How To Make Your Child’s Graduation A Special One

I will admit, I have never had a graduation celebration. In fact, I never even went to my graduation. I received my high school diploma from a brick and mortar school that accredits homeschoolers, and the graduation ceremony was in Maine, and right as my family was making an international move. So no, I didn't attend. And to be honest, I don't feel like it was such a loss. However, I know for many, a graduation ceremony is the biggest thing, and very meaningful. Here's how you can make your child's graduation special.

Perhaps one of the proudest moments in anyone’s young life is their graduation. It would be the end of a rigorous journey called education, and they would finally get that elusive diploma or those extra letters at the end of their names.

But no one would be more proud of these achievements than the parents who have supported their children through thick and thin. And to mark the end of all the hardships in the academe, some parents tend to give their children one big surprise – by giving them the celebration they can never forget.

How do you do it? Does it have to be grand? What can you do on a limited budget? Read on to find out.

Write a Graduation Letter

Start of a celebration via a tear-jerker – the good old letter or greeting card. You can pour your feelings out right there and confess you being a proud parent. You can also keep it short and simple (K.I.S.S.), and you can recount the things that your child and your family had to go through together to make their dreams come true.

Some of the themes of the letter you can write are the following:

  • If you have a very religious family, you can write a letter that revolves around thanking and appreciating God for all the blessings and carrying your child through all the ordeals of school life. Also, thank your child for not losing their faith that they can eventually get through it all.
  • Listing down your child’s traits that you think got them through all the trials and hardships at school and appreciate each of them. Don’t forget to mention how proud you are as a parent that despite the fact that a lot of people were doubtful of them successfully finishing school, they were able to prove their critics wrong.
  • Recount the fondest memories of your child’s life that lead up to their graduation and elaborate on why they are your favorites. You can pick in random, or you can take them by the year. You can mention the funniest and even the most embarrassing ones just for laughs.
  • List down your wishes for your child to achieve after graduation and why it is important for you that your child achieves them. This gives them the idea of what makes you happy and proud as a parent, which can motivate them even more.

Show Up at the Ceremony

It feels like it wasn’t long ago when you used to drop off your child at school. Now, after several years, you are obliged to step on the same campus where it all started. It wasn’t only nostalgic for you, but your child as well.

There is nothing more precious to a graduating son or daughter than the presence of their parents as they receive their diploma. It surely feels like winning an MVP trophy in basketball or a gold medal in the Olympics. It’s such a defining moment – being able to celebrate this milestone in the presence of the most important persons in their lives.

Dress Your Best When Attending

The proudest moment as a parent deserves the best wardrobe. It’s not because you want to show off but because you want your child to feel special. You don’t really need to buy a new dress or suit. Just wear your best dress or suit.

The rule of thumb is to look as formal as the graduation rites. You can never go wrong with this. But anything less is acceptable as long as you don’t wear jeans, anything revealing, or anything that may be the center of attraction. Remember, you are not the star of the night.

Invite Relatives and Friends

Another excellent way to show your child that their graduation is one big deal is to invite extended family members and even close friends. This is to let your child know that it is not only their parents who are proud of them but the rest of the gang.

Since tickets to the venue are quite costly, having saved up for them and covering even those of the visitors are quite a manifestation that you are really looking forward to this day.

Secure the Memento

With the cellphone cameras being readily available to capture every important event in your life, there isn’t much to worry about having a souvenir from the graduation ceremonies. But to fully enjoy the moment and make sure the celebrant and the family have quality photographs, hiring a pro can come in handy.

Capture the moment when they are on stage receiving their diploma, shifting the tassel from the right side to the left, tossing their graduation hat, or giving a graduation speech. These are some
of the best moments that you don’t want to miss.

Hold A Celebratory Party

Most schools hold a post-graduation party for their students. Parents are typically allowed so you can grab this opportunity to accompany your child. However, if none is available, you can create a party of your own if you have the budget for it. If this is the case, prepare to send out invitations with specialized graduation invitation wording. Otherwise, a trip to a fancy restaurant with the family can do.

Nevertheless, throwing a small party at home would be a very economical way of celebrating without diminishing the fun. You can make use of any available resources at home like the sound system and karaoke, asking some family members and relatives to help cook special dishes, and decorate the house with inexpensive stuff from a nearby party supplies shop. In the end, it’s not the place and the food but the people who are present that matters.

Prepare a Gift

Remember that this is optional, but someone might be expecting it. Unless your child wants something elaborate and expensive (if you can afford it), the price doesn’t really matter. As long as it is well-thought-of, you’ve spent time and exerted more effort than just simply buying, it will be much more appreciated.

You can create a scrapbook of their childhood memories, for one, is a good example of a gift that’s inexpensive but very creative. However, if you don’t mind spoiling them after a long while, a round trip ticket to visit their friends or to a location they’ve long been wanting to go would be perfect.

How to Plan for a Graduation Party

Whether your child is graduating from high school, college, or postgraduate school, it means they are moving on to another chapter of their life. Although there’s always another hurdle to face, you don’t want to worry beyond what’s at hand. And this kind of milestone would always call for a mandatory celebration.

But where and how do you start planning? Below are some of the tips that you can consider.

1. When choosing the date and time, several factors can determine whether your guests will be able to come or not. Friends and classmates are most likely to go on vacation right after graduation, or they would most likely have a celebration of their own. Make sure your parties won’t be held on the same date.

Also, don’t schedule the party when most of your friends are moving out and heading into their new campuses. The ideal date would be somewhere between one and two weeks after graduation and around lunch to dinner time. However, weekends would be the best days.

2. Choosing the party venue will depend on the number of guests you want to invite. You want to pick the one that’s not too small so that they would be comfortable, but not too big for them to meet eye to eye. After all, parties are for socialization.

For practicality’s sake, if you have ample space at home that can accommodate the number of guests you have in mind, don’t hesitate to use that. You can save a lot of costs, and you are not time-constrained so you can party all night long.

3. As mentioned earlier, it’s very likely that your friends and classmates will be holding their own parties. So why not ask them if you could just plan a combined party instead.

This is ideal if you want to save some costs in terms of the venue and other overheads. The only setback to this is that you will not be able to invite more relatives as it will be limited to common friends and immediate family members.

Parting Words

There are so many things in life that you should be thankful for, and the graduation of a child is one major milestone not just for them but to you as a parent as well. So, it is just important to allot a day to be present in one of the most significant days of their lives, especially if they’ve gone through a lot of hardships to earn it.

But you don’t have to go all out with the celebration. Just letting them know that you are proud of their achievements and you are still there to lend support whenever they need it will be enough. It will serve as a motivation for them as they face another chapter of their lives, and it’s the most important gift you could give them above all.

For those of you with kids who've graduated, what did you do to make the day special, on a budget?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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