Rites of passage

The rites of passage of children and their parents

Published on 
2 min, 337 words

Categories: life

"A rite of passage is a ceremony or ritual of the passage which occurs when an individual leaves one group to enter another."

There are various events in life which are significant:

  • going to school - becoming a school kid
  • a first job - becoming a worker
  • learning to drive - becoming a driver
  • first girl/boyfriend - becoming a "partner" plus a bunch more.

My daughter is currently going through the transition from a child (or teenager) to becoming an adult. This means there have been a flurry of these significant events over the last year.

She has learnt to drive and taken her first drive on her own. She has turned 18 and bought her first alcoholic drink. She has finished her A Levels, so finished school. She has two part time jobs.

She is currently on her first holiday abroad that is not with family or school. There seems to be a rite of passage, at least at her school, that they go on a girls (or boys) week away at some location known for partying and drinking. She has gone with six friends to Ayia Napa in Cyprus. When we mention this to other parents there is a look that is a cross between concern and surprise given the reputation it has.

It is also a rite of passage for parents. Obviously there is an element of worry for us, we are her parents. Will she get there okay? (She did) Will she have too much to drink? (I expect so at some point) Will anything happen? (I hope not)

I guess this is part of the transition for us too - moving from being full time guardians of her to allowing her to have her freedom and become an adult. It is sort of preparing us for September when she goes away to university and it won't just be a week where we won't see her.

This is probably one of the biggest rites of passage for parents.


Rite of passage