How to Enrich Generational Gap
We visited our family house few hours ago, ate lunch and a nice talk about our family plans for the year, random topics and some updates. I got interested with an update about a teenager bullied and she’s no longer active in school. I recalled a topic I once shared to some friends and up to now, I believe it deserves attention. It’s about generational gap.
Generational gap is defined in wiki as a difference of opinions between one generation and another regarding beliefs, politics or values.
I think it’s called a gap because of the undefined distance among all of us regardless of our age. A lot of parents or maybe seniors or any persons not open to understand their younger family member are triggering failure in relationships.
Disagreements, debates and heartbreaks will consume every relationship if we are not open and ready with generational gap. Sometimes, younger people opt to be with their peers in school, coffee shops, internet cafes, or any place where they feel secured, accepted and understood.
I am grateful to have an experience of dealing with different generation. No I am not immortal living in the past and future to understand all people. I realized there are many ways to cover and enrich generational gap and hopefully you will learn from it.
Possible results of not connecting generational gaps
- Separation and distrust between parents and youngsters
- Broken intimacy and unfriendliness
- Disrespect and frequent misunderstandings
- Bitterness or grudge
We enrich generational gap by being Realistic
You cannot enforce your views, methods and teachings if it’s impossible and unrealistic. Every parent, ministers, pastors, guardians needs to balance everything. Setting up expectations to youngsters must be natural and doable. It will create a sense of completion and achievement if we allow our kids, younger friends to appreciate reality.
Stop limiting your child’s dream and passion. Start guiding them and don’t over protect!
As a believer, faith is important but being realistic in real world is also a must.
Avoid pressuring youngsters to do it like you did before. Be truthful and acknowledge your kid’s limits and needs so you can fill in.
Our kids need funds for their school project?
Don’t just tell them to pray and wait for it, let’s do our part to provide and manage to deliver it.
Stay real and true.
We enrich generational gap by being Responsible
Busy in the ministry, work or in your career has its advantages and disadvantages. Please don’t forget our responsibility as a senior to our kids and youth. At the same time, don’t forget our responsibility as juniors to our mentors, parents, boss or ministers.
If we are aware of our part and purpose to younger or older people, then we are in the right path. We are supposed to show and give honor to older ones first and we have responsibility to show and demonstrate to younger ones how to acknowledge respect and honor. The point here is living by example. Responsibility is a broad word in a relationship and the key is to do your role at least positively. Our role must be correctly, realistically and responsibly done.
We enrich generational gap by being Relevant
As a parent, this is very important. We don’t have to understand every new thing the younger generation has to offer – just accept it. Embrace change and appreciate every improvement around you. Living in a fast-paced world and impatient generation may be caused by technological advancement. Slow or fast, don’t try to drag down so you can control.
Younger generation needs to be understood and must be guided accordingly. There is a risk of forgetting the importance of fundamentals and basics. Our job as older to them is to emphasize the basics and make it as a strong foundation.
I remember advising Alex because of his eagerness to be on top, “Advanced is just a combination of basics so don’t complicate things.”
Accept modern improvements to stay relevant and move on from old times without discarding the lessons from the past.
Some points to consider
- Communicate and be open minded – appreciate every generation and avoid comparing just to see the disadvantage. Look for common good and magnify the good side of each generation
- Spend time and rewrite your priority – youngsters seek attention and they need every detail to be acknowledged by their parents or guardian. Limit your time in the ministry if its pulling you out of your family time. Dedicate time to bond, sit down together and exchange some ideas. I discourage you not to use gadget during family time
- Educate and be teachable – No parent is perfect. We learn from our mistakes but its wiser to learn from other’s mistakes too. Visit your support group, your ministry friends and share about ideas on how parents connect to their youngsters. Look for ways to improve and embrace change.
- Avoid controlling everyone – You are only frustrating yourself if you try to stay on top of everybody and every situation like a boss. Admit we have limited control and that’s the reality. So, don’t push too much.
This is a post particularly for the parent-child (youngster) relationship. The concept can be applied in a junior-senior setup or mentor-student. I hope you are inspired to appreciate every difference generation has and be encouraged to enjoy life without frustration.
Strive to be realistic, responsible and relevant to create & enrich relationships.