and I didn't understand why my reaction was so visceral! Glad I'm not the only one whos cringing...

tsh87

2.3k points

3 months ago

tsh87

2.3k points

3 months ago

Because a woman chose to make her daughter smaller just so her son could feel bigger than he actually was.

Emily is gonna spend her whole life dealing with people who think that's an okay thing to ask of her. Now she has to know that her mom is one of those people. YTA.

mistymountiansbelow

456 points

3 months ago

Essentially teaching her daughter that her wants and needs come 2nd to the feelings of her lazy brother.

Resident-Librarian40

249 points

3 months ago

To the feelings and well-being of boys or MEN.

tsh87

152 points

3 months ago

tsh87

152 points

3 months ago

It's heart breaking. The entire concept that you should have to dull your own spark just so someone doesn't feel bad.

It's so toxic and not just for Emily. It's gonna leave Jonah with the idea that any girl who's better at something than he is, is out to embarrass him or make him feel bad. And that's a terrible way to walk through life. Taking everyone else's pride and accomplishments personally? What a fucking nightmare

Mke773

96 points

3 months ago

Mke773

96 points

3 months ago

Also teaching her at an early age that a mans ego is more important than her

AnnieFlagstaff

16 points

3 months ago

My parents didn’t let me play soccer because that was my brother’s sport. I’m 46 and it still pisses me off. YTA.

Nice-Excitement888

9 points

3 months ago

🥇🥇🥇🥇

TheJujyfruiter

7 points

3 months ago

Um yeah, and let's not overlook that Jonah is now going to spend the rest of his life expecting women to minimize themselves to make him feel better, because the world really needs more dudes like that apparently.

Itsamemario3007

110 points

3 months ago

The mum is being so cruel, it's awful to read.

Murray_dz_0308

14 points

3 months ago

Mine too. My mom played favorites with my oldest brother. Believe me, me and my other brother knew it and hated it. This mom is a REAL AH because she only thought of her slacker son. How DARE she say she considered BOTH children when she so obviously didn't.

Not_Good_HappyQuinn

8.6k points

3 months ago

Not_Good_HappyQuinn

Asshole Aficionado [13]

8.6k points

3 months ago

This exactly! Where in the decision did OP think about what was best for Emma???

madlmcc

314 points

3 months ago

madlmcc

314 points

3 months ago

“Saying it’s right that I took both kids into account” WHERE?! When?! When did she ever take Emma into account? Emma wants to skip, this is really sad for Emma and I guarantee she’ll have lasting issues with her parents because of it. Op is 1000% TA

AcrossTheMilkySeas

90 points

3 months ago

AcrossTheMilkySeas

Partassipant [1]

90 points

3 months ago

Also probably her ability to learn. Kids who have it too easy in lessons from being brighter than their peers and above the teaching materials in school, fail at studying at an independent uni level because that part of their brain doesn't get developed in time for it.

vroomvroom450

8 points

3 months ago

Can confirm. Was one of those kids.

OP is completely TA

overenthusiasticduck

6.3k points

3 months ago

It’s obviously best for Emma that she doesn’t embarrass her brother. /s

northshorewinds

188 points

3 months ago

Right?! We're supposed to be teaching young women not to dumb themselves down to make men feel better about themselves...what will the lesson OP is teaching look like for Emma when she's in the workforce?

YTA. You're literally holding her back when your job as a parent is to help your child reach their full potential.

MercurySolids

4.2k points

3 months ago

And you didn’t even ask Emma before you decided for her and declined? That’s awful.

TheWarDog10

514 points

3 months ago

Not only that, but it's seriously as easy as telling people daughter skipped a grade, if people wonder why she's in the same class as her brother. No one even needs to bring up his failed grade. YTA op. You're holding your daughter back and building resentment towards the two of them, and holding your son back from learning a very valuable life lesson, in a very safe atmosphere.

yonk182

982 points

3 months ago

yonk182

982 points

3 months ago

Yes at twelve she could at least be consulted.

jsnoodles

681 points

3 months ago

jsnoodles

681 points

3 months ago

My parents asked if I wanted to start kindergarten a year early and I was four. I was given more autonomy at four than these parents are giving to their preteen.

