People often ask us if children can participate in a Firewalk, more so with Charity Firewalks. And of course, that means they want to know what is the youngest age for a Firewalk?
Answering this can be a little, or very controversial for some Firewalk Instructors. There are some Firewalk Instructors and Companies that will not allow children or young adults to participate in their Firewalks. And there are other’s who are perfectly ok with it. So, I guess, it really depends on who is leading the Firewalk.
Our view on Children Firewalking
We are one of those Firewalk Companies that is ok with children participating in Firewalks, but this needs to be put in context. Firewalk organisers will often ask us in the planning stage if children can participate in the Firewalk and we advise them that they first need to know whether the event will be family and child friendly. If it isn’t, then make it clear that it is an adult only Firewalk.
If the Firewalk is open to families and kids, then, children can participate under our guidelines and final say on the night. As a rule of thumb, we advise that the youngest age for a Firewalk is 12 years. This will make it easier for you as the organiser, but you still might get asked if younger kids can take part.
A child knows…
We believe that if anyone asks if a younger child can participate they must really want the child to take part. And we hope that the request is because the child is asking the adult to find out.
An adult wanting a child to take part is not enough reason to allow the child to Firewalk. The child must also want to Firewalk and not just because mum or dad wants him or her to. We make this very clear at every Firewalk with children involved. Under no circumstances will we let a child Firewalk if we feel or see an adult trying to persuade the child to take part.
Part of the training on the night of a Firewalk involving children will be dedicated to this scenario. In fairness, part of the training at every Firewalk is focused on “owning the decision” to Firewalk. Firewalking to satisfy the encouragements and peer pressure of others is not a good enough reason to Firewalk.
So, what is the youngest age for a Firewalk?
The youngest age for a Firewalk delivered by us at Firewalking International is 7. And we know of other Firewalking Companies that have had children as young as three walking across the coal bed. Parents have also carried young children across the Fire – that’s a very powerful bonding experience for both parent and child.
I know I said this already, but I feel it needs to be emphasised. It is not enough for the adult to want their child to become a Firewalker. It is imperative that the child, regardless of age, WANTS to Firewalk. And if they don’t, the adult should accept that decision and support it. Which is exactly what we and everyone else there will be doing too.
One last point….
Why do we have a rule of thumb saying 12 as youngest age for a Firewalk?
We say 12 as the youngest age for a Firewalk because in many cultures and times gone by, children became adults at the age of 12. This is a time of great transition for children even if they are not legally becoming adults. This time of life was often marked with some form of Rite of Passage and we think that Firewalking at the age will be a significant life event for the child’s future self.
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