I'm not a huge fan of ordaining young children either. In terms of people not holding monastic vows wearing monastic robes, in exceptional cases like DKR I would not dare to voice an objection. However in most cases it can create confusion- and has been lightly criticized by both HH Dalai Lama and HH Karmapa during teachings I have attended.
The Rabjung or leaving home ceremony is used by many Buddhist traditions as a sort of pre-novice ceremony. Basically, the ordinand makes the promise to leave home and abandon the marks and signs of a layperson. It is sort of a halfway point between lay and monastic life. Later, novice or getsul vows will be taken. From ven. Thubten Chodron:http://www.thubtenchodron.org/Publicati ... ndix1.html
Rabjung (leaving the lay life of a householder)
This is a prerequisite for novice ordination. First one requests the ordination and a bhikshu (who has been ordained at least ten years) to be one's abbot. A bhikshu other than the abbot asks one to prostrate to all the sangha present and to remove the white clothing of a lay person. He requests the abbot on one's behalf to be one's abbot and to ordain one. From then on, one refers to that person as one's abbot. (One removes the white clothing of a lay person either by changing from white clothes into monastic robes, or symbolically by wearing and then removing a white kata.). One takes up the name, dress, signs, and way of thinking of an ordained one. One should now have a zen (upper robe; the chogu is not yet needed), shamtab (lower robe), dingwa (seating cloth), bowl (with a few seeds or other food in it so it is not empty), and water filter (The bowl and water filter may be borrowed. The robes must be one's own.). These are all determined by the abbot and oneself. Both hold their left hands below each article and right hands above it, and do a recitation to determine the article as being one's object of use. It is explained that the robes are to distinguish one from lay people and members of other sects and to protect one from insects and the elements. One should consider them as being only for these purposes (not for beautifying oneself). The purpose of the other articles is explained, i.e. the bowl for eating food, the dingwa to distinguish one as a Buddhist monastic and to protect the community's property when sitting, the water filter to prevent killing insects when using water. One is aware that now one is shaving the head and leaving the householder's life. One's hair is cut (prior to coming to the ceremony, one's head is shaved, leaving a small tuft at the crown, which is cut now), after which flowers or rice are thrown to rejoice at one's leaving the householder's life.
One prostrates to the Buddha and the abbot, and then kneels. The abbot advises: "It is excellent to be ordained. There is a great difference between lay and ordained people. All the Buddhas of the three times become enlightened only on the basis of ordination. There are none who do so from the basis of a lay person. One accumulates infinitely more positive potential (merit) by taking one step towards the monastery with the thought of ordaining than do the sentient beings of the three worlds by making offerings, even of their spouses and children, for eons. Due to the distractions of lay life, lay people are unable to accomplish very meaningful or helpful things for the future. From this, only future suffering can arise. Through abandoning these activities and having few possessions, ordained people can cultivate hearing, thinking and meditating. From this, both temporary happiness and ultimate nirvana can be reached. One is following in the footsteps of the Buddha himself." While listening to this advice, have a mind of faith and belief in the abbot, seeing him as a wise parent and oneself as the son or daughter.
Upon taking rabjung, one abandons the signs (dress, hair, etc.) and name of lay life. One takes the name given by the abbot.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin