As each and every child was handed a certificate, I began feeling a little underwhelmed.
As the school year winds down there are heaps of school assemblies, presentations, concerts and ceremonies to attend and I for one am relishing every single one. This is the first time in two years I’ve been able to attend them all. I had my camera phone charged and ready to go.
First occasion: the school awards ceremony.
As I sat in the parent chairs awaiting my little cherubs, I couldn’t help the tears that threatened to spill from my eyes. I’d found out that my boys, my beautiful little boys, would both be receiving certificates. They were amazing kids and obviously, I was an amazing mother.
The certificates were handed out to each year in turn and it was after the first group of students proudly assembled before us that I clued onto the fact that EVERY child would be receiving a certificate that day, and by every child I mean…
Every. Single. One.
I still clapped and smiled and took photos but I have to admit that as each certificate was handed out I began to feel a little underwhelmed.
Handing out certificates to every child might stop anyone feeling left out, but it also stops anyone from feeling special. Because they are all getting one.
God forbid we save certificates for students who have actually excelled at something.
I was a little bit relieved when we got home and read each certificate carefully. Each child had been given a certificate in a particular category and then a specific talent had been highlighted. My eldest son was acknowledge for public speaking and my youngest son was acknowledge for his maths skills.
So, not completely meaningless then.
But still, I find I have a huge problem with this deranged habit of inclusion we've all become obsessed with when it comes to raising children. Is it such a big deal if our kids miss out on stuff from time to time? Do they really have to take turns getting Player of the Week in soccer and netball? Do we think they are stupid?