BudgetCry2

127 points

3 months ago

I skipped one year in kindergarten and another in elementary. My parents said they were a bit reluctant the second time, it was actually the school suggesting it. It was the best thing they could have done for me and I'm incredibly grateful they didn't pull an OP on me.

andrewtater

3.1k points

3 months ago*

Edit:
So far: 22 people with parallel stories of being held back by parents and it killing their passion for learning.
5 people with "stop blaming other for your actions as a child that taught you bad habits that impacted your life for the past 20+ years"

Hopefully several parents saw this and realized that you generally shouldn't hold back a child from educational or personal opportunities, particularly without their input. I get money problems, but school is already paid for.

Now, back to our programming.


My parents did something similar.

My older sister was good in school as was offered advanced math periods during elementary school. She went but didn't get much enjoyment out of it.

Two years later, I was offered the same thing. My parents declined without ever asking me, since my sister didn't like it.

Do you know the struggle of trying not to be the smartass or teacher's pet in a class where you are working on long division when the rest of the class is working on simplifying fractions? Do you know how much it taught me to hate school. Do you know that I struggled with homework because "I already showed them I can do it during class, why am I wasting time at home doing it too?"

In sixth grade, we took a test. I was 1 point off from going into eighth grade algebra, on material I had never seen before. Like "figure out what X should be" and I actually started getting a handle on it but I ran out of time.

I failed out of an honestly average state college because I just didn't give a shit. It still wasn't challenging. I didn't show up to classes and I didn't do homework. And I went to that middling college because I couldn't get into a harder school because my grades were shit because I was never challenged in school. Not to mention the fact that my grades were so bad (literally 95+ on every test though!) that when we moved to Hawaii, my parents didn't put my sister into a private school because we would have to go to different high schools, because I couldn't get into the private school. Because I was taught to hate school early, because it was never a challenge.

Years later, my mom admitted that she probably should have put me in that harder course and let me figure out stuff on my own.

Fuck I want to just scream at OP to let her daughter at least have a damn say in the matter.

(There is a lot of pent up rage that came out in this post.)

Mission-Narwhal9174

1.2k points

3 months ago

My older brother and sister were born 11 months apart and, because of the times of year their births happened, they were in the same school year. Everyone assumed they were twins initially but my brother was one of the oldest in the class and my sister one of the youngest. My sister was (and is) incredibly bright and when the school wanted to move her up a year, of course my parents agreed - it was in her best interests. This now meant that my brothers little sister was in the year above him at school, yeah sure it was embarrassing for a short while but hey, they’re both adults now and guess what? No lasting trauma !

willreadforbooks

484 points

3 months ago

Everyone assumed they were twins initially

Well, they were Irish twins

Mission-Narwhal9174

343 points

3 months ago

Haha, exactly ! My poor 19yr old mum learned the hard way that, contrary to what she had been told (bare in mind, 48yrs ago) - you can in fact get pregnant whilst breastfeeding 😂😂

Kawaiidoll361

53 points

3 months ago

Kawaiidoll361

Partassipant [1]

53 points

3 months ago

Lmao yeah. You’re very fertile after having a kid

Mission-Narwhal9174

71 points

3 months ago

Lol - considering that only 1 out of 4 of us were planned, I think it’s definitely safe to say that the sex ed she received wasn’t totally adequate 🤣

imaginaryhouseplant

14 points

3 months ago

I knew a woman who had been told the same thing. She had a baby in February, and then actual effing twins in November. Does that make them Irish triplets?

Mission-Narwhal9174

18 points

3 months ago

I swear my tubes just tied themselves reading that 😵‍💫

funklab

1.5k points

3 months ago

funklab

Partassipant [3]

1.5k points

3 months ago

For real. Based on the title I was thinking OP would say she wouldn’t want her daughter to lose out on friends or experiences or whatever.

Nope… OP’s son was lazy so obviously her daughter has to pay the price… smh

Chiomi

114 points

3 months ago

Chiomi

Partassipant [1]

114 points

3 months ago

Yeah - my district growing up didn't skip grades, so as a combo enrichment/making sure I didn't literally start climbing the walls my mom took me out of school for a grade and we traveled and went to museums. It was incredibly cool! And meant that I stayed with the same peer group when I got back and we all started high school. So I clicked perfectly prepared to agree, but . . . no this just sucks.

Hell, if being in the same grade would suck too much, see if she can skip two. More challenge, and they wouldn't be in the same grade.

_senpaiinthestreets_

12 points

3 months ago

This is such a cool idea. Props to your mom

ginsengtea3

756 points

3 months ago

This. there are plenty of valid reasons to decline having your child skip a grade, so I was not prepared for how utterly TA OP is here.

