Re: Could a child fail a grading?
our dojo stopped child classes this year; we were not very good at it, then fusioned with another dojo that has already its own child classes.
Anyway, the grading system was fine, I think. Children were invited to test more or less once per year, and if they did not perform well, they didn't get a new belt, but a coloured stripe of the next colour to be sewn on their actual belt. So they partly graded and were better ranked than before, albeit not as well as aspired.
Children are less patient and need more frequently to be tested to have the impression that they advance. My daughters are doing aikido since 4 years (with 1 year of interruption) and still are 5th kyu (now in another dojo). They don't really mind, but this is an exception, I think. Most children would leave for another sport if they seemingly don't advance.
I don't think children react so differently from adults. If a child fails a rank test, it is devastated. If an adult fails, he is, too. If the child or adult isn't invited to test for years, that's devastating, too. Rank doesn't matter as such, but the feeling not to advance and to remain incompetent, does.
I wish a merry Christmas to all who celebrate it, and a happy New Year to everyone!