Mom Backed for Choice Not To Send Son to Kindergarten—’No-Brainer’

A woman has explained the reason why she won’t be sending her son to the first year of school on TikTok and the internet has reacted to her decision.

AnnElise, who does not wish to share her surname, told Newsweek that her decision to keep her 4-year-old son in a private daycare for another year has divided opinions online.

“Some [people] have suggested I’m the one who isn’t ready—I’ll 100 percent agree with that!” she said. “But, ultimately, we want to give him the greatest opportunity for success.”

The 29-year-old from the East Coast of the United States told her 29,000 followers that her son “isn’t ready and that’s OK.”

Two screenshots of AnnElise explaining why her son “is not ready” for kindergarten.


Referring to her son as “E,” the mom told Newsweek: “He will be 5 in early August and has a global developmental delay diagnosis and an autism diagnosis.

“The decision wasn’t necessarily an easy one, but at the same time, it was a no-brainer.

“From the age of 2, E has always been in a classroom setting with what we refer to as his “developmental peers” vs. his “age peers.”

“Meaning even now, in pre-kindergarten 1, he is the oldest in the classroom by 6-12 months—but from the outside looking in, you would never know. He is perfectly matched with his developmental peers in all aspects of development: social, emotional, academic, fine motor, and gross motor.”

A photo of the proud mom and her son “E”. She has received a sea of support online from teachers and other parents.


The young boy has been working with specialists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists to provide him with a range of services since he was 15 months old.

In the video that has over 24,000 views shared to @theanneliselife, she explains that kindergarten teachers don’t want to teach a “little sensitive 5-year-old boy” and points out that it would be harder for him being the youngest.

“Every child is different and has different academic needs. Ultimately learning is a lifelong journey and not a race,” she told Newsweek.

Since sharing the clip on May, 8, she has received 1,150 likes and almost 820 comments.

“Most have been very supportive, sharing their own stories of success with the extra year.

“Teachers are incredibly supportive and echo the desire for parents to keep younger children out of enrolment for the extra year if possible—hinting at a larger systemic issue with the public school system and socio-economic decision-making empowerment,” she said.

What Did the Expert Say?

Newsweek reached out to the associate dean and program director of early childhood education at Pacific Oaks College in California, Judy Krause.

Krause said: “A quality preschool experience, whether it be formal or at home, is essential to kindergarten success. While most children are ready to begin kindergarten at 5, some children need a little extra time to develop their social, emotional and cognitive skills. Ultimately, the decision to hold back a child from beginning kindergarten is made by the family.

“If a family chooses to delay kindergarten entry too long (more than a year), it can pose difficulties for the child both in their social emotional development as well as cognitively. Finding the right balance between ensuring readiness and considering broader implications is essential.

“While ultimately, the decision to hold back a child from beginning kindergarten is made by the parents, I believe that if the child receives a quality preschool experience they will have a successful kindergarten experience. To aid in cognitive early childhood development, I recommend holding frequent conversations with your preschooler as well as reading to them as much as possible. Singing with their child is another great way to build vocabulary.”

TikTok Reacts

One user said: “As a kinder teacher, you are giving your son a HUGE gift by waiting.”

“Good for you!!! I wish more parents did this,” said another user.

“As a kindergarten teacher— I’m a HUGE advocate that this is a parent choice! I’m so happy you’ve found what works for you!” said a third commenter.

A fourth praised AnnElise’s decision: “It sounds like you are making a wonderful, thoughtful decision that you are making for your child. Good for you!”

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