What Does Coming of Age Mean?

A milestone for youth, coming of age is all about growing up.

Students flirting in cafeteria line
Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Coming of age is a term used to describe the transition between childhood and adulthood. For some cultures, coming of age is determined at a certain age when a child is no longer a minor. Other cultures determine a child's coming of age when he or she hits puberty. In the United States, coming of age ofter refers to the preteen years, when children leave their toys behind in pursuit of more grown-up interests.

The coming of age milestone is an important one, and can also be a difficult transition as some children are hesitant to leave childhood behind. Literature, the movies, and music often refer to the coming of age themeĀ and the problems or challenges associated with the transition.

For parents, parenting a child in the midst of coming of age can be difficult, as they deal with broken hearts, disappointment, finding their own identities, and the challenges of increased responsibility -- all for the first time. For children, coming of age can be exciting as they separate from their parents and form new social circles. However, it can also be a sad time for children who fear the future and miss the safety of childhood.

Coming of Age Resources

Continue Reading