Validation is one thing, pandering is another.
Did you know they have Kindergarten graduation now? Preschool graduation? Participation trophies and ribbons and certificates that celebrate you losing your first tooth and a different certificate that says you successfully grew an adult tooth? Great, now we’re congratulating kids on a bodily function over which they have absolutely no control.
I was good with high school graduation, that’s such a milestone in people’s lives, the culmination of some people’s education. And then there’s college graduation and then grad school graduation, but most people seem to ignore that one because they just can’t be bothered to spend three hours in uncomfortable seats to be reminded of just how much money they now owe the US government. And, okay, maybe the kids graduating from brat-school are kind of cute, but things are just getting out of control.
Today my kid came home from scouts and proudly handed my a yellow ribbon which proclaimed “I’m Special!” but with no indication what for. “Congrats, honey, I guess, what’s it for?”
“I was the only kid to not cut myself learning how to use the knife today!”
“That’s great, but at 14, shouldn’t everybody be able to avoid cutting themselves?” Have I mentioned just how sheltered these over-validated childlings are getting as well?
“Maybe. But the Court of Honor is next week! Are you coming?”
“Didn’t we just have one a month ago?”
“Yes, but they’re making them monthly now instead of quarterly so we can get our badges and patches sooner.”
I remembered having to wait until the twice yearly ceremony to see my badges, the three or four that I had managed to earn through blood, sweat and tears. Lots of tears sometimes. Especially that wilderness survival one, I didn’t appreciate being left in the middle of the woods alone at night. Very funny, guys. “I guess I can be there, what are you getting?”
“Homework Completion badge, finally, and I get my patch for not falling down a mountain this time!”
I patted them on the head and said, “I couldn’t be proud. Absolutely could not.”