Op-Ed: Why graduations have become meaningless….

I guess there’s a lot I still don’t understand about the world.

Take graduation celebrations, for example. I think they’ve become undervalued through overuse, especially since parents start celebrating their child’s “accomplishments” practically from the moment of their birth. I mean, you’re celebrating their graduation from preschool? Really? What’s the big accomplishment here? That your kid now wears rubber panties instead of diapers and knows their basic colors?

Then there are the graduations from grade school through junior high. What’s so special about knowing sixth-grade math, English and history? This is the most basic of information and doesn’t really require a huge celebration when attendance is required in the first place. Then, parents want to make a big deal over graduation from junior high. Are we celebrating the fact that the kid has attended eight years of state mandated education?

And, this is not to mention the Mexican tradition of celebrating a girl’s 15th birthday, called a quinceañera, which can typically cost from $5,000 -$20,000 total! If this is what the kid gets just for reaching the ripe old age of 15, you can just imagine that their expectations for high school graduation will be sky high.

No wonder parents are going broke when their kids graduate from high school. How can you possibly top 11 previous years of gifts and celebrations? Between having to order up a limo to cart the kids from graduation to prom, prom dresses or tuxedos, graduation pictures, the graduation ceremony and prom, a parent may have to fork out anywhere from $3,000-$5,000 dollars. I ask you, where does it end?

If you plan to send the child on to college, prepare to go into deep debt. And I ask you, what an earth are you going to do for them when they finally graduate from college? Buy them a house?

I think that it’s harder and harder for a child to feel a real sense of fulfillment, when you reward them for common, everyday accomplishments. But then again, if you really need to buy your child’s affection, no price tag is too high.


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