The generation gap – We have heard about it many times; however, we still face the challenges of day to day parenting, not only with our children, but with ourselves, whether we are aware or not.
We are faced with life challenges, parenting challengs, plus many more. What challenges us daily, whether it is our work, our spouse, children or other daily interactions, predominantly is caused by how we interpret the situations through our unconscious thoughts. This also relates to our experiences, our values, our beliefs, our expectations of ourselves and our children's behaviour etc.
Your unconscious mind is something that you are not aware of; however, it controls about 90% of your actions and inactions, as well as how you react to situations. Our unconscious thoughts were first formed during our childhood, through our family, community and through the people we came into contact with, and secondly by how we interpreted those experiences through our senses, which ultimately formed the beliefs – what we believed to be true.
Due to our different life experiences, education, values and culture, we form an opinion about things or situations… thus we form a judgment about that particular situation, based on our own experiences, perceptions and assumptions. If our children's expectations and experiences are different, and if they are judged or communicated with based on our own assumptions and beliefs and not from your children's view point, we may have indeed created what we call the generation gap.
Let me give you an example. I am NOT a fan of clubbing, not that it is bad, it is just because of my own interpretation and the exposure of the meaning of the term clubbing. This has a lot to do with how I viewed the activity from my own life experiences through the various senses.
However, for the children in a different era, i.e. my own children, who are being brought up ina different city and have different exposure and experiences in their life, they may view clubbing as part of their normal day to day activities – something which is normal and fun.
So when your communication with your children causes rifts or something triggers you during the interactions, ask yourself the following:
- What is my intention? What do I expect from the outcome? What do I want to achieve?
- What's my belief in this situation?
- What are my child's expectations, thoughts and perceptions on this matter?
- Am I empathising with their thoughts and situations i.e. communicating at their level based on their experiences and aware of their expectation?
Until we can bridge the gap of understanding, only then can you minimise the power struggle, the arguments etc.
Tune in and listen to both yourself and your child. Sometimes all your child needs is to be heard and appreciated for who they are and what they stand for, thus the need to defend themselves becomes minimised.
Have a connected day with your family.