When a child enters his/her teenage and becomes an adolescent, he starts believing in his own ideas and develops a specific opinion of life, people, and their behaviour and starts acting according to it. This new changed behaviour differs a great deal from that of the parents. This is the gap of difference of opinion that is famously called the ‘Generation Gap’.
For some parents and their adolescent children, it becomes very difficult to bridge the gap. This gap increases over the period of time and brings bitterness in the sweet relationship parents and the child share.
Thus, it is important to bridge this gap to avoid fallouts. For this, both have to understand and learn to adjust a little bit here and there. Given below is a guide for both parents and adolescents to help lessen the huge gap that gets created.
- It is important for parents to accept that their child is growing now. He/she is heading towards becoming a mature individual and will soon become an adult.
- Try giving your child chances to take decisions on his/her own.
- Be a guide and not a dictator.
- If you think your child is going wrong somewhere, put forth your opinion with some valid reasoning and leave it to the child to decide and think about it. Your liberal and much friendly approach will pleasantly surprise the child and encourage him/her to think about it and most probably follow it.
- You have to accept that now your child is half the way into becoming an adult so involve him/her into discussions about the family or decisions involving anything to be bought for the house.
- Let him/her know about your finances and tell that you are sharing all this because you think that he/she is mature enough to understand and that you feel the need to share this with them. This will help them become more aware and understand financial matters.
- If your adolescent child insists on a sleepover with a friend you can allow that sometimes after checking that his/her company is harmless and that the parents live in too.
- In adolescence, the child goes through lot of peer pressure. Help him/her deal with it effectively.
- Whenever there is a discussion regarding any matter listen to his/her side of the story patiently and not just condemn it there and then. You have to understand that a child goes through lot of mental and physical changes and dealing with them is not a cakewalk.
- Support your child and stand for him/her assuring you are always there to guide and share things with.
- Be mentally prepared for changes in his/her behaviour and habits and try dealing with them patiently if they require your attention.
- Adolescence is the time when you are growing up and heading towards becoming an adult. This means more maturity and sensibility.
- It is okay if you are growing up but that doesn’t mean you will ignore your parent’s experience of life and their worldly wisdom. You are still in the growing stage.
- Respect you parents. Have reverence for their opinions and guidance.
- Treat your parents as your friends. Share things with them. It is also important to know your limits. You can’t take them for granted.
- Sleepovers and parties do happen but adjustments are also important. Sometimes they will agree to your wish and sometimes you have to do the same. It is okay to adjust here and there for them. After all they are your parents.
- Sit down with your parents and sort out things if you are having difference of opinion. Don’t just start throwing tantrums. This is not the way an adult behaves and you are half way through it.
- If you think your parents aren’t able to understand your point of view, explain to them politely with valid reasons.
- Instead of going in to extremes always take the middle way out. Arguing is pointless, aim for healthy discussions that lead to fruitful conclusions.
For both parents and children, adolescence is the time for becoming best of friends. So enjoy this phase in a healthy spirit and bridge the ‘Generation Gap’.