As our grandchildren grow and mature there are several rites of passages they will have to face. Of course, they may not be aware of them, but it is up to us – their grandparents – to help them be prepared to face them.
What is a rite of passage?
According to the dictionary a rite of passage is, “a ceremony or event marking an important stage in someone’s life, especially birth, the transition from childhood to adulthood, marriage, and death.”
While this is the more traditional understanding, I’d like to suggest that there are other, smaller rites of passages we can help our grandchildren pass through.
What rites of passage do our grandchildren face today?
Unlike in ancient times, rites of passages have certainly changed over the years. There’s no wandering in the wilderness or pigs roasted in pits.
Our children went through certain rites of passages, such as getting their driver’s license or dating.
However, if we explore the idea further we understand that a rite of passage is an event where a child’s life changes.
For example, going to school is an important event that marks the transition from being a toddler or infant to a child. The same can be said moving from junior school to high school.
But what about getting their first phone? Using social media for the first time? Or, having their first sleep over or attending their first Halloween party.
Then there’s learning to ride a bike, being able to catch the bus on their own – the list goes on.
What can we offer to these rites of passages?
If we stop and think about it there are literally hundreds of events which shape and change our grandchild’s lives; many of them their parents didn’t have to face, and others they did.
Our role is to mentor and guide them, offer advice and support, and most importantly, to just be there in their future.