Helping Your Child Deal with The Generation Gap

Generation Gap

All of us have gone through that period where we either were rebellious or we wanted to be rebellious. Several times in our lives we thought our parents just don’t get it. We wondered so many times why our parents or grandparents would behave a certain way and why couldn’t they just let things go and be one with the current times. Now, after becoming parents ourselves, we are slowly starting to understand many aspects of our parents’ behaviour and we feel even more respect for them. And, only after we become grandparents, will we understand the reasons behind our grandparents behaving the way they used to.

Our little ones have already started questioning our eating habits, how we dress up and talk, how we spend money and our time, how we behave with our friends and more. While we still have the energy to deal with their tantrums and objections, our parents do not have the physical or mental strength for that. Also, grandparents simply love their grandkids too much to take anything they say to heart. So, the onus falls on us to make sure that our kids understand where we and our parents are coming from. Here are a few ways to help the child deal with the generation gap:

1. Raise awareness

For us grow-ups, the generation gap is a concept that we are now starting to understand. However, for a child, this can be a very complicated thing to understand. It is our responsibility to help the child comprehend the nuances of it. Explain to the kids why the psychology of parents is different from that of the child and why the way the grandparents think and act is different from the parents. If you use easy terms to simplify the idea, there is a chance that the child will also comprehend it and behave respectfully with the older generation.

2. Do not ignore the little things

We often yell at our kids when they fight with other kids or when they misbehave with their teachers or they disrespect their relatives. However, we often let it go when kids misbehave with us or our parents. Kids often do not understand their feelings, so they fail to express them properly. More often than not, they end up taking their grandparents for granted and may even yell at them, make fun of them, throw things, kick them, tease them, etc. Such things should not be ignored and you must make the child aware that such rude behaviour is not appropriate.

3. Scope for learning

As parents, we must make the child see what he/she can learn from those who are from a different generation. A generation gap does not have to be a bad thing. It can instead prevent you from making the same mistakes that the past generation made and carry forward the good values, traditions, and culture that the older generation has preserved for you. Make your child spend more time with the older generation to let both the parties understand each other better. While the grandparents and parents can learn a number of new things from our kids in this digital age, we too have a plethora of things that we can teach our kids.

Having a generation gap is inevitable and that is the way the world works. Instead of getting frustrated and irritated about it, it is better to embrace it and focus on how it can be a boon for everyone. Our kids can help our parents in stepping into the present times and our parents can help our kids stay connected with their roots. We parents can be that bridge that makes the generation gap a little narrower. The key is to understand this and value all that a generation gap has to offer.

Authored by Bhavna Bhalla,
A full-time mother for the last six years and a part-time writer for over a decade with a passion for travelling and engaging in intellectually-stimulating conversations.