The age of 13 is the perfect age to hold a Rite of Passage for your son. There are several reasons why 13 is considered the magic number to formally bestow the title of “man” on him.
Firstly, it is a milestone birthday. Becoming a teenager is likely something that your son has looked forward to for a long time. He is no longer a “kid”, but is now a “teen”. It’s already a big deal in his mind, and is therefore a natural moment to welcome him into manhood.
Secondly, the age of 13 is often associated with the transition from childhood to adolescence in many other cultures. In the Jewish faith, the Bar Mitzvah occur at the age of 13. The Aboriginal Walkabout typically occurs between the ages of 10 to 16. Even Jesus had a rite of passage, and His occurred when He was 12 years old. Looking at other cultures and the ages that they have historically initiated their sons into manhood is a good reference point for helping you decide when you want to hold your son’s ROP.
Thirdly, thirteen-year-olds are mature enough to understand advice given to them, but still young enough to be open to advice from adults. Any younger than 13, and the conversations that you are going to have with son might go over his head. Any older than 13, and your son might not be as open to unsolicited advice from older men. By the time a boy reaches 18 years old, he pretty much knows everything (or at least he thinks he does), and doesn’t want to listen to dad.
If you wait until your son is 18 years old to hold a Rite of Passage for him, it may be too late. By that point, your son will likely have already made some life-altering decisions without full access to the guidance of the men in his family. Decisions like where to go to college, what career field to go into, or who to date; these are all decisions that are best made with some male mentors in your corner.
Some fathers think that 13 years young to initiate his son into manhood (it’s not; here’s why). Of course, the final decision about what age to hold your sons Rite of Passage rests with you, his father, but we have found that it is better to hold a Rite of Passage for your son a little too early than it is to hold one a little too late.
If you have a son who is 14, 15, or 16 years old and you are wondering if you should hold a Rite of Passage for him, check out our blog post here.
If you have a son who is 18 years old and you are wondering if you should hold a Rite of Passage for him, check out our blog post here.
If you have a son who is in his 20’s or 30’s and you are wondering if you should hold a Rite of Passage for him, check out our blog post here.