Student Life

Celebrating Accomplishment – How to Honor the College Grad without Ignoring the Rest of the Family

By Beconrad – UniversityParent Contributor
It is important for parents to celebrate the achievements of their children, and few accomplishments are as important as graduating from college. Becoming a college graduate is a real milestone and a turning point in the lives of young people. A college degree can be the start of a great life and the key to a successful career. It is no wonder the graduation party has become such an important event in the life of the American family.

But even though celebrating a college graduation is important, parents need to work hard to make sure other family members do not feel excluded. Sibling rivalry is a fact of life in any family, and it is only natural for other kids to feel a bit of jealousy when so much attention is being paid to a big brother or sister. Fortunately, there are some things parents can do to celebrate the new college graduate without excluding their other kids.

Include Lots of Family Photos on the Memory Board

The memory board is a standard part of most graduation parties. Whether it is a piece of posterboard adorned with pictures, a framed collage print or a video slideshow, sharing family photographs and providing guests with a timeline of the graduate’s life is a big part of the celebration.

Be sure to include lots of family photos in your timeline video or memory board, including plenty of pictures of the other kids. Include pictures of the younger kids and their accomplishments as well — from sports victories to scholastic competitions. Including pictures of the whole family will make for a more memorable presentation — and make the other kids feel more included.

Get Family Input on the Menu

The food is an important part of any party, and the graduation party is certainly no exception. Get the younger kids involved by giving them some input into the menu. Ask each child to suggest a dish, then help them create it for the party.

Consider creating a family recipe book that includes each of those special creations, then give that book out as a party favor. That custom cookbook is sure to be a great hit — and the kids will love seeing their names and their favorite recipes in print.

Provide Lots of Stuff for the Younger Kids to Do

Your new college graduate will no doubt spend lots of time at the party talking to his or her friends, and that can make the other kids feel left out and ignored. Parents can prevent these problems by giving the younger kids plenty of things to do at the party — from age-appropriate games and videos to special desserts.

If space allows, consider setting up a dessert bar or ice-cream sundae station for the kids. They will love creating their own desserts from the plethora of choices in front of them. If you prefer something a little less messy, why not set up a candy buffet and let everyone choose their favorites?

There are plenty of ways to make all your kids feel included and appreciated, even as you celebrate the achievement of your oldest. Graduating from college is a major milestone and celebrating it is important. With some careful planning, you can create a memorable party for your new grad — and your younger kids as well.

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