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[Susan notes: I posted my strong reaction to this article and am glad this two sent theirs to the Times. I'm glad the one writer mentioned play as the way to prep a child for life but wished she wasn't willing to turn teenagers over to test-prep frenzy.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published

To the editor

Re Connecting Anxious Parents and Educators, at $450 an Hour by Susan Dominus (Big City column, Aug. 18):

Please stop this already! Here's what you could do to "prep" your child for admission to the world (and private school, too).

Play with your child as often as you can. Read to your child. Support your childâs interests. Recognize your child's age-appropriate trepidations. Appreciate the value of down time over résumé-building for a small person.

Try to muster the strength to resist buying into the New York City testing-frenzy mentality even though this will be very hard to do. Down the line, these services may well be helpful for your teenager, but for your 4-year-old, come on!

Ronnie Igel

The writer is a nursery school teacher.


To the Editor:

As a mother of three who lives in a small New England college town, I am writing to express my appreciation for the column.

I sometimes regret that my children miss out on the excitement of New York City living â museums, theater, music, restaurants. But learning about what will undoubtedly be a very successful business (charging parents $450 an hour for advice on getting their child into kindergarten) gives me a new appreciation for the joys of small-town living â like enrolling my children in our local public schools without having to take a standardized test or interview with the principal.

Catherine Sanderson

The writer is a professor of psychology at Amherst College and a member of the school board in Amherst.

Ronnie Igel and Catherine Sanderson

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