High school and college ceremonies are no longer the only time that kids get to graduate. Are the kindergarten, 5th and 8th grade graduations hurting kids? One parent thinks so.

iStock Photos

Other People's Problems May 20th, 2014

Mike & Kate-

My son is finishing up the 8th grade. He had a graduation ceremony in two weeks. This is his third graduation since he started school. Actually four if you count preschool. I went to a kindergarten graduation, a 5th grade graduation and now and 8th grade graduation. He hasn't even reached high school! He said something to me the other day though that got me thinking. He was half joking when he said, "I don't even need to go to high school. I can say I graduated and I'm not lying." He has a point. When someone asks him if he graduated he can say yes. Most people just assume that means at the least high school, hopefully college.

Don't get me wrong, I love my son. I am so proud of him and have no trouble attending things that he is a part of. I support him 100%. I do think these graduations are ridiculous. The ceremonies that reward them for something they should automatically have to do. The presents, the parties. My wife wants to throw a huge party for my son and I said absolutely not. He finished 8th grade. He shouldn't get a party just because he finished middle school. I think we are teaching these kids that they need to get a scooby snack just for doing something that is expected of them. Graduation is no longer something special. Wearing a cap and gown is no longer something exclusive to those that completed 12 years of school or 4 years of higher learning. It's just assumed you get to do all that every 3-4 years. I think this is a horrible lesson we are teaching our kids. I feel this is setting our children up for failure. They are going to expect a reward just for showing up at their job as an adult.

I am curious what percentage of kids don't go on in school because they "already graduated from the 8th grade." I was talking to my wife about starting a grass roots effort to get the school boards to stop all graduations unless it is for completing high school. She has begged me to wait on that until our kids are out of school. In the meantime though we are fighting about our son's "8th grade graduation party." I won't budge on this. I might not be able to change the schools position (yet) but I do get a say in my own house and I won't reward my son for what is a basic expectation based on the values we have in our home. My wife claims I am acting like a child and setting a bad example for our kids. It's not like I won't attend the ceremony at school. But I am not going to throw him a party. "Great, you passed the 8th grade. High five son. Now go outside and play." My wife is not happy with me and I am now getting the silent treatment. I am hoping you can get some input on this. Am I wrong to think all these so called graduations are going too far? Do other parents throw huge parties every time their kid passes a grade?

Dad in the doghouse