One of the most ridiculous stories to come out during the summer was the one about four-year-old children taking part in “graduation ceremonies” on leaving kindergartens and nursery schools.
These involved the tiny tots receiving scrolls and wearing gowns and mortar boards, just as if they were leaving a university and complete with family photographs and a celebration tea.
There are no scrolls to be awarded to readers for guessing where this fad began, of course.
Where else but the United States, the original land of the pushy parent, where the search for pomp and ceremony is very much a part of everyday life.
But it would appear the idea of the nursery graduation is gathering momentum over here as well, with one clothing firm reporting the number of pre-school graduation outfits it had sold rising from a few hundred in 2008 to more than 10,000 today.
There will be those, no doubt, who will argue the ceremonies are not meant to be taken seriously and is nothing more than a bit of harmless fun.
But aren’t they really just an excuse for the pushy parents to show off and try to make out their child is better than the rest, while the poor mites are left quivering in the background, not having a clue what is going on?
And wouldn’t parents be better off allowing these young children to grow up first instead of using them as some kind of token to boost their own egos?