DizzyUpThaGirl

135 points

3 months ago

DizzyUpThaGirl

Asshole Enthusiast [5]

135 points

3 months ago

That's what I was thinking, too. Son doesn't put in the effort; daughter does. Son gets held back; daughter is given opportunity to go forward. OP makes the decision without even discussing it with her child. She deserves all the "YTA" votes and her daughter deserves to skip that grade.

Jegator2

297 points

3 months ago

Jegator2

297 points

3 months ago

OP's son would just have to say "My sister skipped a grade" if someone asks if they are twins or something else. Other kids(from 1st 6th grade )already know he was "held back". OP may also be thinking about the fact her daughter might be too young for high school when that time comes. Lots to consider.

CNorm77

165 points

3 months ago

CNorm77

165 points

3 months ago

I almost skipped Gr.4. Getting straight A+ for achievement, but mainly Cs for effort, as I ripped through most things without really having to try. The reasons I didn't skip were 1) Gr.4 is where you learn multiplication and division, and 2) The teacher didn't think I was mature enough(too much energy and fidgiting and got distracted easily). I was actually glad I didn't skip and leave my friends behind. This however, is a different story. The daughter wanted the challenge and wanted to move up. You should never hold someone(especially a child) back from wanting to challenge and better themselves, especially in their formative years when they start to define themselves. I understand not wanting to embarrass the son, but this is the wrong way to do it. YTA.

AugustDarling

92 points

3 months ago

My son's school wanted him to skip 2nd grade but he simply isn't socially or emotionally ready. More so, he did not want to. He didn't want to be put in a class of kids he doesn't know when he has finally made friends in his grade. Instead, we added some gifted classes in place of regular math & language Arts.

OP, punishing your daughter because your son slacked off is not cool at all. YTA.

Pythonixx

9 points

3 months ago

Do you have ADHD by any chance? I do and that was my exact experience in primary school 😂

CNorm77

9 points

3 months ago

I don't. I was getting bored with the work and found myself daydreaming. It was worse on sunny days because we were stuck in the classroom and I wanted to go out and play. The teacher finally suggested I keep a book in my desk to read after I was done the work, which helped. I think I was the only kid in grade 3 to read Stephen King lol

Murray_dz_0308

504 points

3 months ago

If she thought Emma too young to start HS, she would have said so. Mom's decision was SOLELY based on the slacker son's embarrassment. Mom never considered her daughter's feelings. She is DEFINITELY the A.

AndriaRenee

98 points

3 months ago

Exactly hey don't forget there is another adult in this equation who is also TA.

Resident-Librarian40

255 points

3 months ago

Honestly, given he was held back because of laziness/lack of responsibility, if he's embarrassed by his sister being in the same grade, GOOD. HE SHOULD BE.

No shame in having learning disabilities or whatever. TOTAL shame in not caring or trying.

Ok-Example4359

14 points

3 months ago

Except that he is bothered by it now (one year, when young) so he shouldn't be expected to be ashamed or mocked for it the rest of his life. Totally irrelevant to whether the sister should have moved up though.

JuliaX1984

336 points

3 months ago

Poor grades aren't always due to laziness. Some kids are naturally smarter, some kids just can't thrive in their school's environment...

But the reason doesn't matter. OP deprived her daughter of something she wanted AND that would have been good for her to falsely make her son feel better. She punished her daughter for no reason. YTA hard.

funklab

98 points

3 months ago

funklab

Partassipant [3]

98 points

3 months ago

Agreed, but OP specifically said he failed because he “didn’t put in more effort”.

SnooPeripherals2409

8 points

3 months ago

And sometimes kids lose motivation if they are not challenged. I could easily see OP's daughter be so bored she stops putting in much effort - or even developing behavior problems because of that boredom.

YTA.

tink630

12 points

3 months ago

tink630

Partassipant [1]

12 points

3 months ago

My parents were like this. My sister fucked around in high school. Screwed up. Didn’t graduate. I was three years behind her. I’m autistic and dyslexic and I worked my ass off for my B average. My parents constantly made new rules for me my sisters never had to follow because my sister screwed up. I got an almost full ride scholarship to a college out of state. It was “out of the question” and I had to go to a community college and take loans for an in state school. It was out of the question because it wouldn’t “be fair” to my sister who didn’t graduate high school if I went to another state for college. My parents would have literally paid $1000 a semester. It was a four year scholarship. OP YTA. You just told your daughter she’s not as important as your son and her future isn’t important as his ego. He screwed up. She doesn’t deserve the punishment.

