Ceremonies for babies and children allow families and loved ones to share in the joy that children bring. They deepen our awareness of the special gifts and the responsibilities that our children are. For older youth, ceremonies marking passages into new stages of growth and independence are wonderful ways to foster self-esteem, responsibility, and involvement.
Baby Blessings and Adoptions:
Whether it is called a baby naming, a baby blessing, or an adoption ceremony, every culture has a ceremony to name and welcome a new child. These are ceremonies of great joy.
They serve to remind us of the hopes and dreams of life. They recognize the special responsibilities of parents to their child; to gather the support of family and friends; to announce the name that has been given to the child and to celebrate its significance; and to welcome the child into the extended family and the community. If it is an adoption of an older child, the ceremony can also recognize the gifts that the child brings to the family.
Today many families are “blended”. The addition of a step-parent or co-parent is a wonderful opportunity to honor and clarify the new bonds, relationships, and responsibilities that are being formed. Children feel honored and respected when they are able to participate in ceremonies affirming their roles in the changed family. Step-parents may make promises of commitment and support to the partner’s children. This might be an occasion to establish a family motto or a family ritual. This type of ceremony can be included in a wedding , or it can be a separate and expanded ceremony at a time of the family’s choosing.
Coming of Age:
Older children and teens can gain a new self-respect from an individualized coming-of-age ceremony. Our culture today offers few markers and fewer ceremonies to mark new stages of maturity. A ceremony of friends and relatives can talk about the stage of childhood the child is leaving, acknowledging that sometimes moving on has its sad moments. It can highlight the new freedoms and the new responsibilities that the new stage presents.
As children leave childhood and enter adolescence, they become more able to be self-aware and to reflect upon who they are and how they want to be in the world. Ceremonies which honor this new growth and new responsibility can be very powerful, whether they are small and informal or larger events.
Please contact me to discuss possibilities for celebrating your child!
727-317-5587 (home/office) 305-720-1422 (cell)