- Want to do something to celebrate the specialness of your daughter’s coming of age – but not sure what or how?
- Want to mark the occasion of her first bleed – but feel certain that she’d sooner not?
- Not sure how to introduce the idea of a puberty rite to your daughter (or son)?
Well certainly avoid the word puberty! And rite might not mean much, unless it has been covered in Beliefs and Values (RE to you and me).
Instead, ask your daughter about what makes Christmas special for her – or another festival that you celebrate. Listen to her describe the traditions, all the little ways that have evolved in your family that make Christmas a day apart from the rest.
Ask her what she likes best about her birthdays and hear her recount the family rituals that make birthdays a day to look forward to.
As well as the annual celebrations, talk about those once-in-a-lifetime ceremonies like christenings, marriages, and funerals. Point out how all cultures and all religions have ways of marking and celebrating these significant life events. Muse together about why this might be important.
Tell her that in many cultures and religions great importance is given to supporting the journey that children make towards adulthood. More attention is given to this transition than any other in many cases. Tell her that you would like to celebrate her coming of age with her. Pause. See what she says. Don’t push it. Let her think about it.
If possible, do not wait until she is entering puberty to have this conversation. As in many things, growing up with an understanding, and an expectation, of something is much easier than having it suddenly land on your lap. We all expect a funeral. We don’t expect a rite of passage at puberty.
It is not uncommon for girls to outright refuse the offer of celebrating with them. It is quite usual for them to be angry at the suggestion. It is normal for the whole idea to feel hugely embarrassing.
But those mothers who persevere in working with their daughters towards finding some way of marking their coming of age, are inevitably thanked by their daughters for doing so.
Please, Mum’s who’ve done this, share your experience here to encourage others.
Mum’s who want to do it, I can help. Email me. There are pages here too that guide you through:
- Your rites and rituals
- Why perform a rite of passage?
- Key ingredients for a rite of passage
- Preparing your daughter
- Your daughter’s ritual celebration
- Rites of passage around the world