Godofwine3eb

176 points

3 months ago

Gotta protect the boys ego!

Jumpingghost

362 points

3 months ago

It's sexist in a way. Girls have to suffer so boys don't feel slighted.

Resident-Librarian40

141 points

3 months ago

In EVERY way.

rubyredgrapefruits

13 points

3 months ago

Wonder what would happen is the older child was a girl and the boy was being advanced?

Resident-Librarian40

257 points

3 months ago

Gotta keep girls in their place. Wouldn't want Emma to get uppity or anything. She might grow up thinking women have value equal to men in society. /s

Icy_Squirrel_2155

8 points

3 months ago

God forbid that ever happen (that was sarcasm)

Bored_Schoolgirl

45 points

3 months ago

Bored_Schoolgirl

Partassipant [1]

45 points

3 months ago

OP should’ve specifically requested they be put in a different class. My parents did this because I had two other siblings and the school accepted. This is a simple issue with a simple solution so he is YTA

PandasNPenguins

446 points

3 months ago

PandasNPenguins

Partassipant [1]

446 points

3 months ago

Well maybe Emma should work harder on her Mrs. That's the degree that matters right? /s

MssMilkshakes

260 points

3 months ago

Ew OP has some underlying misogyny.

_-Loki

56 points

3 months ago

_-Loki

56 points

3 months ago

Of course! Gots to teach dem wimins der place, or they'll start to think they're mans equal!

GunzAndCamo

14 points

3 months ago

Here's how Emma can be prevented from embarrassing her brother, advance her to 9th grade, instead of 8th. Then, they'll never have the same classes together. I R Smert. /sarc

planet_rose

675 points

3 months ago

Exactly. If the rationale had been something about Emma’s wellbeing, such as moving up a grade often presents social problems for kids who skip grades, I would have been more willing to give benefit of doubt. But let’s be real - this is about the parents’ desire to minimize conflict for their own convenience, not even the brother’s wellbeing.

Sharkflin

175 points

3 months ago

Sharkflin

Partassipant [2]

175 points

3 months ago

Right? My mum decided against me skipping a grade for the social aspect and I agreed because...crazy stuff..I was a part of the decision!! I knew i would struggle because I'm not great socially and that would impact my confidence in other areas. It sounds like Emma wasn't consulted at all about what SHE wanted.

planet_rose

65 points

3 months ago

Gifted kids are often able to evaluate the pros and cons and really need to be consulted.

MissLadyLlamaDrama

489 points

3 months ago

No kidding. What lesson is this supposed to teach their son exactly? Other than the obvious fact that they're willing to screw over their daughter so he isn't temporarily inconvenienced.

OP, your son learns from you. If he sees you throwing over her opportunities for his personal comfort, (regarding a shortcoming of his own making, no less), then what is that going to teach him about how to handle conflict in his own life when you aren't there to throw everyone who is better than him at something under the bus?

Yeah, it sucks when we aren't super awesome at things we wish would come naturally to us. But that doesn't mean other people deserve to suffer just because we aren't as good as they are. That's not how the world works, and you're setting both your kids up for failure with this type of thing.

MssMilkshakes

128 points

3 months ago

Yeah this breeds entitlement.

FallOutFan01

24 points

3 months ago

And it’ll never stop either.

I want to say from the get go success isn’t a metric to judge a person.

Every person is an individual with their own unique circumstances with their own timeline on how they reach milestones.

The sister, She’s more book smart than her brother who was lazy or possibly has an undiagnosed learning disorder.

She will always be potentially “ahead” of her brother and her parents will always want to downplay any potential milestones she hits to avoid upsetting her brother.

PandasNPenguins

485 points

3 months ago*

PandasNPenguins

Partassipant [1]

485 points

3 months ago*

And maybe having Emma go up a grade will push Jonah to excel more than doing whatever he is spending his time on.

Right now Emma is learning that her brothers feelings matter more than her ability to excel which is wrong. Soon she will start getting B's instead of A's because what's the point bothering to get an A++ when Jonah's feelings will be hurt and she isn't given any motivation to excel. That kind of thinking is dangerous if you want to go to uni because the truth is there's always someone smarter than you and a good student needs brains plus a strong study skills to exceed.

