The first question that may have come to mind when reading the title is what exactly is meant by “rite of passage”? The idea of a rite of passage is a well-known one, but mistakenly most people believe we’re past that point as a society.
Modern Rites of Passage
The rite of passage helps both individuals and groups move through tense and emotionally-charged situations that can be otherwise difficult. This includes birth, death, and everything in between—even puberty. Sure, we may not be hunting lions or going on a walkabout, but there are still a number of rituals that we perform to mark the change from child to adult.
Most parents may not realize it, but so many things in our society are actually by definition, rites of passage:
- Having ears pierced
- Obtaining a driver’s license
- Being entrusted with a house key
Other examples are of a more personal nature to the child, including rebellion, their first kiss, and moving out of their parents’ home. All of these are, of course, far less intense than say sneaking up and slapping a bear on the rump. So, what then can a parent do if they’re looking for something more involved?
Ranches and Horses
It can be hard for many parents to provide for their son a challenging experience to help them grow and mark the passing from boy to man. One solution is a boys ranch. These are like boot camps but more therapeutic and effective, specifically designed to teach boys the lessons and qualities intrinsic to being a man.
Surrounded by his peers and trained experts, a boy struggling to find his place in the world can learn not only empathy and consideration when caring for the horses of the ranch, but also to take responsibility for his actions while adhering to a strict schedule. Not only are these lessons important for your budding adult, but it also gives him a chance to accomplish difficult challenges outside the presence of the parents, earning him a sense of independence and accomplishment.
The Father Benefits as Well
The stay in the boarding school is temporary. After these programs end, both teen and father can come away equipped with the skills to face life’s challenges together head-on. As a father, it can be hard to understand what it is your troubled teen could be missing. Ranches help establish routines and possibly new forms of communication we may have been missing.
Life is all about perspective, and even the best intentioned parent could be missing the particular way their boy needs to help them learn. If nothing’s been working, a stay at a horse ranch could be the answer.
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