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At Marca Via, our mission is to inspire people to create impactful rite of passage events for friends and family on the cusp of major life transitions.

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Top 5 Antidotes to Teen-Style Resistance

OK, so you’ve decided that you’re going to hold a coming-of-age event for your child to commemorate this important transition in his or her life.

Now it’s time to get your child on board with the idea and prepare him or her for success. It may not come as a shock to you that unless you handle this phase well, you might face some teen-style resistance. Here are our top five antidotes to resistance.

#1: Talk it up well in advance. Make sure your child knows that the event is on the horizon and that it is an important part of growing up and taking an intentional and thoughtful leap toward adulthood. This is not the kind of thing you want to spring on them at the last minute. The more you talk about it, the more familiar it will feel to them (a sure antidote to resistance).

#2: Let them be involved in building the team. Discuss with your child who should be included in the community that helps plan the event and celebrates this occasion with the family. Surrounding your child with people they love and trust will strengthen bonds and reinforce connections that likely will support them for years to come – and if they have a hand in picking the team they will also feel more comfortable (another sure antidote to resistance).

#3: If they need to train or practice, give them the opportunity to prepare. If you plan to challenge your child to physical or mental activities that require preparation, be sure to give some strong hints about what’s to come during the celebration. For example, if they are going to need to do a certain number of push-ups or run a long distance as part of a challenge, it’s only fair that they have a chance at success. If they are going to need to fix a flat tire on a bike or car within a certain time, they should be taught how in advance.  Setting them up for success will increase confidence (yet another sure antidote to resistance)

#4: Shape the event to their personality and style. If your kid likes small, intimate affairs, consider limiting your guest list to a few important people in his or her life. If your child loves to be in the spotlight, consider activities and challenges that puts him/her front and center of the crowd! During parts of a coming-of-age event you may want to push your child in an area that is a bit outside his or her comfort zone to teach an important lesson, but you’ll want the overall tone of the event to be festive and enjoyable for everyone, including the coming-of-age celebrant.  You guessed it: shaping the event to your child’s personality will reduce resistance!

#5: Paint a picture of the future. Talk to your child about what will be different after the coming-of-age event is over. Discuss and agree on what new privileges and responsibilities will be given as a sign that the child is moving into a new chapter of his or her life – one that requires more trust and maturity. Knowing this will increase excitement, and yes, decrease resistance…

Check out the Community page of the Marca Via website to get ideas of tests, challenges, and activities that you can use or adapt for your own coming-of-age celebration.

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