BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP
Fill in the blank:
- “When I was your age I didn’t have...”
- “When I was your age I was...”
- “When I was your age I knew better than to...”
However you ended those sentences, I can predict one thing: your children aren’t that interested. Especially if you’re planning to tell them a few things about how ungrateful or irresponsible they are.
“Times Have Changed”
For at least three generations now, our way of life has been evolving so quickly, technologically and socially, that every decade brings a new generation gap. Small wonder that the typical kid’s attitude toward parental lectures is, “When you were my age, it was a different world, and you’ve got no right to judge me by its standards.” And the kids have a point: “We’ve always/never done it that way” is a pretty poor standard to base major decisions on. Ask anybody who lived through the Civil Rights era.
Still, basic principles of respect, self-care, and personal responsibility don’t change. So here are a few things parents of every generation need to teach our children—and a few things we should learn from them.
Seven Things Kids of Every Generation Should Learn From Their Parents
- Every member of the family (and community) contributes a fair share of work to the smooth running of the whole.
- Whoever last used something (or whoever spilled it) cleans it up and does not leave that job for someone else.
- As heads of the
house, parents retain right of final decision in truly important matters.
- The person standing in front of you has first claim on your (full) attention—more claim than your phone, video screen, or book.
- If you aren’t ready to work full-time or get married, you aren’t ready to take a ten-week cross-country trip with one or two buddies.
- You can’t live on a diet of desserts.
- Hard work, tough choices, and delayed gratification are essentials for effective living.
Eight Things Many Parents Need to Learn From Their Kids
- No matter how out of the “ordinary” anyone seems, they have a right to be treated as human beings with brains, good intentions, and basic dignity.
- It pays to learn something about the latest technology, before you’re the only person who can’t even spell it.
- You need more sleep than society says you’re “supposed” to get.
- Having fun together is essential to keeping romance in a relationship.
- There’s more to life than working to get ahead.
- You can make a fool of yourself and still show your face the next day.
- If you always accept “authority” without question, you’ll never grow up any more than you already have.
- Life never runs out of new opportunities and adventures.
Blessings to parents and children of all ages!