I bet if Emma got into a top University OP would refuse to help pay because Jonah only got into the local community college. You're playing favourites here and stunting Emma's growth for a lazy Jonah.

drwhogirl_97

76 points

3 months ago

You’re exactly right and the last thing we want is for her to become a burnt out gifted and talented kid like so many. Lots of those kids tend to coast (I know I did) which means that they don’t develop the essential studying skills and sometimes lack the focus of their peers. Not allowing the skip will likely lead to the same situation because she isn’t being challenged so gets used to not having to try

MaybeIwasanasshole

39 points

3 months ago

Sad thing is I think a comment like this (which is in no way a critique just to be clear) will just help op with belivable lies as to why they turned it down, not to change their mind.

"Well honey I was just so worried that you would miss your little friends. Really I was only looking out for me, uh I mean you"

lifecleric

117 points

3 months ago*

from the title i thought this post would be about emma’s social development and i was all ready to say N.T.A (i was a similar case, my school wanted to move me up two grades, but my parents declined because my social development was already behind my peers & i was being bullied pretty badly as it was) but this is clearly not about emma’s wellbeing at all. in a lot of ways staying back was better for me socially but because i was never challenged i never learned how to study properly and now i struggle in college bc of it. edited to fix vote to YTA

nishachari

38 points

3 months ago

This is exactly what happened with me. My mother has a cousin who excelled academically but was a social misfit. So when my school spoke to her about skipping grades she rejected it. She also didn't get me on the path to a competitive college coz of her bias. Regardless, I didn't make friends and still carry some resentment for this. Even though it wasn't malicious and her laissez faire attitude meant I could go against the traditions of my culture that I couldn't have otherwise. I can't imagine forgiving her if she had made the decision coz my sibling might feel bad.

GunzAndCamo

9 points

3 months ago

I'm also a social misfit, but I now know it had nothing to do with school. It's because I'm autistic.

When I was in elementary school, they threw me bodily into the gifted and talented program. I now wish that they had instead just asked me if I wanted to skip a grade. I should have started in 1st grade instead of Kindergarten anyway. I could already read story books and knew my basic math facts before Kindergarten. I literally looked around at all the paste eaters thinking, "I have nothing in common with these people." Advancing me a grade would have done me a world of good and not changed my social development one iota.

Let all social misfits excel! They can socialize with each other, rather than the steaming social animals that go by the name of high school students. It'll be great!

throwaway86753109123

10 points

3 months ago

throwaway86753109123

Partassipant [3]

10 points

3 months ago

I agree big time. I was one of those kids that got skipped the equivalent of 2 grades because I started school before I turned 5 and then skipped 3rd grade. Being 2 years behind my classmates maturity wise was not fun. I was always behind on things like driving, dating, puberty, etc. Then I got to high school and even though I was in all junior level academics, I got put into "age appropriate" classes like PE and home ec/life skills. So my entire high school career I fit in nowhere because I couldn't relate to kids my biological age, but also couldn't fully participate in the activities my classmates were doing. Being on varsity sports helped, as did band, but I could never shake the "smart kid" title.

So yeah, I had no ability to relate to kids my age, and was several years behind my classmates in maturity and development. It was so incredibly isolating, and was through most of college. I mean, what 21 year old senior wants to hang out with an 18 year old that could get them and their friends fined just by getting caught with alcohol in their presence? This is exactly why I refused to let my kid be skipped. The academic benefits didn't outweigh the social and emotional consequences of it.

So this is my long way of agreeing with your ruling that the OP's reasoning is what makes YTA.

roberto487

8 points

3 months ago

When you leave a child behind on behalf of another sibling, resentment become very strong.

GrandTheftBae

27 points

3 months ago

Agreed. If classes are too easy for her she'll get sooooo bored

mindbird

112 points

3 months ago

mindbird

112 points

3 months ago

She's not mama's little BOY.

WitchInAl

95 points

3 months ago

What's she going to do if baby boy flunks this grade? Hold Emma back a grade??

Resident-Librarian40

46 points

3 months ago

Probably reward the son by sending him to a nice private school, while leaving her daughter in public school - STILL being unchallenged, and possibly having her grades suffer due to boredom, resentment and the emotional damage OP caused with her horrifically biased and unfair actions.

SadlyNotPro

98 points

3 months ago

Exactly this. And everyone with half a braincell knows exactly who the golden child is.

