The Generation Gap

The Generation Gap

Generation gap is a kind of psychological and emotional gap between parents or elder people and the younger ones. This gap is the result of the fast paced development of the society. Earlier the development was very slow. But today, the recent past is very much ‘out dated’ and the world is growing more advanced each day.

 

The Generation Gap

Generation gap is a kind of psychological and emotional gap between parents or elder people and the younger ones. This gap is the result of the fast paced development of the society. Earlier the development was very slow. But today, the recent past is very much ‘out dated’ and the world is growing more advanced each day.

Parents do not even know many of the modern technologies and equipment children use. Parents, when their offspring enters the dreaded teen years, look back nostalgically on the days when their children hadn’t learned to speak yet, were cute and adoring and hung on to every word that their parents said.  One day, puberty happens and the sweet angels of yesterday begin to act like their parents are their worst enemies.

Teenagers are a mass of confusion as they sit on the fence between their childhood and adulthood. Growing up can be quite scary. While being ‘grown up’ has many attractions, the responsibilities that go with it often come as a nasty surprise.

They are always talking about their freedom, usually in context of how their parents are obstacles. Suddenly, ‘generation gap’ becomes a buzzword. It’s as if one day you and your child find yourselves on opposite sides of the fence and there’s no meeting ground. Each one feels that the other is speaking a foreign language.

This is the time when teenagers try to become individuals in their own right and try to move out from under the protective wings of their parents. They will try out many things in order to be ‘in’ with the crowd whether it’s smoking, drinking or wearing skimpy clothes. Parents may feel a little like discarded old shoes, as friends become all-important to their children.

It’s not unusual for teenagers to go through a phase when they feel ashamed of their parents, afraid that they might not live up to their friends’ standards. This can be very hurtful for parents.

Parents shouldn’t take it personally. This is not the time to play the great dictator and alienate your children. Talk to them, but don’t talk down to them. Try to lay down the ground rules right in the beginning. It is difficult for anyone to interpret the teenage mind, but try to convey the fact that you’re on their side. Teenagers may not know it or admit it, but they need their parents to guide them about what’s right and what’s wrong.

Know that the age of your kids is more than a number. As they grow on passing through ages, their thinking pattern change; the way they look at the world change; the way they express feelings change.

Parents should learn to understand the growth of the kids. A twenty year old boy should not be dealt with similarly to when he was five years old. Most parents tend to forget that babies do grow up someday and when the time comes, they must let them go and find their own way in the world. You can’t protect your children forever and they won’t thank you if you try to.

Being up to date is the only way to cope up with the generation gap. Try to be current and updated with information and technologies. Never make your kids feel that you think in some old fashion.

When children express their feelings, understand them in the modern world context. Bulging generation gap creates misunderstanding and lack of attachment between the parents and children.

The success of parenting lies in how effectively they avoid the generation gap or ignore and mend the differences with kids.

Open communication is the key factor in bridging the generation gap.

Contributed by: Rukhsana Saifi (Asst. Professor at CIT, Abu Road)

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