The generation gap is the difference of opinions and attitudes which are so evident between the older and the younger generation with respect to the lifestyle, beliefs, priorities, actions, tastes and associated matters. The generation gap is a factor which exists predominantly between children and their parents or grandparents.
Generation gaps have always existed right from the olden days, however, the intensity has increased noticeably in the 20th and 21st centuries.
People from older generation generally feel that it is a bit difficult to understand the younger generation and it is much more uncomplicated to communicate and relate with people who are more or less of their same age. This feeling is mutual as the children from the younger generation also tend to become more reserved with their parents and are more open and cheerful with children of their same age group.
The generation gap is more of a psychological nature and creates a lot of misunderstanding between children and the parents in the family. There are times when situations go out of control where the parents and the children do not manage to connect with each other in expressing their feelings precisely, resulting in severe misunderstanding and worthless arguments. This situation inevitably leads to a lack of attachment between them. How productively the parents can avert the generation gap is the million dollar question as the triumph of parenting lies very much on this point.
One of the major reasons for the generation gap is the fast development that takes place in the society. Members of the older generation just are not able to cope up with the speed of development. As the development was comparatively very slow in the earlier days, two generations at least lived with the same kind of lifestyles and priorities. However, with the fast-paced development today, even a few years in the past certainly looks very outdated and today’s children do not want to look back as the world is advancing with new technologies with incredible speed. It is a fact that parents can never come anywhere near their children when it comes to widening the knowledge in terms of latest technology and equipment. The knowledge gap is also a contributing factor to the generation gap.
When we look at the technical developments that have occurred in the past few years, it is pretty obvious that members of the older generation are finding it extremely difficult to stay up to date with their current knowledge base. They are no way in a position to clear the doubts of the younger ones which consequently widens the gap between them. It becomes imperative that the elders are required to stay well informed with respect to the current technical developments to the best of their competence as otherwise children are inclined to look at them as outdated and old fashioned.
• Never compare. Parents make the common mistake of comparing themselves with their children when they were in the same age years back. Parents should realize it is not the same world anymore and the requirements and outlook of the present day children are different.
• Communication. It is of paramount importance. Try to understand the requirements of your children and communicate more with them as far as possible. Non-communication paves the way to misunderstanding and room for generation gap in the long run.
• Stay up to date. It is easier said than done. No matter how hard they try, parents will find it impossible to learn all technical advancements like their children do. However, they can always try to learn whatever that is possible to their capability and try not to become outdated totally.
• Avoid rudeness. Try to be friendly and never give your children a chance to feel that you are a difficult customer to approach.
• Demand. Never demand more than their abilities. Parents expect too much from their children without assessing their strength and push them hard to achieve something which provokes tension in the family.
• Do not force. You should not expect your children to select their career according to your choice. There are lots of new avenues available these days and many parents are not even aware of them. It is the duty of the parents to guide their children, not to force them to do something which is of least interest to the children.