With the passing of another school year my social media feed has once again been cluttered with the most annoying, and, I argue, harmful, pictures of children.
What is so annoying about these pictures? They are filled with an abundance of caps and gowns.
Am I anti-education? Anti-celebration? No.
See, I don’t mind a cap and gown on someone graduating from high school or college. In fact, I applaud those images and the milestones they signify.
You know what isn’t a significant milestone? Passing kindergarten. I’m sorry, it’s just not. So why are we having so many kindergarten graduations? And why are there 5 year olds in caps and gowns strewn throughout my Facebook feed?
Having a graduation ceremony for kindergarteners is like handing out a completion medal at Mile 2 of a marathon. If the first two miles of a marathon primarily involved playing with Play-Doh and singing songs about sight words. Medals at Mile 2 of a marathon aren’t a thing, and kindergarten graduations shouldn’t be either.
I get it, your kid is cute, and he’s getting bigger by the second. So let’s not allow any moment to pass by without documenting its significance. I just don’t remember everything being so significant when I was a kid. These days it seems like there is a celebration held every time my kids fart.
My youngest received a certificate on a stage for completing his first year of preschool. A friend’s kid is having a pre-K graduation ceremony. Pre-K! It’s not even a real K!
Not only are these caps and gowns annoying, I don’t think we are doing our kids any favors by celebrating them so damn much. How disappointed are they going to be when they grow up and discover that no one in the real world cares about their farts? “Guys, I just drafted a really solid email! Where is my cake?”
And if you “graduate” from every damn grade does it really feel all that special to receive yet another diploma after the senior year? I can’t wait to see these kids’ resumes in twenty years, “I’m pretty sure I hold 15 degrees, because I graduated that many times. Here is the link to my mother’s Facebook feed if you need confirmation.”
If I had my way the only cap and gown I would see on a child is if we were dealing with a Doogie Howser type situation. And no, you thinking your child is gifted does not qualify you for a Doogie Pass. We have to rein this in.
For the children.