“Let’s just agree to disagree shall we?” The standard defensive maneuver to end the usual heated arguments between a parent and his child. It is what one gets to hear from their parents not sometimes, but often. The biggest questions lies, why parents don’t get along well with their children and the most appropriate and common answer to this is “The Generation Gap/Education”. Having said this it doesn’t end here, in fact this is where it all starts.
What parents think? Their children cannot distinguish between Needs and Wants, they often tend to get stubborn about wanting unwanted things. A parent saying no to a particular thing is not because they hate their kids but its cause they are protective about them. All parents think that they should give their children the best but not at the expense of spoiling them. But there is no such study or evidence which shows that giving all or less to a child results into spoiling their habits. Most importantly parents are worried about their children’s future, so back to the question, why they don’t get along?
Everything starts when parents start comparing their kids with themselves, a father/mother would always talk about the times when they were kids, some ten thousand years back when the only sound they could hear from their windows would be of bullock carts, whereas today’s kids can identify the car that passed just by the sound of its exhaust. Its not that parents cant afford to give what their child asks for. Parents often end up telling their kids what circumstances they lived in, or how poor they were as kids and how they had to make compromises in situations. They are definitely not wrong in doing that, especially when they want us to be happy by realizing the bright side of our situation, which is, what we have rather than what we don’t. But the world back then was light-years away from what it is now. It was not that materialistic, it was simple yet subtle.
With technological advances things just changed and some of them got outdated and vanished into thin air. Children often end up asking for things which they see in their surroundings. At times even parents use some of the things to lure their kids, so that they would do a particular task. Comparison is fine to some extent but when pushed beyond that limit, it ends up backfiring. As a result of which it becomes a habit for parents to disagree to their kids and then it tends to generate hatred in kids against their parents. But at the same time it really does not mean that parents should fulfill all what is demanded by their children, its just that they should stop comparing their era with that of their children in every little thing and will definitely see things working smoothly.
Oh, yes! This is one of the major reasons, in the 50s , 60s education system was simple and very few would want to become a doctor or an engineer or start up their own business. It was a time of industrial infancy, where most of the people ended up doing government jobs or worked in banking institutions. But today, there are various professions one would want to get into. Earlier graduation was the maximum education one would achieve, but today masters is the least, with that people do a myriad of supplementary courses.
Often a child ends up studying more than what his/her parents did. This is when it all happens, the child’s information centres are filled manifold not only due to the higher level education but also because of the ever changing technology and information availability and as a consequence, the wavelengths of parents fall short and stop matching with that of their child, although the parent may have more life experience, the amount of information the child is exposed to is tenfold. As a result of which there is clash in their egos, naturally turning into an argument and then into a disaster. At such stages child becomes secretive, and soon the essential element of parent-child communication is lost.
At teenage most of them are aggressive, hyper enough to perform any task, excited, enthusiastic. They start wanting things instantaneously. And so the gap widens, with parents being the less hyper and thinking type while the child displaced on the other end of the spectrum, impatient and impulsive. The parent, now not being totally aware of the situation faced by the child, makes it more overwhelming for the child. The persistent competition and time constraints only ends up adding to the child’s share of burden.
Now, during the child’s time, everyday is giving rise to a new study. While earlier, in the time of the parent, the competition level was negligible and people were content with the education they had. Today, children are in an overdrive mode where they want to study more and more. The aim is not the moon or mars, it’s the entire universe. Sky, which was once the limit has now become the base standard. It does not mean that even parents should start studying with their children and get the same level of education and know-how, just as it does not mean that they should stop educating their child. Essentially, to bridge the gap and foster better understanding, parents should stay updated with the social surrounding, while children should learn to see the other side’s perspective better and realise that if it weren’t for their parents and century old beliefs they would be nothing.
Everything has a solution only if we want to solve it.