There is a deluge of tweets, whatsapp messages , complaints and jokes about the growing and festering emotion that parents share about the lack of empathy they suffer at the hands of their children. How “our generation is the last to have listened to both the gen before them as well as the next gen”, how kids today have no respect or time for their elders.
Rants about kids being insensitive, rude, brash, selfish, materialistic, indisciplined,shirkers who are comfortable living off their parents in terms of money and comfort.
Complaints about how the oldies are struggling to earn inspite of all their old age limitations, rising at dawn , while the pampered kids wake at noon demanding attention, food, drink and money as if they are doing the parents a favour by simply being there!
Objections about how the youngsters can find time for their friends and to party whereas the odd meal, movie, holiday or simply a sit down chat session with the kids eludes the yearning parents who have so much to share but not the listening ear that they long for!
To be seen with a mom is uncool, to watch a movie with the dad is belittling, to enter a restaurant with them is the epitome of disgrace!!
A little peck on the cheek is met with an indignant push and shove away from them, the idea of a photograph/selfie with a parent is met with such derision as to suggest that they have been asked for their bone marrow or to sacrifice their very soul while shedding their dignity along the way!
The rants continue endlessly on social media, phone calls, web pages and early morning walks in the park. The elderly are worried, worried about the lack of morality, respectfulness, responsibility, sensibility….”These boys don’t do Peri Paina any more!! What are their parents teaching them?The girls dismiss their mother’s pleas to spend time with them at home or on that elusive shopping trip ! For their friends they have ample time and energy!!”
So continues the endless trail of retribution!!
One tries to switch side of the coin and reminisce on the truth of said situation. There is no doubt this is a fact that almost every parent is dealing with today! “Ghar ghar ki kahani “, the old women sigh and shake their heads in derision as if accepting the Gospel truth in submission!
I try to see it from the youngsters perspective but don’t arrive at any conclusive answers! We are from a generation that barely ever thought about rebelling, retaliating, talking back, ignoring the elder’s command, questioning and arguing!! Not that we were brainless or cowardly but more because we were brought up to believe that our elders should be put on a pedestal and no matter how incorrect or ridiculous we may find their theories or behavior, ‘Mum’s the word’ !! Good children don’t argue with Gen above! Case closed.
Logic defies why our kids are so different from us…call it more exposure, influences from cultures around the world, the growing desperation to ‘keep up’, ‘fit in’, ‘surge ahead’, ‘never say never’. A confidence in their ability,(misplaced in some cases), to outshine the others, beat down the competition, shut up those who protest, shoo away those with alternate experience, trample upon those who may know better and the quest to make a quick buck is actually a rampant disease..one that is taking away an open mindedness and humility that the youth need to steer their way through an increasingly difficult life…they refuse to be steered or aided in any way, refuse to accept sound advise, refuse to admit they may have been misled by their lack of knowledge or experience!! There is nothing wrong with acknowledging the help of those who have been through it all for it can be a blessing, a shortcut to skipping all the steps in life that could be an obstacle to growth, an avenue to get to their goals faster with less heart ache!
On the flip side I really do admire how smart our next Gen is..they are so much more confident, exposed, global and savvy then we were at their age. What we have learned along a journey culminating in the greying of our hair, they have already learnt with the help of our WWW and an over zealous social life and tons of cans of beer! Maybe that’s why they mock our dinosaur ideology, crush the idea of taking it slow, trash the stupidity of taking advice from those who did it differently!!
Maybe they have a point in their own way cos every Gen has his own can of worms to open, his own battle to fight, a different breed of enemies, a whole new legion of weaponry!!!
Maybe we are not able to keep up or enforce our supposedly lax ideology on them…our attempt to instill in them some caution when it comes to spending and business, socializing , boisterousness , over confidence or disrespect may be met with derision but that’s cos we also have to learn that they are young adults with much greater abilities than we might give them credit for. As a parent we need to listen to them and hear them also…not just dismiss their every idea with a disinterested shrug saying ” I know better”!! Many a time they really know better and it’s time we accept and acknowledge that!! Speak to them, know their minds, listen!!!!
So let this be a prayer from every parent today…and stop the complaining!!!
“My dear child
I brought you into this world , without consulting you , as you so often point out ,and my entire life has served to make you as comfortable as possible under the circumstances…we were not the richest, boldest, or the most informed …savvy we may not have been but honest we definitely were…. honest in our endeavors to bring you up well, shelter you and protect fiercely. We fed you first and ate later, we dressed you first and then draped ourselves in pride for you. We taught as well as we could.. a lesson in morals a la Gen above coupled with what we thought you would need to learn as growing children..we fanned you all night to keep the mosquitoes away, we fought those who sought to tell us what we should or should do for you if it wasn’t in your best interest! And we learned along the journey to today!! Many lessons may be awry or incomplete but we did our best…it may not be so in your eyes but believe me , we went all out!! We continue to learn and imbibe even today, very often from your maturity and sound remarks…we have evolved as humans along with you, as much because of you as due to the rocks life threw at us!! For you are our treasure, our ‘raison d’etre!
Love us or hate us just don’t ignore or write us off!! We need your time, understanding, respect and the fierce desire to scale the walls that exist between two generations! In return We pledge to give you your due as the smartest young people we know…To overcome the drudgery of fighting different ideologies and accepting the best from each in order to live and grow in unison!!
Lets laugh, travel, eat, talk, sing, dance, argue together…not alone! For in spite of our differences we are one!! Just like two sides of the same coin, we cannot exist without each other. Years down the line, when your kids call you a T Rex we hope to laugh together at them!!
Always remember how much we love you and how proud you make us when you succeed or when you pick yourself up after a failure! We are there for you at all times! Just love us ! Don’t write us off just yet!There is many a mile and many a road we wish to walk you upon or be walked upon by you , holding your hand”
All we want is a smile and some respect..in return, all we have is yours anyway”!!!!