Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I'll just warn you from the beginning: I'm probably going to tick a few people off with this post.

I recently saw a news story where a mother had gone back to school and earned her Bachelor's degree. She was obviously excited about that achievement in her life, and rightly so. However, her celebration was short lived when she learned her graduation ceremony fell on the same day as her son's. She was now faced with a decision: attend her own graduation and miss her son's or miss her own graduation and be there to see her only son cross the stage to receive his diploma. She made the decision to attend her son's graduation...his KINDERGARTEN GRADUATION where they both were their cap and gowns!!!

I have two sons, one in college--the other headed there this Fall. I am very proud of them. They are both very intelligent; both scored low 30s on their High School ACTs and both had 3.5+ GPAs. The youngest will be attending college on a full-ride, academic scholarship. But, one thing they never did was "graduate" from kindergarten.

I'm sorry, but I think Kindergarten Graduation is just silly. And it doesn't stop there--there's Sixth Grade Graduation, the Sixth Grade Spring Dance (Prom), the Eighth Grade Spring Dance (Prom), the Junior/Senior Prom, and finally High School Graduation. Seriously, by the time a kid actually graduates from High School, it's become old hat. None of the things we used to look forward to as kids (I'm talking back in the 70s) are any big deal today. Nothing special.

What is it with us as a society? Why can't we wait to experience certain special events? "It's cute! They look like the big kids," some will say. Buffalo bagels, I say! Most of them won't even remember it.

Kids grow up fast enough as it is. And, frankly, they don't need to "graduate" from every stinkin' grade they pass. What's wrong with having just one or two special formal/type events IN YOUR ENTIRE schooling, i.e grades K-12? What in the world is there to look forward to if it's a yearly event?

I was talking with an individual the other who volunteered at a clinic some time ago. She said they actually had an ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD come in for a pregnancy test...and she was!!!
(It wasn't a case of rape or incest, either) Let that harsh reality sink in for a moment.

We push our children to grow up too fast. Consequently, they sometimes do "grown-up things" (like get pregnant at 11) and then we're all upset, wringing our hands, hollering "how did this happen?!" I'm not saying that every kid that goes through Kindergarten Graduation is going to get pregnant, but you know what, maybe if we just let kids be kids and quit dressing our grade-school daughters like two-dollar hookers, maybe...just maybe, we'd be dealing with fewer situations like the 11-year-old Mommies.

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