My son is finishing his last year at his elementary school in June. It’s an emotional, fun, scary, exciting, and special time for us. We have some great volunteers who have been working very hard to make it a wonderful celebration for a class of students who are leaving the elementary school at the end of the year and heading off to middle school. Traditionally, the party has included breakfast for the students, a “graduation” ceremony, followed by games and fun in the school yard. Lunch is also served, usually pizza, because I’m told that kids like pizza. I know my kid likes pizza. A lot.
This year, the committee decided to try something new. The breakfast will still be provided, along with the ceremony, but instead of games at the school, there will be chartered buses taking the students off-site so they can have a fun afternoon of eating (pizza and soft drinks), playing video/arcade games, crafting, bowling, bounce houses, and other fun activities. We don’t have to worry about rain or bad weather, and we’ll have so many activities planned, I don’t see how any child could possibly be bored.
You would have thought we decided to have the party at a crack house.
This year, more than any in the past, I have heard rumblings of constant complaining from students and parents alike, because they don’t think “the party is going to be fun.” First of all, most of these people have no idea how many fun activities are planned because we are keeping some things a secret. We have been working for months raising money, calling for donations, visiting local businesses for prizes, money, and items so that we can make this a celebration these children will never forget. All of our own children are in the class, so our committee members aren’t really trying to make it a miserable time. Really, we aren’t.
Here is what I can’t stand- the complaining. I honestly can’t believe I’m hearing about it; that children and some parents are actually complaining about the event before it has even happened. I actually have been told that some parents are considering taking their kids home after the ceremony and not having them attend the party. Well, yeah, that makes sense. I mean, kids hate pizza, soda, bowling, bounce houses and arcade games. I’m sure the kids will hate the gift bags and treats they are going to get, too. It really does sound awful, doesn’t it?
What’s the problem? Is a bowling alley not fancy enough for a large group of ten and eleven year olds? Should we have hosted the party at the local country club? Should we have reconsidered having the party in an enclosed building with locked doors, several volunteer parents, lots of food and snacks, and had the party instead in the schoolyard where it has been done for many, many years? Never mind the venue has been given to us nearly for FREE by a very gracious and kind couple who have a son in this same class.
Maybe people don’t like change. Maybe some like the idea of tradition. To those people, I apologize. I do understand that tradition is nice, I really do, but I also think it’s good to embrace change, and maybe even try to give something new a chance. It would also be nice to give some credit to the VOLUNTEERS who have actually worked (with a pretty small budget, I might add), many hours trying to please everyone and organize a nice event for EVERYONE’S children.
It’s especially nice for all of the volunteer committee member’s kids to attend school each day having to listen to their classmates tear down the event and talk about how stupid it’s going to be, once again, BEFORE the event has even happened. I do not know how on earth they can foresee the future and know for sure that the celebration is going to be awful. One committee member’s child was so upset, that child had to leave school because of the teasing and complaining about this stupid party.
It’s a PARTY, people, a PARTY. The kids will be given treats, lunch, gifts, get to make several different crafts, go bowling, bounce in the bounce houses (a HUGE hit with all these kids at all the other school functions, but apparently NOT at this one), surprises, and more. Chartered buses have been reserved for transportation, so they will be safe and comfortable for the FIVE MINUTE ride to the destination. I am profoundly sorry this isn’t good enough for those of you who are complaining about this horrible event. Maybe you should have planned it yourselves. But instead, while my son was suffering from severe migraine headaches for seven months, I have been guilty of helping to plan this horrendous event your children are going to have to suffer through.
I hope those kids of yours will be able to make it through the day and into the sixth grade without irreparable harm and mental anguish.
What’s truly sad is so many of the children complaining are hearing it from their parents complaining. What’s funny is that many of these complaining parents are the ones who haven’t lifted a finger to help gather donations, get prizes, call for quotes on t-shirts, donate decorations, help with the breakfast, or offer any assistance whatsoever.
And while I’m on a roll here… our kids are “graduating” from the fifth grade. FIFTH GRADE. This isn’t a high school graduation. They have not won the Nobel Peace Prize. They are not graduating from college. It’s elementary school. To even be having a party for passing the fifth grade is pretty extravagant, in my opinion. I don’t remember anybody having a party for me when I finished elementary school.
So take a breath, people. Think about what you say before you say it in front of your children. It’s possible that some of the kids complaining now might actually have a great time at the party. Think about the people who have worked on this for not only their children but for YOUR children, too. Give them some credit for at least caring enough to try to make this a nice day for YOUR kids.
Stop calling, texting, and talking about this party. Stop whining and moaning about it at the bus stop. Stop comparing this party to another school party that you might think is “better” or more extravagant. This event is simply a nice gesture the children leaving elementary school are PRIVILEGED to be given. We should all feel lucky and grateful that our children attend a school that is willing and supportive enough to let us have a party for them at all. I bet there are hundreds, no probably thousands of children in our country who get absolutely nothing when they complete elementary school, and they move on, thrive, succeed, and probably don’t complain one little bit.
Remember how lucky your children are and instead of teaching them how to complain, whine, and feel entitled, teach them to show respect, be gracious, and give thanks.
I’m out, BIOTCHES.