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Generation Gap – Have you ever had the feeling that people older than you are hard to understand or you felt like the younger generation just don’t get it? Maybe you’ll find it easier to connect to people who are closer to your age than those who are older or younger than you.
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Wikipedia defines ‘Generation gap’ or ‘generational gap’ as the difference of opinions between one generation and another regarding beliefs, politics or values. In today’s world it often refers to a perceived gap between younger people and their parents/grandparents.
This is probably the story of every household, universally! The wide difference between your experienced outlook and the experimental attitude of your children to learn from trial and error is called a generation gap.
Most of the younger generation feel being dictated when forced to do in the older ways and their minds revolt when you intrude into their private life.
Why is there a generation gap between you and your children?
- Being judgemental and critical about their every action.
- Lecturing them about their behaviour.
- Not allowing them to experiment.
- Not allowing them to learn from their mistakes.
This basically defines a 100% authentic generation gap. You never think that there is a wide generation gap between you and your children and always think you are a perfect parent.
- I buy them expensive things which I couldn’t afford when I was young.
- They study in the best schools and colleges.
- I take them for vacations to exotic places.
Do you think the above mentioned things makes you a perfect parent? Are these criteria enough to determine you as a good parent?
Here’s what the children think. This probably shows the generation gap between the two generations.
- I don’t have the liberty to be myself.
- I’m expected to do things their way.
- We don’t spend time together.
- I’m always being preached and lectured when they spend time with me.
- They lack the patience to listen and understand me.
This is what generation gap is all about. No two minds can be alike no matter them being your own children/parents, and that’s what causes the differences.
It is rather strange that parents don’t have an emotional bond with their children even though they work night and day for their betterment and for their future.
“My mother is always talking on the phone and barely listens to what I have to say. When I demand her attention she gets angry at me”. This was the statement given by an 8 year old in a newspaper interview.
Here’s What Causes Generation Gap:
1. Communication Problems:
The generation gap has created a parallel gap in language that can be difficult to communicate across. This issue is visible throughout all societies. It creates complications with day to day communication at home and work.
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The new generation wants to define themselves something apart from the old, hence they adopt a new lingo and slang allowing a generation to create a sense of division from the previous one.
2. Technological Advances:
Every generation develops a new slang, but with the development of technology, understanding gaps have widened between the older and younger generations.
The younger generations often have private conversations in crowded rooms due to the advances of mobile phones and text messaging.
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3. Finding Faults:
The younger generation are bound to make mistakes and tend to learn from their mistakes. Making a mistake is the learning process of the younger generation. When they make a mistake, they tend to rely more on their friends as they seem to understand and support them without any hesitation. For the older generation, being their friend at this time goes a long way.
4. No Two People Are Alike:
All parents have dreams for their children but while you try to make sure they achieve the dream that you had their dreams are broken. For eg. if you are a doctor you would want your children to pursue medicine, irrespective of the fact whether he/she likes it or not. This again creates a sense of difference as they are not allowed to live their life and aren’t able to work on their own dreams.
5. Comparing With Others:
The younger generation frown upon this more than anything else. When parents compare them with other children. Comparing the children with others regarding their grades, behavior, attitude, etc kills their enthusiasm. It installs in them a lack of confidence. Appreciating and praising even their tiniest success makes them feel worthy and many feel the need to be appreciated by their parents more than anything else.
Video games, TV, Chatting, browsing the internet becomes their favourite past time activity when the older generation becomes more involved in their work and can’t find the time to spend quality time with them.
All children love their parents and the parents do everything for their children. Its a universal truth. But due to the differences mentioned above they lack the emotional touch with each other. The younger generation today will one day face the same with their own children and hence it is important to remove this gap. All it takes is a little effort, time and patience to talk and understand each other.
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