From OTBKB on the pressures that parents feel about raising kids in this competitive world:
Smartmom is mad as hell and she’s not going to take it anymore. You should not send your kid to school if he’s throwing up or has diarrhea!
Last week, another parent told Smartmom’s friend, Lawyer Mom, that it’s better to send her fourth-grader to school sick and then pick him or her up later than risk too many absences on the child’s elementary school record.
See, fourth grade is the year that matters for middle school admissions and middle school admissions people look at testscores, grades, absences and lateness.
Also on holding back kids so they're older than the others:
It’s no wonder parents are in a tizzy about these things. Tizzies-R-Us. Last week, the New York Times revealed that parents are holding their children back until they are 6-years-old for kindergarten in order to give them an edge over their classmates.
What about a 12-year old kindergartner? Now, they’d definitely have an edge over their classmates. Why not hold the kids until they’re 14 or 15, and let those teachers deal with adolescent angst. And no, kiddo, you can’t work on your MySpace page during Choice Time.
Interesting point. When I was a KG-er, it was all the thing for pushy parents to demand that their kids be "double-promoted" so that they could get a leg up on the competition. Considerations like maturity and ability to cope took a back seat. So we have opposing theories: hold-'em-back-to-get-an-edge or push-'em-forward-to-get-an edge. Assuming that the same was true in the US for my generation (after all, any red-blooded English-speaking Indian parent kept up with the Western Joneses,) wonder when it tipped over?
I myself graduated high-school at 16 due my parent's efforts. Scarred me for the rest of my life, according to those in the know.