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That’s what Dads are for and coming of age exercises. One of the things as a culture we have stopped doing is marking the coming of age of our young men.

When he was 10, I have him a pocket knife and a cell phone. From that day forward he rode city public transportation to school.

When he was 14, he was responsible for planning and packing an extended kayak trip. I went with as a resource and stop gap against anybody dying, but he led the trip. By the third long day of paddling in the heat, a lot of the boy was burned away. He sat straighter, held his paddle more firmly and I could see clearly for maybe the first time the fine man he was becoming. This trip was in some ways pure suffering for day. He has never loved anything he has done more than this.

At 16 he had a service project for the family that took a lot of hard work.

At 18 he will have a solo survival/contemplation exercise.

These sorts of things were not optional in our traditional societies. They served a sacred purpose. Please do not short change your young man on these sorts of things.

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