Last night I caught part of Getting in … Kindergarten on TLC, which followed several families as they went through the process of getting their children into New York’s most competitive schools. I appreciate that the parents want desperately to provide the best education possible for their children, and I wanted to hug one of the parents and tell her that the world was not going to end when she was devastated to learn that they had been wait-listed at their top choice school.
But I was also angered by the pressure being put on 4-year-olds, as if their success in life hinges solely on their ability to get into a prestigious kindergarten with tuitions that rival those of many colleges. Just watching the admissions process on TV made me feel anxious. One of the Moms acknowledged that the playdates, which are designed to help school administrators weed out students, were obviously stressful for her son and that he couldn’t relax and be himself while there were grown-ups walking around with clipboards and evaluating the kids as they played.