By – Supriya
How many times have you felt that your parents don’t understand you, and have no respect for you as an individual? How often do you shake your head in frustration unable to get your point across to your parents? Parents ! They are like aliens from another planet altogether! You and they are in different camps ; strangers forced to live under the same roof. Right? Wrong! There is a way of bridging what appears to be a yawning chasm.If you genuinely want to improve your relationship with your parents(and give them a big shock in the bargain!) try listening to them , just like you would listen to a valued friend. Instead of always whining ,” You don’t understand me”, stop and think. Do you ever try and understand them? Parents are under a lot of stress too. When we are worrying about our upcoming Maths exam, they are worrying about the boss in the office , and just how they are going to pay for are worrying about the boss in the office, and just how they are going to pay for our expenses.Like us , they too have bad days when someone humiliates them at work. Sometimes, they are stressed wondering where the money for all the applications you send to foreign universities is going to come from. Your mom may seldom have a chance to go out and enjoy herself. Your dad’s colleagues may deride him because he cannot afford membership to a club.
Yes, weird though it may sound, parents are humans too. They may have dreams they’ve sacrificed because they want you to realize yours. Once you step into their shoes and try to look at things from their point of view, two wonderful things happen; one, you feel a new respect for them, and two, you will find that you can actually get your own way without heated arguments. Today, when you come back from school or college,ask your mom or dad ,” How did your day go today?” or ” Tell me a little more about your job”. or ” Is there anything I can do to help you around in the house?” You will see the visible difference it makes to the atmosphere at home. And each day, try to keep your promises – to do your homework, to clean your room and to write letters or telephone if you are living away from home. Seventy five percent of the youngsters claimed that the teenage years are a time of stress and anxiety for them – anxiety about exams,jobs, parental expectations, peer pressure, love lives, the need to look good and dress smartly, and we’ll , even the state of the nation.
Generation gap means difference in attitude , or lack of understanding between younger and older generation. This generation gap has always been there but these days it has reached an explosive stage. The values and patterns of life have changed to a great extent. Today, everybody likes to live and behave in his own way. This attitude has enlarged the generation gap, which is becoming wider day by day. It is now disrupting the family life completely. The elders look after the children and make all sorts of sacrifices to bring them up. Parents want children to follow their instructions as they believe it is for benefit of children and would do them good. On the other hand, children face immense pressure of exams and cut- throat competition and think that parents know nothing about the demands of this fast paced world. In the end, despite love and affection for each other, both are drained of energy and find unable to comprehend the other. Consequently, there is lack of communication between the two that , with time, develops into larger rift. Unlike west, in india , this problem is yet in the initial stages, but the gap has appeared and it is going to grow bigger day by day. So it is not only the responsibility of the younger generation , but also of the elders to fill this gap with their love, affection and trust . The problem, in fact , has grown and intensified due to rise in complexities of modern life. These complexities have arisen in the wake of modernism as faster industrialization with increasing population has led to greater competition . The problem arises when parents begin to take things too seriously and forgot that as children they had themselves loved adventure and freedom . On the other hand, children too are in the blind race of enjoying life and following their friends. They fail to see their parents’ perspective as for them , at this age their friends suddenly become more important. This increases the anxiety of parents as they are concerned and afraid of their children falling in bad company . This leads to imposition of greater restrictions by parents, which further annoys the freedom- loving teenagers and increases the tension between the two.
At this time, grandparents can play a constructive role in order to bridge the gap of thought, attitude and approaches to life. Generation gap is not that serious a problem if families can learn to sit over dinner and amicably settle things by ironing out differences and sharing experiences. When this communication barrier is transcended and the ice broken, the problem does not remain that serious anymore. Talking it out calmly and coolly , with the idea of sorting the things out, changing for each other and changing for better can be the most helpful instrument in bridging the generation gap. Family outings, vacations, tours,panic-outings, often with the family could be effective ways to initiate intimacy between parents and children. Watching movies and discussing them, putting forth different viewpoints can be a beginning to inculcate the habit of a healthy dialogue between members of the family. Such small things and steps can do wonders in initiating a healthy family atmosphere and reducing friction between two generations that are both right from their perspective . Their only folly is that they are viewing the same thing from opposite directions. Age, time and experience or the lack of it , forces them to do so.