Q:

What is the generation gap between parents and children?

A:

Oubria Tronshaw from GlobalPost explains that a generational gap between parents and children develops as a natural result of the age differences between them. The communication barrier grows when generations do not share common interests and values. Parents and children grow up in different cultural settings, and if parents are unable to interact with their children in a language that appeals to them, families can slowly become fragmented.

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Most adults are familiar with children feeling that parents are much older and clueless about the way kids and teenagers operate. While this is an exaggeration, Tronshaw urges parents to recognize that there is some truth to the notion and encourages them to make an honest effort to remain involved in their children's lives. It is important for parents to keep lines of communication open with children so that feelings of isolation and secrecy do not permeate family relationships. It is especially crucial for parents of children raised in the digital age to educate themselves about the way children are interacting and using technology.

Parents run the risk of alienating their children when they scrutinize the differences between each generation's cultural upbringing. Tronshaw recommends that parents maintain a flexible attitude and foster a home environment that embraces change. Siblings often mature differently from one another, and each child presents his or her own set of challenges to the parents. In these cases, parents must be willing to take varying approaches and avoid enforcing a strict and immutable style of authority.

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