In the chaos of my everyday life, I sometimes forget to pay attention to the small shifts going on around me. One of the shifts that I noticed recently was in my little niece. This year she had just entered into middle school. With this transition in her life there have been other changes that signal the transition to teen age. We generally fail to notice this transition among our children. What happens between the passages of life is considerably more important to the process of maturity than the passages themselves. The primary work of maturing takes place gradually every day as we apply ourselves to the developmental tasks of our current life stage.
Children and adolescents need help with these tasks help from mature adults. A greatly complicating factor in the journey from childhood to adulthood is that there are two quite distinct stages of adolescence and a major life passage between them. The journey begins with the passage of puberty, continues through the years of early adolescence, and then transits through the passage and into the very different stage of late adolescence. And finally, after several years of individuation in the Cocoon stage, we arrive at the passage of soul initiation, the commencement of early adulthood.
When children are born, their brain is not fully-formed, and over the first few years there’s a great proliferation of connections between cells. Over adolescence there is a pruning of these connections. The brain decides which connections are important to keep, and which can be let go. All children need to feel safe. For a child this means that their parents are dependable, trustworthy and consistent in their behavior. It means that, Anna videoer when making decisions that affect their children, parents take into account their kid’s particular physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and psychological needs and limitations as well as their strengths.
Just as the caterpillar needs a structure to fulfill its destiny and complete its natural, even divine, transformation, so too teens must have structure in order to fulfill their sacred life purpose. If a parent or other adult does not provide such structure during adolescence it can by pieced together by the wounded and healing adult later in life. Regardless, structure is imperative. While passing the transitional stage, children need full support and help from parents, teachers and peers. As much as anything, the world today needs mature mentors and initiators to support young people to grow into visionary artisans of cultural change, the new leaders who will guide humanity through the transformation that the greater Earth community wholly depends upon. Mentoring our youth to succeed at the developmental tasks of the two stages of adolescence is considerably more important than providing them with rites of passage that confirm their success.