Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ugh! Help me out here....

Tomorrow is the last day of school. Our daughter is in the 6th grade and there is an, in my opinion, over the top crazy pants "Graduation Extravaganza" in the morning. The ceremony is expected to be 2 hours + long. I've been to shorter high school graduations. After the graduation there is a dance party that lasts all afternoon with a live dj,  a candy bar (which is not a hunk of chocolate in this case, rather a table filled with jars of candy...all you can eat) and a wall of video game systems.

Last year when our son "graduated" from 6th grade there were tons of parents dressed up fancy themselves and they brought bouquets of flowers and balloons. It was silly. We changed elementary schools this year and I was hoping that common sense would prevail this time around. No such luck.

Look, I get that it's a bigish deal to be done with elementary school, and I think an awards ceremony and end of year party are a fine idea. I like to build self esteem and have fun as much as the next guy, but, again, in my opinion, this thing has gotten completely out of control. It's the 6th grade, EVERYONE "graduates". Right?

The teachers sent home an invitation that said boys should wear ties and girls should wear dresses. They've been talking it up to the kids that it's a big fancy hooha.  My daughter wanted to buy a new dress and I said no. I told her she has lots of nice dresses and skirts and she could wear one of those. She wasn't thrilled but she finally let it go. This morning the mother of one of her friends called me and told me that she was taking her daughter dress shopping tonight, that her daughter is hoping she can find something like a prom dress. A little snort may slipped out (because I'm so good at hiding my true feelings) and I asked her if she was really going to get something like that, her reply was that it's a formal occasion.

YOU GUYS!!!!! Really?

Am I a big jerk because I am not buying my daughter a prom dress (or any dress for that matter) for her 6th grade graduation? Is it just me or does it seem like we're setting ourselves up for greater and greater expectations? If 6th grade graduation warrants a prom dress what are we gonna wear to prom? PLUS, prom dresses that fit 12 year olds? That's a whole other post.

I don't want to be the only parent that shows up empty handed tomorrow, and I don't want my daughter to feel bad because I didn't buy her a tiara, but I also cannot stand feeling like I'm being pressured by the masses to give prizes for doing something that's expected.

PS~I feel like it may seem like I'm a huge jerk. I am a huge jerk, but I love my daughter and I am proud of her, she's worked hard this year, I would just like to be able to recognize that in my own way and not be pressured into buying mini prom dresses and landfill filling mylar balloons.


NatureGirl said...

You are not a jerk. That is craziness to go to that extreme for almost any graduation! I was reluctant to buy my oldest girl prom dresses for the actual PROM. Luckily she felt the same and we got her through hs without a closet full of useless dresses. It is getting out of control!

What the freak is wrong with a simple awards ceremony and the kids dressed in Sunday best or business casual!? Tell her your reasons, and then do something special as a family! Solidarity sister! WE are with you...

Karen said...

I guess I read this a day late ... I hope you stayed home and ate Kit Kat bars. I never go to these things and you know I don't encourage dressing up of any kind.

Melissa said...

I totally agree with you on all aspects of this post, inflated expectations, an over inflated sense of self. Really, aren't we just setting our children of for failure and disappointment? I see it in sports, school activities, social events, and even friendships. I agree it's even harder to not become a part of the thing you most detest. I wish more parents would stand up to things like this, to the handful that are driving ridiculous, over the top celebrations.