“You just can’t understand! It’s all due to the generation gap!”- Parents face this remark often from children when they don’t agree with their point of view. So what is this generation gap that creates a distance between parents and their offspring?
Generation gap is a term that refers to the differences in thinking that 2 generations face. It is used commonly to denote the ideological differences that parents and children have with respect to their values, priorities, goals, attitude etc. This generation gap is felt more if the parents are more aged than usual. It is also felt acutely during the period of adolescence when children undergo a difficult face of changing perceptions due to their hormones.
Reasons for the generation gap
- Parents are very old and there is a huge age difference between parents and children due to which their perceptions vary.
- Both parents are busy career professionals who cannot devote much time to spend with their children.
- Parents have a rigid point of view and exercise strict control over the children.
- The attitudes of both the parent and child generations mismatch.
So how to bridge this generation gap between parents and children? Implement these steps and find significant progress in closing this generation gap.
Ways to bridge the generation gap between parents and children
1. Open and constant communication
Parents have to take time out of their busy schedule and devote it by spending time with children. Join them in their activities, interact freely and probe gently to find out what their concerns are. Do this regularly to gain a wonderful difference in your relationship.
2. Keep your mind open
Children are in the process of growing up and are bound to be influenced by both peers and the outside world. Online media and social networks have crept into the lives of children at a very early age. So parents must keep their mind open and listen to what the children say without being judgmental.
3. Do not criticize or reprimand sharply
Children are like budding flowers, They have their own dignity and self-respect. Do not criticize their opinions or reprimand them sharply. This makes them withdraw themselves into a shell of their own.
4. Do not control rigidly
Parents tend to exercise control rigidly over their children in an effort to discipline them or protect them. Rigid control will only make them rebel more. Learn to let go and allow children to be themselves. Allow them to make mistakes and learn by themselves.
5. Stop being idealistic
Parents tend to be idealistic and expect their children to be the epitome of perfection. They want their children to be good at studies, sport, hobbies and also be a prodigy! It is time for parents to stop being idealistic and accept the shortcomings of children. It is ok for children to fall short in some areas as long as they are willing to mend their mistakes.
Those days of schooling that parents had are now gone. Parents should stop being nostalgic about those days and try to enforce the same guidelines on their children. Times have changed and you should evolve. Learn to put yourself in your children’s shoes and empathize with them.
Children have to counter changes in syllabus, heavier coursework and stiffer competition than what you did. So have a heart and give some leverage to children to cope with all this stress.
7. Give some space
Children have a world of their own as they grow up. Give them space to enjoy their world without intruding on each and everything they do. Learn to keep a watchful eye while allowing them to explore their world.
8. An attitude of positivity and balance
The right attitude can help parents bridge the generation gap with their children. Adopt a balanced approach and exude optimism, encouraging children in whatever they do. This will help you become closer to your children and bind you strongly.
Treat children as “little adults” and give them the due respect they deserve. Do not preach to children but lead by example and practice. Gain such valuable insights from Lets practise to bring you closer to your children than ever before.