Top 10 Takeaways
Here’s our Top 10 list of things to remember as you embark on your planning efforts.
- Think about whether your child needs advance preparation for this event. Some children need time to prepare mentally when they will be the center of attention. For these kids, let them know generally what you are planning, answer their questions, and perhaps ask for their input. Other kids may thrive on a surprise. Decide how much or little your child needs to know and how much input he or she should have. (Use the information we provide on the Marca Via website, The Insiders Guide for Kids, to get the child who needs more information excited about the event!)
- Emphasize both meaningfulness and fun. Kids will be much more gung-ho about participating to the full extent if the activities are interesting and fun.
- Make sure participants understand the spirit of the event. Anyone who you think might try to embarrass the child should not be invited or should be explicitly instructed about expectations.
- Capture the moment! You’ll want to make sure you write it down, photograph it, and/or video tape it so it is memorialized. The coming-of-age honoree will especially appreciate the opportunity to revisit the lessons shared as he or she grows older, inspiring “Ah ha!” moments for years to come.
- Tap into your community to build a meaningful and memorable event. The different perspectives and life experiences of your community members will contribute excellent ideas for challenges and lessons.
- A coming-of-age event doesn’t require a big budget, a connection to any social or religious organization, or a bureaucracy. All you need is the desire to make it happen, a bit of creative thought, and some good friends and loved ones to help you pull it off.
- his event is about helping a child transition to adulthood, but it also is about building a stronger community around that child. The planning work you do together, the wisdom you all share during the event, and the commitment everyone makes to support the child builds a connection and trust with one another. Don’t forget that this is an important aspect of the occasion.
- Take the time to decide what will be different once the event is over. What new privileges and responsibilities will your child have? How will your child be treated differently? The coming-of-age event should signify that some things have shifted.
- Take the ideas in this guidebook that you like and use them. Ignore the ones that you don’t like and create your own! No two children are alike, so no two coming-of-age events will be exactly alike. We encourage you to create the rite of passage that works for you and your child.
- Share your coming-of-age ideas with us and others! Help spread the word about the importance of these events by contributing ideas about activities, tests, and challenges to the Marca Via website and by sharing information about your own event on social media. Together, we can help spark a coming-of-age tradition for all American youth.