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Chris Fane's Student Ministry News

A youth ministry blog consisting of a collection of articles and notes related to
student / youth ministry. Gathered by Chris Fane of egadideas.com



Celebrating Rites of Passage

FROM: HOMEWORD / BY: JIM BURNS, PH.D

In his classic book, All Grown Up & No Place to Go, author David Elkind addresses the issue of “disappearing markers” in-depth and warns of the consequences that our adolescents face as a result. Elkind writes regarding the importance of “markers” saying, “Markers are external signs of where we stand… (they) are signs of progress to others as well as ourselves… (they) confirm us in our sense of growing and changing as individuals.” On the whole, our culture has not done a great job in marking our kids’ progress in passing from childhood to adulthood. In fact, a prolonged adolescence coupled with a disappearance of “markers” happens to be one of the hallmarks of contemporary culture.

Fortunately, there are still some evidences of “markers” in our time. Jewish families, for example, have continued to maintain Bar or Bat Mitzvahs as a way to recognize their kids’ progress on the way to adulthood. These kinds of celebrations serve as a reminder that it is not too late to reclaim some territory in this area. I believe that noting and celebrating rites of passage is essential in helping our kids become functioning, responsible adults.

Celebrating rites of passage don’t have to be huge productions. Your daughter, for example, may think you’ve lost your sanity if your family shows up with balloons and confetti at the restaurant where she is having her first date! So, keep your celebrations at a reasonable level in keeping with the milestone being reached. And, be sure to include times of guidance and instruction, where appropriate. In this way, you’ll be conferring both recognition of a milestone achieved and the responsibilities that go with it....

>>READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE!
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