Initiations have existed for hundreds of years. There have been exclusive men’s clubs, such as the Free Masons, that had secret initiations including a special handshake. Universities, colleges, clubs, schools, the military, just to name a few groups who have used initiations. Over the years, many of the initiations have turned into hazings. They have been cruel and individuals have even died. Why is it so important to belong and go through initiation to become part of the group? When children, young adults, and even older adults participate in initiations, the individuals anxious to join are only perpetuating many times bad behavior. Who ever does participate needs to have more confidence and believe in themselves. Children have silly initiations for their clubs such as eating bugs, but they are only imitating adults. I think that the junior high, high school and college initiations can be dangerous. When I was looking for free pictures to post with my blog, I saw many pictures of violence perpetrated on individuals. I also saw a few crude pictures of people being forced to do things they would not normally do just to belong.There are countless books, movies, television shows, and articles depicting the negativeness of initiations. I once saw an old television show where a high school girl wanted to be in a club. Her initiation was to wear a ghost costume and she and a few other girls were sneaking around in the dark scaring people. She was caught by accident trying to hide the costume in an incinerator. Her little sister saw it and removed it and was trying to hide it when she fell down. The parents in assisting her saw the costume and were furious. It had been announced that morning, by the principal of the high school, that a nasty prank had occurred and he wanted the guilty parties to step forward. Naturally, no one did. The parents were furious with their older daughter. They told her they expected her to do the right thing and confess along with her friends. She refused, but it ate at her the next day so much that she wanted the other girl who was part of this initiation with her to step forward. The other girl refused and the daughter finally forced her to own up to what they did to go the principal and confess. They also had to apologize to the people they had scared. I hope when you discuss initiations with your child or children, that you remind them that they don’t need to belong to any group or club, that they are strong confident people and should act accordingly. The characters in the Good Gus Series do not have initiations. They have strong self worth and self confidence. They are a wonderful example for the young children in your life.