When I was a kid I think I had way less of generation gap with my parents. It was like we all lived in pretty much the same world. We watched the same movies.. we were interested in the same news about the world. We even had similar tastes and food and so on. Not that everything was identical but there was way more similarities.
Yes we did have two worlds, one was that parents knew in and out and the other was this world I had with my friends. But even then if a parent would want they could easily know about that world. If my parents would visit my friends and talk to them, they can quickly know the contexts and the language.
But now…. I guess that has changed tremendously. In fact I could see a generation gap between my 22 year old and my 14 year old. I think we parent across three if not more worlds. And three does not mean parenting a 22 year old and a 14 year old. I mean three worlds.. two physical worlds and one virtual world.
What I have figured is that this virtual world of a teenager today is build on a whole different set of rules and experiences that to a great extend I am unaware of and cannot even understand. Even if I am let into it, I will be lost. I just don’t have the energy, patience and faculty to understand that….
And the alarming thing I find is that the spaces where I can communicate with my teenager also will shrink. What do I do… This is where I had started a writing project with them. I did that with my 22 year old when she was in 10th and I do that with my 14 year old now when he is entering high school. A long 365 days project. More about that some other day.
But the point I want ton make is more than trying to figure out every single piece of all these worlds we should create more spaces within relationships where we all can exist as ourselves and no one needs to fake anything. And these spaces become part of who we are. This does not mean you helicopter on their life and being and become the most annoying piece in your kids life. I will leave you all today with this thought.
As time goes by we as parents need to put more effort to create spaces where mutual respect and friendship and common understanding exists. This will nurture relationships to make them ready for changes in the future.