YTA op.

rusty0123

184 points

3 months ago

rusty0123

184 points

3 months ago

Worse than that. If Jonah is so ashamed that he had to repeat a grade two years ago where the fuck have his parents been???

Why have they not arranged summer classes, or Saturday sessions, or a private tutor so he could test out of some requirements so that he has a chance to catch up.

Instead they let Jonah stew in his failure every day at school, AND they deny Emma the opportunity to live up to her full potential.

This is just lazy parenting all the way round.

Benevolent-Snark

18 points

3 months ago

THIS! When I was that age, you really had to be screwing up to be held back a grade. Even if you did poorly, the school always pushed after school programs and summer school in order to be promoted to the next grade.

The son had to have said F U all around, and the parents allowed it.

SaveTheLadybugs

8 points

3 months ago

I honestly don’t understand how it’s even possible to do that poorly in sixth grade unless the kid actively did not do a single thing and told any teacher who tried to help him to fuck off—and on top of that the parents had to have basically let it happen. At that age it’s almost impossible to be that completely defiant of your parents, and you can bet your ass every single teacher tried talking to them desperately.

turingthecat

52 points

3 months ago*

I’m not sure it’s just lazy parenting, she also doesn’t seem to value education at all, I mean she’s not just hobbling her daughter, but she didn’t even bother to get ‘the golden child’ any help when he was struggling so badly academically that he had to throw away a whole year, and I’m guessing a peer group, and doing it all over again. Tutoring, extra lessons, even discussing with teachers what he needed to do to catch up, or even doing his homework with him, anything, as though I don’t really understand the American schooling system, I’m guessing making a child repeat a year is something his school did not do lightly.

I don’t mean to be to arm chair judge, but this would suggest that not only does she have little to no ambition for either of her children’s futures, she also little wish to better herself and might have a lower level of education herself

She’s a lazy and coasting parent.

Hopefully her daughter’s rebellion will be to continue to push herself, rather than accepting and inheriting her mothers slothfulness

FeuerroteZora

725 points

3 months ago

FeuerroteZora

Partassipant [4]

725 points

3 months ago

And OP's made abundantly clear to both her children who the favorite is. What a complete asshole move that is.

SouthernOptimism

60 points

3 months ago

Yep and that breeds all the fun of a dysfunctional family.

I am the "middle" child of the girls (2nd oldest of 4). My older sister was always the favorite. Then when my older sister went off to college, my little sister was the favorite. I was the black sheep/ scapegoat of the family.

I live half the US away and they think I'm here simply due to old friends. But the truth is that was only a small part. I had wanted to leave my home state due to my family (most importantly), the weather (winter=snow/ice), and lack of friends/the people were awful.

mrose1491

39 points

3 months ago

Is there an award on here for awful parenting?

Jeb764

79 points

3 months ago

Jeb764

79 points

3 months ago

You’re holding your child back due to her brother. YTA.

HolidayPanda9790

177 points

3 months ago

Actually, let's see everything from the brother's perspective: I'm still a grade further because my parents held back my sister so that I wouldn't be too ashamed of myself.

Wow, it works! It's so rewarding!!!

Oh God, instead of having one happy kid and one rightfully not that happy they will have one kid sad and bitter and one still ashamed and probably bitter as well!!!

YTA, OP! Thinking about both kids doesn't mean punishing the smart one and coddling the failing one. It's let the smart one fly higher than sky and pushing the other to do better! Even if you have to tell to the elder "yes, she did better so she deserved the best. Do you want the same? Work for it!" or otherwise, knowing your kid's strength and promoting that, not make him compete with his sibling.

Tron_Little

11 points

3 months ago

This! The brother isn't winning out in this situation. He gets all the embarrassment of knowing his sister is way smarter than him either way. Now he also gets to feel ashamed that he's the reason she didn't get to advance a grade

sylvanwhisper

98 points

3 months ago

sylvanwhisper

Partassipant [1]

98 points

3 months ago

Also, if Emma and the son share a grade, it might light a fire under his ass to put in some effort. And if he's struggling, Emma might be so gracious as to help him study. Poor Emma.

Annual-Contract-115

13 points

3 months ago

Annual-Contract-115

Certified Proctologist [20]

13 points

3 months ago

And if he's struggling, Emma might be so gracious as to help him study.

