Thursday, October 19, 2006

20 Year Old Preschoolers

Parents are starting kids late in school after 20 years of intensive pre-school to give the kids "an edge". Sigh. Okay, I exaggerate. But not much:

Children who turn 5 even in June or earlier are sometimes considered not ready for kindergarten these days, as parents harbor an almost Darwinian desire to ensure that their own child is not the runt of the class. Although a spate of literature in the last few years about boys’ academic difficulties helped prompt some parents to hold their sons back a year, girls, too, are being held back. Yet research on whether the extra year helps is inconclusive.

Fueled by the increasingly rigorous nature of kindergarten and a generation of parents intent on giving their children every edge, the practice is flourishing in New York City private schools and suburban public schools. A crop of 5-year-olds in nursery school and kindergartners pushing 7 are among the most striking results.

Here's the thing, I do see the value in starting a kid later if they're immature--especially boys. But come on! Parents are competing for their kids...for what? I know parents who have their above average children enrolled in a lackluster school district so that their kid can graduate at the top of the class. So, it has come to this: strategizing when the child is three for the child's future.

Is it just me, or has this gone too far?


Anonymous said...

Parents are competing for their kids...for what?

Because He Who Dies With The Most Overachieved Child Wins.

And when you have only one Mini-Me, the whole family future (and the parents' egos) are concentrated into that single point.

They want a Wesley Crusher, Super Genius, top of every class, winner in everything, perfect scores. That's the fantasy.

They will get the reality: a Dallas Egbert III.

Dr. Melissa said...

What they get is a neurotic mess. 'Course you can end up with that and set the expectation bar to "who cares". There seems to be as many ways to screw up kids as there are parents.

Anonymous said...

what a scary thought. is there anything that one can do right to raise children these days or is it inevitable they will be a screw up?