We attended a graduation ceremony and little sister was not excited at all. I’m not certain if it was the large amounts of people or the loudness of the event itself but she kept fidgeting and yelling. Fortunately I was prepared. Here are a few things I came with to stifle the potential meltdown my child was excited to have in store for me.
- Activities- we packed a bookbag with coloring books, notepads, crayons, dolls and other items. If I had charged the iPad, we would have had that in there as well. Keeping a variety of objects that are somewhat quiet is a sure fire way to deflect an outburst.
- Snacks- some graduations will check your bag so be ready to throw away bottled water or drinks. If you’re creative enough you can hide a juice box under something. I also recommend treats in packaging like fruit snacks, granola bars, or goldfish. You can also pack cut fruit or carrots. (Don't forget the hand sanitizer)
- Sweaters/Sweatshirts- We’ve begun to see a move to indoor ceremonies to combat weather inconsistencies during the late spring/early summer season. So if indoors pack a sweater. An uncomfortable kid is a fussy kid. (If outdoors, pack a mobile fan.)
- Reminders- Tell your kid before they go why you all are going in the first place. I made a big deal out of getting dressed up and going to our graduation brunch to let little sister know that it was important for us to show our support and we didn’t want to embarrass our cousin with our behavior. If your toddler is old enough to understand reason, definitely remind them that you are there to support [insert family member name] and all their hard work. And that they support you too.
- Bribes- I’m not one to bribe my kids but I understand that since I don’t, it really works in situations like this. We went to the park and then for froyo immediately after the graduation because the behavior was decent.
So if you have other ideas, please share them in the comments! Would love to hear more ideas, anecdotes or stories! On a final note (just letting you know…): Graduations are long. When your kid bursts out in their “I don’t want to be here charade”; unless your kid destroys a bunch of stuff, no one will remember... we were all kids once so don't feel anything from those judging eyes... save yourself the potential embarrassment.