Give a Vision for Adulthood
Recommended for ages 16+
WHAT IS A RITE OF PASSAGE?
A Rite of Passage is a special event signifying a transition from one stage to another. This is an ideal time to affirm and help your child anticipate and prepare to accept God’s plan for the future. Challenge your teen to leave behind the world of childhood and invite them into the ranks of emerging adulthood.
HOW TO DO A RITE OF PASSAGE
It is less important how you plan your child’s Rite of Passage than that you plan it. Some families host a simple dinner with family and close friends. Others do something more elaborate such asa road-trip adventure with various stops. Decide and plan what works best for your teen and your situation.
STEP ONE: CREATE A PLAN
Create a plan to make this a meaningful experience. A small investment of thought and effort will mean a great deal to your son or daughter.
STEP TWO: INVITE PEOPLE
Invite people who have had an impact in your teen’s life and/or whom they respect. Give each person a specific topic on which he or she will speak or write a letter. Some topics may include work, marriage, integrity, faith, purity, family, etc.
STEP THREE: MAKE IT EASY
Make it easy for others to participate by providing them with recommended wording for their talk or letter in order to help them avoid becoming nervous or attending ill-prepared.
RITE OF PASSAGE PLANNING GUIDE
Even the most simple rite of passage experience can have a powerful impact in your teen’s life.Ask yourself the following questions to plan the best approach for your son or daughter.
- Is our relationship strong enough for the experience to feel authentic vs. forced?
- Does my child have other adults in his/her life who have had enough influence to participate in such an experience?
- Does my teen show signshe/she is willing to move toward adult responsibilities andattitudes?
If you answer “no” to any of these questions, it might be better to plan a special dinner alone together to begin meaningful dialogue rather than attempt the full rite of passage experience.
- What day is best to make this event special? On a birthday? On a holiday? As a special day of its own?
- What date would work best for those who might need to travel to participate?
- What relatives should participate? (Grandparent? Respected aunt or uncle? Older brother or sister?)
- Is the child close to a pastor, youth minister, teacher or coach he/she respects?
- If you are not planning the event as a surprise, invite your teen to suggest who he/she would like to be included.
- Would your child prefer a formal event or casual experience? What would be a good setting for the event? (The house? Grandparent’s home? A favorite restaurant? The church? A park?)
- What kind of fun activity would your child enjoy doing with the older men or women before the formal portion of the event? (For example, a teen boy might enjoy going golfing or visiting a shooting range while a girl might prefer shopping or tennis.)
GIVING A BLESSING
It is very important that parents use this milestone to give a blessing, usually in the form of a letter affirming the teen’s potential and expressing gratitude for his or her life. For more on the power and process of giving a blessing, review the Blessing milestone on our resource page.
GIVE A VISION FOR THE FUTURE
Take time to provide direction for the future. Cast vision and direct your child in seeking the Lord as they enter a season of significant decisions that will impact the future.
GIVE A GIFT
Consider purchasing or making something to give your teen during this time. It doesn’t need to be extravagant. It is more important that it serve as a tangible keepsake of the event that your child can hold on to for years to come. Ideas include a piece of jewelry, a book of letters/blessings, a sword for guys or a crown for girls.
SET THE STAGE
The Rite of Passage event serves as an opportunity to set a new tone for the changing relationship with your child. Your role is changing from primarily teacher to mostly coach as he or she accepts the new freedoms and responsibilities that accompany young adulthood. Let your child know that you will be there to help him or her work through the challenges and navigate the landmines as they take ownership for choices and a future walk with God. Plan to create intentional one-on-one times to connect and keep the lines of communication open over the coming months and years.