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All children should have either heard this from their parents or been bright enough to NOT have needed to hear it: Do NOT embarrass me, or our family in public.

But it is clear that the message is missed by a lot of high school and college graduates each year. I get that commencement represents freedom and in the minds of some young people a chance for them to express their joy without fear of punishment. You remember how it felt when you first turned 18 or returned to your parents house after a semester at college believing that being grown meant you know longer had to adhere to the rules?

Whether it’s spontaneous bliss, something that had been planned for years or temporary insanity, there’s something about the day that brings out the bizarre. It was one thing when friends and families took a snap shot that would end up in a shoe box or in a photo album on auntie’s coffee table but now your kids’ antics can get national or even world- wide attention…forever.

A photo of an African-American young woman breastfeeding her daughter at graduation has gone viral. She’s standing proudly with her gown open with her beautiful daughter contentedly latching on to her breast. It may have seemed like a good pose at the time, but I’m not sure if it’s something that should live on in perpetuity. In fact, she’s since deleted the photo from her Facebook page.

The 5 No-No’s of Graduation Ceremonies- Breastfeeding Optional  was originally published on

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