Critics of redshirting say it’s little more than a way to cheat the system, and that it fails to prepare children for real life by setting low expectations. Redshirting can have a negative impact on gifted children, according to James T. Webb, director of the national organization Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted. Truly gifted kids, who are already academically grade levels ahead of similar aged peers, will have an even harder time fitting in if they’re held back.