This stage of life involves major undertakings and

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This stage of life involves major undertakings and the assumption of adult responsibility associated with them. In spite of this, in the United States we do not systematically celebrate or ritualize the transition from childhood to adolescence.
Granted, there are privileges to look forward to: driving, money management , working, going to college (for some), and legal drinking . However, there is no formal acknowledgement that things are changing in terms of relationships with family, friends, and social institutions. <![CDATA[<br><br>]]> <img src="/images/siteDesign/content_images/generous_gifts.gif" class="subHeader" alt="" /> Ending PT "/SubPage/main.tpl" Ending PT "/SubPage/main.tpl" For boys the coming-of-age usually occurs at age 12 or 13. For girls, the coming-of-age is usually celebrated at their first menstruation , which can be as early as 9 or as late as 15. In other cultures, a ceremony; ritual; or celebration is held to ring in a time when a child becomes a young adult. It may include a tattoo, a trial, the piercing of a body part, or a period of isolation. A Quinceañera, for example, is celebrated in the Mexican culture when a girl turns fifteen. It is a social introduction and dates back to the Aztec and Mayan times, somewhere around 500 B.C. Similarly, Native Americans have many variations of the coming-of-age ritual, depending on the tribe. For the most part, girls have their rite of passage with the first menses and boys have theirs at the age of fourteen or fifteen. Both boys and girls are separated from the tribe to spend several days alone fasting. The hunger teaches the child patience and discipline. The isolation allows the child to stay completely focused on their goal, which is to have a dream or vision. This could take anywhere from four to fourteen days. Girls stay in a wigwam made by their mothers away from the tribe, and after their vision, return to a feast. They are welcomed back with someone saying, "You left as a girl; you return as a woman. We sorrowed when you departed, leaving behind a girl we had grown to love. We rejoice at your return, new and different. Through you, the people will live." Today in the United States, boys do not usually mark the transition. For girls, periods are kept very private and rarely spoken about, unless the family welcomes womanhood with a special gift, meal, or celebration. When you celebrate a coming-of-age, you are acknowledging: the shift in the relationship between parent and child, the ties between friends, and the path the person will take as an adult. Many teens start assuming many of the responsibilities their parents had for the first 12 years. Parents may begin to shift some of the money management decisions to the teen. Some will ask teens to do more chores around the house, including helping with laundry and cooking. Some teens begin to make their own doctors appointments, and most become responsible for their own homework and time management .

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