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Pre-teens (10-12)

rites for girls
Rites of passage for girls

"We watch on in dismay as ever more children are lost to anti-social behaviour, self-harming, and other signs of distress. Many adults are intimidated by teenagers, and our culture of peer group supremacy makes parents hesitate to involve themselves.

"There is a lot of evidence to show that children need to find ways to prove to themselves that they are growing up if the adults in their lives don't do this for them. Misguidedly, this often involves inappropriate clothing, drinking, smoking, sexual precociousness, risky driving or some other activity not associated with the domain of childhood. Rites of passage can be simple and not at all 'weird' -- and a precious way of assisting our girls healthily towards strong womanhood." go to rites for girls


"All my friends get to watch as much TV as they want!" "Why do we have to eat so healthy?" "Lauren gets to stay up and talk on the phone as long as she wants, why can't I?" "All my friends have their own TVs." It takes a lot of inner strength to stand up to this kind of often relentless pressure. Yet, to allow our children to do all the things they want to do, or to give them all the things they want, to make them "happy," is not always in their best interest.

Possessions are power in our society. A child who feels lost or powerless can easily turn to objects, thinking that they will make him feel better. The development of a child's inner life, his sense of himself and his own unique being, requires something more complex than the latest "cool" sneakers. Helping our children find soul-feeding activities -- whether martial arts, dance, sports, playing a musical instrument, backpacking, drawing, fixing or building things, journal writing, singing or rapping, or whatever speaks to who they are -- is a needed balance to the quick fixes of our consumer-oriented culture." [view source]

Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful ParentingPg. 259


For children in Sports, a Breaking Point

"I'd be the last person to discourage children from playing sports. Indeed, I wish many more would move away from their computers, put down their iPods and cellphones and devote more time and energy to physical activities.

But for many children and adolescents, the problem is the opposite of being sedentary. Encouraged by parents and coaches, many with visions of glory and scholarships, too many young athletes are being pushed — or are pushing themselves — to the point of breaking down, physically and sometimes emotionally." go to the New York Times

Revolution in the Bleachers: How Parents Can Take Back Family in a World Gone Crazy Over Youth Sports

by Regan McMahon

"I remember the day it happened. It was yet another jam-packed Saturday morning, and my husband, Blair, and I were facing a logistical challenge to the space-time continuum sufficient to qualify us for the rally at Monte Carlo. We had to get two kids to three games in two cities all before lunchtime. … When Hayley's game was finished we zoomed up to catch the rest of Kyle's game and then switched cars so Hayley could change out of her soccer clothes into her volleyball uniform. … En route she'd wolf down a sandwich I'd packed as she exchanged her shin guards for knee pads, while I dropped Kyle back home (luckily his baseball season was still three months away) and then rushed to her game, hoping to get there before the ref's whistle. … Somewhere … it hit me: This is nuts."


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ritual rites of passage
ceremony Australia

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