Have you, as a family, developed and used Rites of Passage with your children?

Today our little boy turns 10. On the weekend I will be privileged to guide him through his first family rite of passage – his own ‘Karoo to Coast MTB Challenge’.

As an integral coach, I have considered or used rites of passage or ceremonies with many of my clients. Although some rites may appear simple, their impact is inevitably profound. When I coach school children and families, I apply small ceremonies as practices or experiences, as I would when I coach an adult. What has struck me, is that the effect appears profound for children.

In planning the day, I used all of my knowledge and wisdom as an integral coach, as a father, and as a human being. I spoke to other dads (could have been moms). I Googled and read. I wonder how much rites of passage are use in families today – there seems relatively little documented experience of rites of passage in families out there? There are rites for children, performed through religious or cultural contexts, and it was interesting to pick up on a trend of, whilst many of these originate back many generations, even centuries, there seems a common thread of ‘making rites more contemporary, more modern’.

My understanding of Rites of Passage in families or children is that these are clearly identifiable, celebrations of reaching or passing significant milestones of development for a child, and in most cases an opportunity to pass on wisdom. I further understand that children are different and mature differently from one another. What is your understanding? Are Rites of Passage still relevant in our modern, electronic age? Are they perhaps ever more important as opportunities to focus on human integrity and wisdom?

So my invitation and intent is simply this: as a parent or guardian, have you thought of or applied rites of passage with your children, what was your experience? Please feel free to share.

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