If your child’s school has organized a graduation ceremony, be sure to attend. Middle schoolers can be funny about attending social functions, but a graduation ceremony can be uplifting, and your student deserves to be recognized.
If a ceremony isn’t in the plans at your child’s school, there’s plenty of other ways you can mark the achievement. Consider organizing a class picnic with other parents and staff members. You might be able to have the picnic during school hours if testing is completed for the year. If not, it’s fairly reasonable to rent a shelter at most city or county parks. Parents can chip in and contribute to the party, by bringing supplies, food, drinks or by organizing games.
If your child isn’t up to a big class party, consider something a little smaller and intimate, such as a family barbecue or a family get-together at a local restaurant. Or, allow your tween to invite 10 of her closest friends over for a sleepover to celebrate their graduation and chat about what high school is going to be like.
Another way to mark middle school graduation is to take a tour of your child’s new high school. If you can’t arrange a tour before the end of the school year, you may be able to take one when the school year is over. Call ahead and speak to the high school secretary for information on when it would be convenient for your child to tour his new school. On the tour, be sure he knows where all the important places are, such as the gym, cafeteria, freshman lockers and the school nurse. Find out what clubs and organizations are available to your child, and look into sports team or other activities your child might enjoy.
Some kids just aren’t that into celebrations and parties, others just want events to be as low-key as possible. If you have one of those kids, it might be tempting to let graduation go by without an acknowledgment. But try not to do that. Middle schoolers may be nervous about beginning high school, and they need to know that you’re proud of what they’ve accomplished and that they can handle what’s ahead. Even if you celebrate with just a special cake or a pat on the back, let your child know that you’re there and that you support him. And that you’re proud to be his parent.