The generation gap between parents and children is quite a puzzling problem. Younger family members are treading their own paths in life while older ones have a wealth of experience to share. Younger members seem more excited about exploring the possibilities and fulfilling their aspirations in life while the older members are more concerned about protecting what they have built in the past years.
They say age is just a number, but when you put it in a familial context, it is something that can make or break ties within. In this article, we will discuss the generation gap, why it happens, as well as some ways to break through the barriers. Read more.
What is a generation gap?
We all know time is constant—it’s always moving, meaning changes, habits, values, and all life aspects change from generation to generation. This is what we refer to as the generation gap, a hole or a space that breaks the bridge of communication and understanding between two generations.
Why does it exist?
There are many causes as to why the generation gap exists. Here are some of them:
Different generations express themselves differently as influenced by the society and environment they grew in. They speak in varying languages, even their way of thinking, and the trends they grew up in.
No room for mistakes
Parents have a harder time tolerating their children’s mistakes because they believe they can do so much better than them. When in reality, children should make mistakes so that they could learn from it and grow moving forward. Parents often improperly punish their children when they mess up, not knowing it just widens the gap between them.
Children are expected to replicate their parents’ lives
Parents often demand a lot of things from their children, which leaves the latter pressured and forced to take a path against their own dreams and aspirations.
Comparing children to others is another reason why the generation gap widens. As such, when a child complains that the present time is far different from their parents’, the latter would usually take it as a form of attack or disrespect to them.
Lack of interaction
Parents work round the clock just to meet their family’s needs, often finding themselves too tired to spend quality time with their children every day. Therefore, this widens the generation gap.
How to break through the barriers of generation gap?
Be more open-minded
It does not matter if you’re the child or the parent—make it known that the way you think is different from what the others do. Parents often feel like since they have been through their children’s age, they already know how they feel and think. The reality is the world was different then than it is now. Try to keep an open mind and do not assume that the other party will understand you right off the bat.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to learn how to communicate with your children even if you’re so busy with your daily work and errands. By just simply asking about each other’s day before you hit the hay can strengthen your bond with your child. As such, you need to make your children feel that they can approach you with anything—may it be a school, life, or relationship problem. This will give you peace of mind, knowing that your children are not hiding anything from you.
Listen to what the others say. Parents need to exercise listening to their kids, letting them talk without interruption. This is a sign of respect. Likewise, children are supposed to keep their ears open to their parents’ thoughts and opinions. Being someone who willingly listens will encourage your kid or parent to listen to you too.
Sometimes, people can disagree on a lot of things, no matter how much they love each other, especially parents and children. However, rather than forcing your beliefs and opinions to them, learn to compromise. There are times that you need to take a step back and learn that compromising will make the generation gap smaller. The act of compromising is a wonderful yet often overlooked way of coming into terms without burning the bridge, so make use of it.