“Open your arms to change, but do not let go of your values”- The Dalai Lama
It is rightly said “old customs are easy to forget with the flashing of events in our lives.” Old customs, which once used to be our stepping stone, seem like a burden now. Sad but true. Things haven’t changed. There were fights between parents and children due to clash of opinions, same is the case today. What has changed is the thinking of the coming generation. Every single child is facing the problem of generation gap. I myself have been facing this issue. The life which our elders used to live seems like a different world now. We wish to be independent, to socialize, to learn, to grow and most importantly to develop ourselves in the best possible way. Even our parents wish the same for us, but in a different manner. They wish that their children should grow, learn and develop but while clinging to the customs and traditions they followed. They expect the same kind of behaviour which they used to follow in their childhood.
I have lived in a hostel and I know the story of many girls talking about the problems they face in their lives and have inferred that of all the issues being talked about, everyone shared one common problem; generation gap. While they were discussing their parental issues, after everything they found in common among themselves, they end up like, “Yes! This is called Generation Gap!” Some parents, especially mothers of some girl child’s go over protective. They put them in girl’s school just with the motive that their daughter should not be friends with a guy, as having male friends is “not acceptable” in their family. What they desperately wish is that their sweet and innocent daughter should not come in contact with any other guy but only her “Husband.” At times I feel like seriously? How can you just restrict someone from making friends like that? And than what they teach their girls is that if they make any male friend, she should treat him like her “Brother!” no ways! Give me a break! Please! This type of attitude is not acceptable at all. Okay, to some extent it’s acceptable, we understand that our parents care for us, but there is no need to be over-protective. Every girl wishes to have a male best friend, to share her feelings and emotions to someone who would listen to her, support her and help her. I am not denying the fact that parents are not supportive, but what if this over-protective nature ends up creating a distance between a parent and their child! The child itself would want to create a distance, to make his/her own world, with the people and friends of his/her age, who would understand, accept and support their friend! A child feels suffocated when he/she undergoes such situations. Parents need to understand that it’s the new teenage generation which needs a little freedom and does not want to mess up with words like “When I was at your age I used to work a lot more than you!” Or “You got to come first in your exams this time! You have to leave that kid of Sharma ji’s behind!” These sentences may sound familiar to you and these are true to some extent. But besides this, even the teenagers should keep in mind that if they are given liberty, then they ought to behave well and be in their limits. Only then this leniency would help the children to learn and develop themselves as per their wish.
Every parent wishes to brag about achievements of their children; my child scored 90% above in board exams, my child is in XYZ College, my child came first in class, etc. At times they tend to afflict their child to score well or to get first rank. I have seen many cases where parents tend to pressurize their children to such an extent that the children have to follow every single word what their parents say. For example, there was one guy who wished to take Commerce as his stream but his parents, actually his father forced him to take Science and to start preparing for medical entrances. That guy had to sit in his room whole day and study something which he never wanted to. He was neither allowed to go outside with his family nor to talk to any of his friends over phone. What his father expected of him was to focus only on his studies! Just because he himself (The Father) had been treated strictly and was expected to behave with discipline all the time, he wanted to treat his child in the same manner. Further, there was a case of a guy being monitored by his parents through a CCTV camera in his room to make sure he was studying and wasn’t involving in other activities which waste time. The generation of today won’t accept this kind of attitude towards themselves. They will want to fly, to fight for their freedom, to choose a career of their own choice so that even if they fail to succeed they’ll regret, but they will be happy with the thing that the decision was not forced onto them, but it was their own.
There is an increasing need to bridge the generation gap and for making this happen both parents and their children will have to take the initiative. Both will have to try and understand each other and will have to live up to the expectations of each other only then the ‘Change’ is possible!