The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories.” ~ Og Mandino

It’s graduation time yet again. From the tiny tots finishing kindergarten to those who’ve completed college, it’s a season of new beginnings and heartfelt goodbyes. The event might seem a small deal for many parents attending Montessori or junior school graduations. It’s easy to think, “It’s just a small step.” But for the children, it’s a giant leap.

Imagine being a child, standing at the brink of the unknown. They are leaving behind familiar faces, favourite teachers, and cherished routines. The prospect of a new school, friends, and experiences can be exciting and frightening. As adults, we often forget the intensity of these feelings. We might dismiss these graduations as insignificant, but for the kids, they are everything.

Children, whether 4, 9, 10, 12 or 18 years old, are learning to navigate their emotions. We, as parents, sometimes expect them to handle these transitions with perfect composure. We want them to sit quietly, smile politely, and follow the rules. But let’s remember—they are still kids. They might have meltdowns, bursts of energy, or moments of shyness. And that’s okay.

“Children are not things to be moulded, but are people to be unfolded.” — Jess Lair

So, let’s attend these graduations without expectation. Let’s leave behind our assumptions and let the children be. Each child is unique. Even identical twins are not the same. Let’s celebrate their individuality and be their safety net. They look up to us for comfort and assurance. Being there, fully present, is the best gift we can give them.

Dear parents and guardians, let’s show up for the love of our children. Be there to enjoy the moment, no matter what happens. Smiles show love and support because that’s what they need the most. In these gatherings, the collective energy can make children act in ways they usually wouldn’t. They might be more energetic, nervous, or eager to impress. They want to make us proud and show us their achievements.

These graduations might seem small compared to the milestones we’ve crossed, but it’s a significant accomplishment for them. They need to know that they are seen, heard, valued, and celebrated. They have worked hard, and they deserve our applause and recognition.

These events might seem like little pins or small marks in the book of their lives at this moment, but in time, they will become treasured memories. Time flies, and in the blink of an eye, they will graduate from college, move out, start travelling, and build their own lives. Every call and every visit will become as precious as these events. There will be very little time to spend with them once they build and live their own lives.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” — Dr. Seuss

    So, let’s light up their little faces with our presence. Take pictures of the crazy moments, go for ice cream afterwards, and let your inner child come out to play. Laugh, run, and enjoy the day. Our perception shapes our reality, and for these children, this moment is their reality. They are experiencing their world in full intensity, just as we did at their age.

    Every age has its own reality, its own significance. Remembering a child’s emotions might be hard, but today, let’s try. Let’s be there, fully present, and make these graduations as unique as they feel to the children. After all, these are the moments that build their confidence, their memories, and their sense of self.

    I was inspired to write this blog by a morning walk with my dog. I spoke with a couple of parents who mentioned they were attending their kids’ graduations. Our conversation truly made my day, especially when one of them said, “I think I feel much better now after talking with you.” What I said to them is what I’m sharing here.

    So here’s to the graduates of every age and the parents who support them. Let’s celebrate these milestones with joy, understanding, and lots of love. Make it memorable now, and let them dream big. Let them know that you will always be there for them.

    “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” — Angela Schwindt