The Importance of Rites-of-Passage

Rites-of-passage are markers on the path of childhood to adulthood. They are opportunities for us to bless and encourage our children. Read about how we've incorporated them here. www.shellytiffin.com #children #celebrations  About the time my oldest hit 5th grade, I started freaking out. The baby thing and young kid thing didn’t bother me at all. I felt I had that down before I ever got started. Maybe it was all the early childhood education courses in my undergrad or just the teacher in me. But something about the idea of a having a teenager scared me to death. I knew I was inadequately prepared. So, I started reading.

I read as much as I could get my hands on, and in the process, found a gem called Modern Day Princess. These words changed the way I thought about my girls growing up. Instead of being scared, I got excited.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every girl between the ages of 12 and 21 had a… celebration of her passage into womanhood? Imagine with us the number of confident, poised, prayerful young women of influence who could be regularly released into society to make a positive imprint on the world… The rite-of-passage ceremony is much more than a nice little party. It is the calling and commissioning of females to walk out their Heavenly Father’s plans, passions, and path. The rite-of-passage is indeed a ‘crowning’ moment” (pg. 155).

You mean I could be a part of creating these “crowning” moments for my children? Click to Tweet.

I have! And, so far, they’ve been amazing times that we look back on and talk about a lot. The most important one in my mind was and is the first.

DSCF3234On the ten-year-old rite of passage we take an in-depth look at Ephesians 6:1-4. I chose this passage because my oldest is quite strong willed. I felt like at ten, she was still teachable and this was a chosen time to give her the “why” behind our parenting and her obedience.

This morning, as I was preparing for the youngest’s 10-year-old rite-of-passage, I ended up taking the oldest out to breakfast for a “reminder” course. Cementing the command that God gave children only one commandment, and that it’s the only one with a promise, has kept my daughter from jumping onto the rebellion ship more times than I can remember.

She knows that this mother’s heart parents from the stance that “your ability to obey a parent you can’t see is indicative of your ability to obey a God that you can’t.” She knows I have a job to do, and it’s out of my love for her that I do it.

We go out of town and also use the first three dates in the book 8 Great Dates with Mom for this particular adventure. The tea cups have been chosen, special arrangements have been made, and a first leather bible purchased. I can’t wait for what God has for the second 10-year-old rite-of-passage.

IMG_8292Back in December I also had the opportunity to do a 13-year-old rite-of-passage with my oldest. Shortly after our first celebration, I heard a sermon by Andy Stanley in which he showed his children’s artwork. The point of the message is that life is so much more beautiful when we submit our brush to the artists hand. I knew my oldest would relate as she’s my creative one. We went out of town again, and I scheduled a private art lesson for her. After, we watched this message and discussed it’s meaning. The overall theme of this celebration was wisdom.

I should also mention that we celebrate firsts. We made a big to-do when Tori became a “young woman” with her first menstruation. We also celebrated the “sex” talk. These were smaller rites-of-passage that were marked with special charms (a butterfly for the “transformation” and a rose for the sex talk) for a Brighton Bracelet to remind them of theses things. My goal is to send them off to college with a nice bracelet full of reminders and truths from their journey from girlhood to womanhood and all the fun memories we created in the process.

I encourage you to start thinking about the ways you can celebrate the milestones in your children’s lives in meaningful ways. Rites-of-passage are one way to bless and encourage your children.

How do you celebrate your children’s milestones?

What about you?

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