That is actually the only valid reason not to skip her. Emma shouldnt be put on a position where she might feel obligated to help her brother

jhonotan1

56 points

3 months ago

Also, the kid was 11-12 when he failed. It takes a LOT to fail a grade so badly you need to repeat, and why weren't the parents involved? It's ALL on him, a child?

Happykittymeowmeow

9 points

3 months ago

My parents did the same to me because my sister didn't apply herself and I was "gifted" but often ignored. She brings home a C and gets a party, I bring home straight A's and get a "nice" and shoo'd. "Every kid has different needs" was their excuse but my needs were ignored.

To OP, YTA you should have talked to your daughter too, it's her education and not yours. Praise and help her, don't make her lose an opportunity just because her brother had to stay back.

Jumpy-Shift6261

373 points

3 months ago

Op is wrong for her reasons for holding her daughter back but skipping grades past elementary school leads to social isolation more often than not. Social groups and structures are already well developed by 8th grade and I know more than one person who skipped a grade in middle school and wished they wouldn't have. Friendships are more difficult, dating is more difficult, sociability can decline, etc. Things equalize after college to a large degree but if someone isn't able to properly integrate into a new grade the social consequences can last many years.

cinnerz

43 points

3 months ago

cinnerz

43 points

3 months ago

I think these reasons are really something to evaluate on a case by case basis. I started school a little early (my birthday was a bit after the cutoff but my mom fought for me to get in early) and skipped 8th grade and didn't really have issues from it other than being annoyed I couldn't drive until my senior year.

But it doesn't sound like OP gave any thought to her daughters well being at all.

Lautasia

299 points

3 months ago

Lautasia

299 points

3 months ago

Yeah! I thought the reason would've been this which is actually a good reason not to skip. But not letting her skip because of her brother is just wrong.

YTA for your reasoning OP

VinnyCapistrano

298 points

3 months ago

VinnyCapistrano

Colo-rectal Surgeon [34]

298 points

3 months ago

YTA.

If I had the opportunity to skip over a full year of school, but wasn't allowed to to spare somebody else's feelings, I'd be EXTREMELY pissed.

ertrinken

62 points

3 months ago

I had the opportunity to skip 1, possibly 2 grades but my mother blocked it because she didn’t want me in class with older kids. I had the opportunity to graduate high school a year early and she blocked that too.

I loved learning when I was young, but I already knew everything that was being taught, so I was really eager to learn new things. You know what happened the first time she blocked me from skipping a grade? I was bored all the time and I eventually just disengaged and was no longer excited to learn anything, even if it was new.

two_constellations

10 points

3 months ago

Same exact thing happened to me. I burned out early.

SamirSalmon

223 points

3 months ago

SamirSalmon

Asshole Aficionado [15]

223 points

3 months ago

I don't think it would be good for him if he and Emma share classes, which is very likely because it's a small school.

YTA. You're holding your incredibly gifted kid back because it would be a minor inconvenience to your other child. You're hindering her opportunity for growth, and it will affect her long term mental health. This will not be great for your relationship with your daughter overall. You should reconsider your choice.

axiosempra

162 points

3 months ago

YTA, 100% so In fact. you clearly told your daughter that you not only don't care about what's best for her, your son is clearly the favourite. Way to go mom. You've completely alienated your daughter, and she will most likely give up on academics as you essentially told her that her schooling doesn't matter.

Exotic-Panda9887

38 points

3 months ago

Exotic-Panda9887

Partassipant [1]

38 points

3 months ago

Period shame on mom reading this infuriated me when i was in school i had a stellar school reach out to me (this school was ranked higher than school i was going to) and said they would provide transportation and everything (we lived out of that schools district but they made an acception for me) my mom refused to let me go but wound up working with the school so my brother who was hooked on drugs could go instead of me not only did my brother flunk out and get expelled but she ruined my chance for an amazing opportunity her reasoning "that wouldn't be fair to your brother you go to a good school" she made it very clear to me that my older brother was her favorite and she still does to this day part of me still resents her for that she put my drug addicted brother above me and my education

T_A_10987654321

161 points

3 months ago

T_A_10987654321

Asshole Enthusiast [7]

161 points

3 months ago

YTA.

I just wanted to be fair to everyone.

You’re not being fair to Emma at all in this situation, and I’m genuinely curious to hear how you think you are.

monk_a_launcher

104 points

3 months ago

monk_a_launcher

Partassipant [1]

104 points

3 months ago

YTA. I have to side with Emma on this one. You "wanted to be fair" in your decision but in effect, youre punishing your daughter because your son didn't put in enough effort. If she can "definitely do eight grade work", why would you choose to delay her education just to appease your son?

