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Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 in The Quest Project | 2 comments

Modern Day Rite Of Passage

Modern Day Rite of Passage - Clayton Lessor

Rite of Passage?

I’m often asked what is a “rite of passage?”  It’s a term that most people equate with times past.  We have forgotten the importance of rite of passage with not only our boys, but girls too.

Look Out Things Are Changing

Rite of passage is a transition, and in it’s simplest terms means “changing from a boy to a man,” or from a “girl to a woman.”  Sounds easy enough right?  It should be, but as a society we have gotten away from not only honoring but even recognizing this time in an individuals life.

If you read my blog The Quest Project-An Overview I detail the elements of a Modern Day Rite Of Passage which is what I’m talking about here.  Teenagers are not being lead in a healthy way with a seasoned elder or wise mentor through this process, they and their parents are suffering as a result.

Some Of My Suggestions

I do this work in my program The Quest Project, and it is my mission to continue.  But I also challenge parents to recognize and work with their teens to guide them through this process. 

  • As a parent you have the best possibility to be the perfect mentor, so be a healthy and responsible mentor for your child. 
  • Have you set goals in your life?  Have you considered how important it is to help your teenager set goals?
  • You’ve heard me say over and over that anger isn’t a bad thing, it’s how you release anger that makes the difference.  Teach your child how to release anger by being the example. 
  • Conflict is a part of life; teach your son/daughter how to resolve conflict in a healthy way. 
  • We all have a gift, it’s what makes us unique and different; does your teen know what gifts they were born with? 
  • What about relationships and what it means to be in a relationship and love someone-the definition of love-love is not a feeling.  Feeling “in love” is infatuation.
  • What are your values?  Does your teen understand the value system and how important it is in their life?

These are all very important to your teenager and in my experience they’re not going to ask you how to get through these steps.  If you don’t teach them they’ll look to someone else or worse “try to figure it out” on their own with peers. 

Celebrate The Growth

Lastly you’ll want to recognize the progress and process with either a gift or time that acknowledges the changing from a boy to a man, or a girl to a woman.  Let them know you notice them changing and that you’re very proud of them.

A Modern Day Rite of Passage done in the right way, lead by a healthy example will help every child transition through the next phase of their life with less confusion and turbulence.

It’s hard to impart this information in a blog and I encourage you to pick up my book “Saving Our Sons” A Parents Guide to Preparing Boys for Success if you’d like more detailed instruction.  Regardless, get started and don’t forget the importance of leading your son/daughter through a Modern Day Healthy Rite Of Passage.

Get Your Free Chapter of Saving Our Sons by Clayton Lessor

Clayton Lessor
Clayton Lessor, PhD in education and counseling, is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice. He is author of "Generation of Men: How to raise your son to be a healthy man among men" and “Saving Our Sons: A Parent's Guide to Preparing Boys for Success." Dr. Clay has seen over 2000 boys since 2000 and facilitated over 300 The Quest Project groups. Boys attend a 10-week "boys to men program" where they and their parents will learn the tools needed to get through these turbulent teen years. Dr. Clay is a member of the Steering Committee for The Coalition to Create a White House Council for Boys and Men.
Clayton Lessor
Clayton Lessor

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  1. I read about you in Ms Sulton’s column ” Sat 6/17 edition of stl post. I called and left a voice message asking you to contact me at your convience. Your program appeals to. E because my father did not know how to be a father. While I did OK… of I survived I would like to do better in my ending season of life. Life.

    I am healthy physically for a 71 year old male but probably have a lot to learn emotionally

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