Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Rites of passage - the struggle of a dad

This may sound very strange to you, but I am struggling with an issue that is not very common these days.
My son will be turning 15 in a month, he will be going to college after this year's summer and now he has his first real girlfriend. In short my son is turning into a man. However I do not want this phase to just come and go, letting him struggle to find his place and wrestle with himself finding out who he is, whilst feeling lost and alone all the time. Been there, done that, no good.
I want to be there with him and kind of initiate him into manhood.
Now here's the problem; he and I have totally different kind of interests and I do not want us to go through things that are considered manly these days; no alcohol, sex or guns. So no getting drunk together, no whorehouses and no shooting ranges. Not even legally possible. He has absolutely no interest what's however in camping, hunting, fishing or the like and I have absolutely no interest in or knowledge of hitech, digital matters.
How do you find the right kind of passage for a young man in a culture that no longer has any such meaningful thing and had not for generations???


  1. I have the suspicion that this has something to do with what you ask yourself: In bygone days a father would not have asked if his son had different interests than himself. It was hunt, fish, camp or remain a boy. And it is strongly arguable that the emphasis of prowess in digital media makes a better world. But I think you could maybe make a deal: He can introduce you to ... whatever;-), and you can show him a real adventure. That way you both learn something and in the progress strengthen and form a bond. Since your son is turning 15, I strongly suspect that his non-interest might be a bit of building borders and an act of defiance, too...:-) Nearly every kid I forged with at that age was ranting about how uncool this was and at the end could not stop doing it. Patience is the key, I guess. I wish you the best of luck and certainly do not envy your task...

  2. well, we no longer live in days gone by. Things have changed...
    And no, his disinterest in the outdoors has nothing to do with his age. It has always been this way and I am afraid it'll always be.
    He has been building borders elsewhere and find other acts of defiance. So a normal teen in every aspect.
    He is also quite smart, not susceptible to group pressure, knows about responsibility, does what he truly feels right and in many ways is already more matured than many a man my age.

  3. I think that if you simply get quiet and let your inner voice speak that you will find the right way to celebrate the passage in a meaningful way for both of you. You are on the right track dad. Trust your inner voice.