My guest today is Dr. Vern Poythress. Dr. Poythress is a mathematician and a theologian. Most important for this discussion, he and his wife, Diane, are parents to two children, both boys.
Dr. Poythress authored an article entitled "How I Helped My Boys to Become Christian Men," in which he outlined his family's approach to establishing a formal rite of passage for his sons to become men at 12 or 13 years old.
His formal test and qualifications for them included religious training, knowledge, and behavior, specific acts of service to others, and specific areas of wisdom needed in an adult life.
Much of this conversation is built on the Judeo-Christian tradition and Dr. Poythress outlines much of his curriculum from a religious perspective.
It's key to recognize, however, that most cultures have a rite of passage for young men and women; these ceremonies vary and many are cultural, not religious. For example, toward the end of the interview we discuss the tradition of the debutante ball, a "coming-out" party for young women.
If this concept interests you, consider designing your own curriculum based on your family's vision and values. Certainly, anything you intentionally design will be better than the negative rites of passage we currently promulgate in our culture.
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