kids coloringWell people, here it is -- proof that parents have officially gone off the deep end when it comes to over-involvement in their kids' lives. Parents are now hiring playdate consultants to teach their kids how to properly play with other kids.

I wish I was making this up, but it's true. According to the New York Post, moms and dads in New York are paying $400 an hour for an expert to come in and help their child be the best little socializer he or she can be.

Suzanne Rheault, CEO of Aristotle Circle, which provides such services, told the paper:

Some kids need a little bit more work at learning how to play. Sometimes [parents] hear from our experts that there are some areas to improve.

Forget about letting them figure things out on their own and growing from it, let's just get an expert to butt in and orchestrate the crayon sharing. The reason they hire them is perhaps even sadder -- because they're being prepped and molded to get into "the right" preschools with a schedule full of classes and activities, and they have no time to just be kids.

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So much pressure. So young. No wonder they don't know how to play. It's heartbreaking really.

Before we climb too far up on our outraged high horses though, we really do have to take a look at our own approach to parenting. While I could never afford $400 an hour for something as crazy as this, my husband and I do what we can to give our children a "leg up" or whatever you want to call it when we can. When my son was chosen for an all-star baseball team, we coughed up the cash for a personal coach to work with him a couple of times. We send our kids to a private school because we think it's better for them. We drive all over creation to various sports and activities and playdates because we want them to be well rounded. Who's to say what we'd do if we had all sorts of extra cash? It's easy to say "I'd never" when you know you can't, but when you can, things can change.

In general, parents do so much more to "help" our kids these day than to just send them out the front door and let them figure life out until the street lights come on than our parents ever did. So while $400 playdate tutors sound ridiculous, it's really relative and perhaps just on the extreme end of what most parents today do for (or to) kids today.

Would you ever hire a playdate tutor? What things do you do to give your kids a leg up?

 

Image via one tiny spark/Flickr