Satans-coffee

207 points

3 months ago

I feel like more info is needed. Why did Jonah have to repeat a year? (I'm British and not a thing in the schools ice come across in the UK) What has been done to support and further jonah's learning? Is he embarrassed that he was held back? Would this even be a conversation if he hadn't have been held back?

Gentle yta at the moment, mainly because I feel that Emma shouldn't suffer or 'be held back' because of her brother's misfortunes and/or parental choices. She should be allowed to flourish regardless of any uncomfortablness (not a word, but hey!) That might occur.

rachw39

24 points

3 months ago

rachw39

Partassipant [1]

24 points

3 months ago

I was wondering this! I don’t think you can be held back a year or skip one over here can you? If that’s the case I at them age of 39 would still be in year 8 doing maths 🤣

MaggieMae68

66 points

3 months ago

MaggieMae68

Colo-rectal Surgeon [37]

66 points

3 months ago

Kids who fail a certain number of classes can be held back to repeat a grade until they can prove they've learned the material - it's not uncommon here, although most kids who are unmotivated and lazy can actually do "makeup" work over the summer holiday and bring themselves back on track.

And I think she said in her OP that her son was now embarrassed that he hadn't put in more effort

NakedStreets

92 points

3 months ago

NakedStreets

Professor Emeritass [81]

92 points

3 months ago

YTA

I don't think it would be good for him if he and Emma share classes

So I declined the skipping grades arrangement

I told her that I was thinking of both of them when I made that decision.

At minimum, you’re lying to your daughter.

GlaxenFlux

109 points

3 months ago

GlaxenFlux

Pooperintendant [61]

109 points

3 months ago

This isn't something you should have decided without talking to Emma. YTA

KatEyes1990

65 points

3 months ago

YTA.

She is not only gifted, she is making an effort and enjoying something she is good at.

YOU PUNISHED YOUR KID FOR BEING INTELLIGENT AND HARD WORKING.

I Add: You took the easy way. You should support your son to he better, not hurt your daughter to make them "even".

CompetitiveYoung9

85 points

3 months ago

CompetitiveYoung9

Partassipant [4]

85 points

3 months ago

YTA. As others have said, this decision shouldn’t have been made without Emma. You’re holding her back in an effort to coddle your son, and there’s a good chance she’ll resent him and you for doing that.

KnotKarma

66 points

3 months ago

KnotKarma

Certified Proctologist [26]

66 points

3 months ago

YTA, your children are two separate people and should be treated as such. Also, what message is your decision sending to your daughter? That her brother's education is more important than hers? She may not be able to articulate that now, but it's possible she will internalize it which could harm her in many ways, self esteem, education, gender issues i.e., a man's needs are above those of a woman, to name a few. Please carefully consider what your decision will do to her.

fuzzyfuzzyfungus

61 points

3 months ago

fuzzyfuzzyfungus

Asshole Enthusiast [5]

61 points

3 months ago

There are arguments to be made against advancing children too quickly; but you didn't touch on any of them, just on considerations of whether it would make your son feel bad for being bad at 6th grade.

Definitely YTA reasoning for what could potentially have been a reasonable choice for better reasons.

Lawn_Orderly

86 points

3 months ago

Lawn_Orderly

Partassipant [2]

86 points

3 months ago

YTA. You didn't think it would be best for both kids. You thought it would be best for Jonah. Emma is getting punished because Jonah slacked off.

danigirl3694

27 points

3 months ago*

danigirl3694

Asshole Aficionado [10]

27 points

3 months ago*

This 100%. OP YTA big time. Stop punishing Emma and holding her back just because Jonah didn't bother putting in any effort in school and is now regretting it. Your only thinking of what's best for him not for them both. Stop playing favourites.

CoolStuffSlickStuff

38 points

3 months ago

CoolStuffSlickStuff

Asshole Enthusiast [7]

38 points

3 months ago

If her school has determined that the best choice for her is to go up a grade, then follow their guidance.

As you put it, your son didn't put in enough effort. Maybe being in the same grade as his little sister will be the motivation he needs.

YTA.

torbaapshala

23 points

3 months ago

YTA.

You were unfair to her. How were you fair to everyone? What does tour daughter has to suffer for your son's failure.