Rites of Passage

When I think about being a mom I often times think of what types of rites of passage I would love to incorporate into our family. You might say it is a hobby – Stephen and I dream up ideas about it, I read books, I research it online, and am currently listening to an audio book on the subject while I drive to and from work.

Maybe you’re not even sure what I’m talking about when I use the phrase rite of passage. Think about stories you’ve read about native tribes in Africa. The boys in their culture have to slay a lion or spend time alone in the forest and survive for a certain amount of time. Once they’ve completed the task assigned to them there is often a festival or feast of some sort to celebrate the boys feat and from that point forward he is regarded as a man. Ok, my dream isn’t to send our son out to slay a lion. But it is to have a special event that will mark his transition into manhood. I’m not sure at what age this will take place (somewhere between 15-17), but when it does our relationship with him will change and he will be regarded as a man in our home and minds. We want to do this for our daughters as well. I think it can be a powerful event that will take much preparation, thought, time, and respected mentors in their lives to make it happen. But, in our world today teenagers don’t know when they become men and women. Is it when they rebel against their parents? Move out on their own? Get married? Drink? Have sex? No one really knows. We want this to be different for our children. We want them to know and remember when they were involved in a rite of passage that moved them from a teen to adulthood and to see the different role they will play in our family from that point on and the different type of respect they will receive from us as parents.

In my mind this is the most important rite of passage. However, I recognize that there are a few other key transition points in the lives of kids. So, I hope to also take our children through these at the appropriate time.

What are your thoughts? Have you been a part of any rites of passage? Have any insight? Cool ideas?


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