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Why Are Rich NYC Parents Hiring People To Teach Their Kids How To Play With Other Kids?

Submitted by on July 22, 2013 – 10:08 am5 Comments

Do your kids know how to play well with others? Chances are…no. While some kids know how to play nicely with other children from a young age, most kids aren’t born with the ability to play well with others. It’s why young kids often argue, fight, and bicker over who gets to play with what during play time. It’s also why they have to spend their time in kindergarten learning how to do things like share and cooperate with others. But what about if you want to send your child to an elite school that expects children to know how to behave? Then what?

That’s the dilemma that some parents in New York City are facing right now. And they’re responding by—get this—hiring play date “experts” to teach their kids how to play with others. That’s right. There is now a business that thrives off the fact that most kids don’t know how to play nicely. That business costs parents about $400 per hour and includes an “expert” who will observe your child playing and then teach him or her how to play better with other kids.

“Some kids need a little bit more work,” Suzanne Rheault, the CEO for a company called Aristotle Circle that helps organize play dates, told the New York Post recently. “Sometimes [parents] hear from our experts that there are some areas to improve.”

Like what? Well, like sharing crayons, for instance, or following directions during a game, or even doing something as simple as holding a pencil. Some of the elite NYC schools expect kids to know how to do those things when they show up for kindergarten. So parents are paying top dollar in order to have Aristotle Circle and other companies teach their kids the basics.

Not for nothing, but isn’t that what kindergarten is supposed to be about? We’re all for educating kids and putting them in the best position to succeed. But it seems a little bit silly to pay $400 per hour to have someone teach a 4-year-old about why sharing is important. It seems like you’re trying to program your kid like a robot, instead of letting him or her go to school to learn things about “playing” on their own. Like we said, we’re all for setting them up to succeed. But hiring someone to teach them about play time sounds ridiculous.

Parents are doing it, though. And while it seems like most of the companies who offer these types of services are located in NYC right now, we wouldn’t be surprised to see similar companies pop up in other cities soon. Before you know it, play time will be ruined and will turn into a chore for your children. And kindergarten will never be the same again. Is that really what we want for the future of this country?

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