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Dads, Daughters and Diplomas

It’s graduation season!

This week, I’ve been to graduations for my nephew, who’s headed to middle school and my niece who is headed to high school. Balloons, flowers, and cash abound these are important milestones in your daughter’s life.

At my nieces school, there is not the typical graduation with the turning of the tassel, the cap and gown, and the screams as your principal calls your name. They actually take a walk around the school, a bit of nostalgia. They go through every hallway as every student, who will be returning next year, claps for the 8th graders who are moving on. Their parents, guardians, teachers are standing in the hallways, alongside of those students, upstairs, downstairs, every crevice filled with excitement. They are holding balloons, poster boards of congratulations, flowers, gifts - it is a monumental occasion.

I remember 8th grade graduation, taking endless pictures on the stairs of our home. There were stuffed animals, tons of kisses, cards and cash, but what I remember more than anything was the proud look on my dad’s face. I was growing up. I was headed to high school. I was no longer “Princess Broken Wing” - it’s a story I’ll have to share at another time. He had the look that he knew he would have to fight the boys in high school, but that he was proud I made it through the challenges and changes of two different schools in three years. He was proud and there was no hiding it.

A dad’s presence at these moments tells your daughter that she is important, that she matters, that her accomplishments are worth celebrating. They also tell her that she is loved.

During graduation season, mom may have the camera out, she may coordinate the after-graduation celebration, but take a moment, even if it’s through a warm smile and embrace, and let your daughter know how proud of her you are. I know what you’re thinking…she’s a teenager, she won’t want me close.

You’re wrong.

She’s a teenager, who now more than ever needs your validation, support, wisdom, and even discipline, to get her through high school and beyond.

Relish in these moments, participate in these moments, because through her life, she will relive these moments with her own children, nieces and nephews.

Her growing up is not the ending, it is just the beginning to the important role you will play in her life. How are you embracing graduation season?

Share your stories below.


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Thanks for sharing your thoughts! The recommendation of a joint party is a great idea. She gets to celebrate her accomplishments and not have to compete with friends. 💪


Joseph S
Joseph S
May 26

Looking forward to the next two years as my daughter's reach their high school graduation milestones.

My daughter actually asked me the other day if everyone has to have a graduation party... I was curious about the reason behind the question... My daughter is kinda shy and has a small friend group. I think the question was her concern of whether or not she would have lots of guests or if she'd be competing with her classmates.

I told her that not everyone has a party otherwise no one would be in attendance. I suggested she think about a joint party with her friends... That would ensure they don't compete for guests.

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