End of the year, graduation and entitlement

Confession: my negative posts get the most hits. This makes me sad, because 1. I am a pessimist, but I call myself a realist ( which comes out negatively 90% of the time) and 2. I could make a living out of negative talk.

But I don't want that, as enticing at it is. I try to be more positive every. stupid. day. Heck, I'm even reading a book all about finding joy. It's actually pretty good, by the way. All negative nelly's should check it out. 

But I have to say my thoughts on something, negative or not. Graduation. What is it? It is graduating to a next level of learning or earning a degree. Standard public education in our state is 12 years of learning and the grades are separated to different schools along the way. Elementary, middle and high school. 

Now I'm allowed to say this because I do not have any child participating, so it's easy to judge. But what is up with middle school graduation? It's not just get a flower and root beer floats anymore. It's new dresses, and new shoes, and corsages and flowers and parties. PARTIES. These are NOT accomplishments, people. It's middle school. These kids are still eating their own boogers. You are merely moving on to the next school level. What message are we sending? Not to mention that our county has the lowest high school graduation rate in the state, and almost lowest in the country. That's another post for another day that will never be written. 

We celebrated high school graduation, but not like it was the crowning achievement of your life. Of course you graduate from high school, it's standard public education. Now college graduation? Was a big deal.  There were some days that the only reason I went and took that final was I knew I'd be getting that graduation present from my parents. It is still dear to me and precious and I plan to continue the tradition with my daughters.  I don't want my children thinking they have really succeeded just by graduating from high school. What standard is that setting?  The message in the home was education is important, vital and necessary. We were put here to learn and grow as much as we personally can. Not all people's paths are for standard college but might be trade school or growing in their own chosen field. All equal accomplishments when accompanied by hard work and perseverance. I know a lot of idiotic, social misfits that graduated from college with no effort whatsoever.

One thing I agree with celebrating is good grades and other academic accomplishments from personal dedication and hard work. Now, those kids deserve some recognition and a rootbeer float. And maybe, there are kids that graduating from middle school was a hard achievement, but shouldn't we still be rooting them on to succeed even farther and not settling? These are all just my negative thoughts, and judge them as you please.

Of course, I am most positive  we will celebrate high school graduation and I'm sure Lucy will want a new dress for middle school graduation, and I'll be pulled in with all the peer pressure to have her fit in. But I just think the entitlement given to kids these days is atrocious. Today toddlers get parties for going potty and throwing away a binky. They get huge parties for turning ONE that cost thousands of dollars. Ugh, the entitlement is just oozing into every corner of a parents' life. What happens when your crowning achievement is middle school graduation? How do you top that? High school is fun and horrible and a rite of passage. But life afterwards is infinitely richer.   And I still stick with my favorite quote "if I ever refer to these as best 4 years of my life, remind me to kill myself". 

And if you know that quote than you can pat yourself on the back.
 And then we'll go out to lunch together.

*And this post was inspired mostly just because middle schoolers, thanks to social media, dress nicer and have more beautiful hair than I ever have had in my entire life.


Danna Banana said...

I feel pressure to compete for DJ's graduation. Having family here will be more than adequate. I think we will have to go out to eat. Middle School graduation is ridiculous and a waste of time. KINDERGARTEN graduation is silly. the self esteem monsoon has swept away common sense.

Kay Hardy Barlow said...

Amen! And guess what? I didn't even GO to my first three kids' ms "graduation" (Grandma took them cause they fell on our ward temple night.) None of my girls got a new dress or a flower, and the invitation from the school to attend Trent's this year said in small print at the bottom, "Note: participation in the advancement ceremony does not guarantee advancement to high school." WHAT?! And no, none of my kids got an 8th grade personal "ad" in the ms yearbook either. I refuse.

The Leavitts said...

Elementary school yearbooks are stupid, middle school graduation is stupid, and high school grads should get a card saying "congratulation on graduating the easiest 4 years of your life" with some stuff to help you move out, (laundry soap, dish soap, cleaners, ect.)
Dont even get me started on the big birthday parties, they drive me bananas!
There is my 2 cents!

Anonymous said...

What? I'm supposed to throw parties for all that stuff?! Guess I won't find my name on the mother of year list, oh good one less party to throw. ;-) I agree have to agree with the 8th grade graduation thing. I thought the same thing last year when my dad told me he had to take my sister shopping for a new dress for it.

Jennifer said...

First time commenting here although I really like your blog and read regularly. I don't have kids, so most of the time I keep my opinion to myself...but this really struck a chord with me. I see my friends' kids (and just kids in general) being treated like royalty for accomplishing....not much. Standard stuff. I work in a bookstore, and you should see how many PRESCHOOLERS get $200-$300tablets..."just because he wants it"...REALLY????!!? And all the various "graduations"...don't even get me started. People are crazy.

Jennifer said...

Also: yay you for being a sensible mom! And I love your blog :)

Molly said...

While I agree that in society today there seems to be a vast amount of praise/celebration for little to no achievement, I think there is something to be said for celebrating middle school.

The way I see it, it isn't a celebration of "look how much you've done" but rather, "look at where you're going to go"

Also, if high school is easy, then kids are simply not being challenged. I find it impossible to say that a full load of AP or honors courses could be considered "easy". For some kids, even a regular, grade level schedule could be challenging.

vintage girl at heart said...

amen sister!

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