Competitive kindergartens are exactly what the nomenclature implies. Catering to the financial and – much less popularly – intellectual elite, they boast a few spots that send shockwaves of stress and anxiety through parents hoping to give their children an academic edge. And, of course, the secondary benefit of allowing them bragging rights and the clearance to look down upon the plebian masses with much laughter and mirth. Documentarian Pamela French shot an extremely revealing series on the intense pressure involved in landing a spot at such an exclusive educational establishment. Titled Getting In…Kindergarten, it showcased the madcap dash that ensues when parents attempt to ensure the best possible early education for their children – which bears a startling resemblance to the college admissions process.
1. Parents genuinely think that a rejection letter means their child will fail.
Acceptance into competitive kindergartens occasionally gets so cutthroat, many parents end up in a quagmire of anxiety that entirely eclipses all rational thought. They seem to pine more for the bragging rights and social status such institutions afford rather than the genuine well-being of their children, as evidenced by their perceptions of what rejection letters really mean. Instead of seeing them as merely a setback, these moms and dads give into unadulterated crazy and start assuming that little Dakota and Muffy will end up as emaciated crackheads turning tricks in dark alleyways before their 12th birthdays. And all because St. Exclusive’s of the Platinum Meadows didn’t consider them the right fit for their kindergarten program. This is an exaggeration, of course. But then, so too is their lack of perspective on what elements genuinely facilitate later success in life.
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