Generation Gap

The challenge, in which I am participating, one letter is assigned for every day. But with my topic ( about retired seniors) it is becoming difficult to follow. In fact, due to this, I am behind by two posts, which I will be covering this Sunday. So now without any stress to follow the Alphabetic trail, I am taking the topics which are in-line with my topic – The Second Innings. Here I am writing about the issues which senior citizens face due to changes in life’s situations with age.

Today I shall be writing about generation gap which is really existent. Let us explore together what is generation gap and how in the families it can be handled amicably.

A generation gap refers to the gulf that separates the behaviors and beliefs of the members of two different generations. It describes the differences in thoughts, actions, and tastes between the members of younger generations versus older. While generation gaps have always been prevalent in history, the differences are widening faster in the 20th and 21st centuries than ever before. So, as seniors, we have to tackle a tougher situation. 🙂

Generational gaps are simply caused by age and the situation of the world at the time one generation has grown up. For example, the beliefs and perceptions of those who grew up during World War II may be different from those who grew up in the 1960s—though to be sure, similarities will remain.

This generation gap starts affecting elders in the family and society in general when this isolate them from the mainstream. It is the real thing and has to be tackled heads on. The first step to solve a problem is to recognize it first. Once the problem , in this case, the generation gap is understood, it can be resolved. We had it with our parents and now we are in the same boat. This is unavoidable as this is how societies evolve across generations. Wherever different generations interact, this issue will be there. As a young professional, you must have complaints against that old adamant boss, and there is every chance that your younger colleague must be talking about you in the same tone as you age. 

Generation gaps if not handled carefully can spoil the relationships. Both sides have to communicate openly to bridge the differences. Fixed assumptions and perceptions about the other generation should be avoided. One thing is sure – these conversations will be difficult but needed to solve the heartburns and emotional turmoil. 

As elders, it is good idea to listen to the thoughts of younger generation. At times, unconditional love and trust in children and a belief in your upbringing can solve complex circumstances easily. Sometimes it can be a compromise or some other time, agree to disagree is another way to handle generation gap.

Indian society is family oriented and the tendency of family seniors to control their children is very strong. Under the changed circumstances, it is good to let children make mistakes. If stakes are high, try to persuade them rather than controlling. Be assertive and not aggressive while speaking to young ones. This will help them to understand your perspective. It is good idea to keep communication open by simple letting go at times.

It is a good idea to have some family activities to promote family harmony. Involve grandchildren as they are the best bridges who keep the family bonded. 

Bridging the generation gap is nothing but looking for a healthy way of living together with different kind of people who happens to be your loved ones. Create a scenario through conversation where every one is okay with each other, respecting other’s point of view. Let ego goes out of the window and patience takes it’s place. 

The older generation has the experience and new generation has new ideas, when both work together, it is wonderful. Check out the hollywood movie, The Intern.  It is about an elder who joins a young fashion start up as an intern. It showcases how both young and old evolve with each other. 

Often family break up happens when people refuse to create bridge to reduce the gap. It is important to acknowledge that life is short and relationships are important. Let generation gap be overcome for the sake of harmony in the family. 

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