For an increasing number of parents, it's never too early to start thinking about your child's future. This thought will probably be consuming their Thanksgiving dinners this past weekend: postulating and speculating with relatives about little Jenny and all her wondrous gifts and potential.
With the rising number of children attending private school, competition has become fierce. To the point that many parents have begun hiring consultants to help advise them about where is best to send their child...for kindergarten!
Oftentimes paying exorbitant amounts of money for advice, these parents seeking information in an age where the traditional "ask your friends and neighbors" policy just doesn't work anymore. So parents are turning to admission consultants, used for years for high schools and colleges, to now tell them how best to start their children's private school kindergarten careers.
While it might sound crazy, many parents rave about having a consultant help in the search for the perfect kindergarten. What once seemed like a simple process has now turned into a complicated, stressful mess. Many schools now require student testing, observed play dates of toddlers, multiple
recommendations from nursery-school teachers and directors, and essays
by the parents about the unique qualities of the child and family and
ways in which they would complement that school community!
Of course, in our era of wanting to push, cajole, plead and bribe our children to be the best they can be in all areas, many parents have come to feel the earlier you start your child on the road to success, the better.
The trend of hiring kindergarten consultants was once attributed to only the most competitive, wealthiest, or obsessive parents, but now seems to be a increasingly common practice.
Apparently for many parents, hiring a consultant has been the key to finding the inside scoop on the best schools, to learning to whether to wait another year before entering your child with the August birthday into school.
I find it yet another example of how within our child-centric culture we can so easily shift from being fans of our children to fanatical. No doubt nursery school strategists are up next.
Image from: CSIS