- Family and Parenting
What are the top reasons for generation gap? Parental mistakes!
“Those who stand for different causes during different generations often experience the same oppositions and the same difficulties as those of the previous and the next generations. That is the basis of history repeating itself.” – Criss Jami
‘My son does not respect me. I brought him up with such care and affection, but now he back answers me and would not listen to anything I say’ the owner of the grocery shop where I buy provisions was literally in tears when he told me this. He was from my native place and so would discuss his family problems with me.
‘He does not understand that I have grown up and interferes in everything I do. I feel suffocated and I sometimes cannot tolerate his overbearing attitude and so I yell back’ the son angrily burst out when I inquired about what his father told me. This was a genuine case of generation gap. The father did not understand that his son had grown up with a mind of his own and the son did not understand that his father yearned for some respect from him.
I too had experienced the same problem with my daughter. I was a doting mother and my world was my daughter. So I would always tread on her privacy and be too sheltering and protective. But when I realized that my daughter was a grown up individual with the capability of looking after herself, I took a step back to make her feel the fresh air of freedom.
Believe me, it was not an easy thing to do as I still wanted to be a protecting mother. But the whiff of freedom I gave her made us come closer to one another and today we are best of friends. She discusses any problems with me and I give her just suggestions and leave the decision to her. It is indeed very difficult step back from your children as you always think that they are prone to mistakes and needs your protective arms around them.
Are you right in your attitude? You are very wrong! Why should you worry that your children will make mistakes? Let them make it and learn valuable lessons from it. Unless they learn from experience they will not evolve into a person of good character and confidence.
What are the mistakes you make as a parent?
- You want to control your children.
- You feel that your children do not know anything about life.
- You sit in judgment.
- You see everything from your viewpoint.
- You are always a parent and never a friend.
1. You want to control your children
You want to decide the life of your children and make decisions without consulting them. It makes them resentful that you did not take their views into account. Your attitude can make the gap between you and your children widen and you cannot hope to have good friendship with them. You should let go their hands as they are fully capable of handling their life on their own.
You keep asking them about their whereabouts, check their mobiles and generally make their life torturous and tensed. Have you seen a young child? He always likes to do things on his own and cries when you intrude into his learning process. It is the same with your grown up children also. They are absolutely confident that they are capable of facing life on their own. Why should you not trust their confidence and give them a breather? They will love you for this.
2. You feel your children do not know anything about life
You always think that your children have never grown up and are dependent on you for any major decisions of life. You will be amazed to know that they have perfect plans about their life. Their execution of plan might be faulty, but this does not warrant your interference. Let them learn precious lessons from their mistakes because it will stand in good stead for them in their future.
You want your experience to guide them, but they want to experiment. If you use your experience as a guideline for your children, it will be of no use to them. How will they learn if you do not allow them to do so? If you are going to be in the midway obstructing their stride towards success in life, it causes unwanted arguments and if you persist in your views your children will deviate from you and you can never win their trust back.
3. You sit in judgment
‘Those were the days when there were good family values’ words like these irritates your children no end. The world has changed so much than that of your generation and you should understand that your children are by products of the modern world. They see things differently and have views which are exact opposite to your way of thinking. You should let them have their own views and should not keep comparing your perspective with theirs.
How did you feel when your parents sat in judgment about you? You resented it, didn’t you? It is the same with your children. When you do not know about what the modern world needs from them, how can you say that they have no good characteristics?
4. You see everything from your viewpoint.
Was there generation gap when your children were young? Your child clung to you and you were the adoring parent. Why is it so? It was because your children did not have a mind of their own and depended entirely on you. But as they grow they develop individual tastes and they find it difficult to follow the rules dictated by you. You are taken aback that your child now wants to push away your restricting hands to learn everything as he sees it.
It shows that they are growing up and you should feel proud of it. Do not see everything from your point of view and ruin their happiness. When times change you too should change. During yester generation you did not enjoy the worldly exposure they now have and so they are confident than you and a little hotheaded also. They will cool down when they learn lesson the tough way.
5. You are always a parent
When you are a parent you want to control your children. You want your decisions to be implemented and feel that you know what your children need better than them. This is yet another example of generation gap. You should always come down to their level and interact with them with friendliness. This is the only way to have good relationship with them as otherwise you have to spend your old age yearning for their care and attention.
‘That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in another. ~Adlai Stevenson
You should not burden yourself with worries about your children and make your life miserable and the life of your children oppressive. Do not breathe down their neck as they will shrug you off. Take a step back and let them live their lives. There is one thing you can do. Just convey the message that you will always be there for them when they need you.
© 2013 mathira