“I use to work so much at your age, don’t you have any responsibilities???”I guess almost everyone here will agree that at some point (well almost at every point) in life we have heard of something like this from our elders. Or, on the other hand, have you felt like people from younger generations simply don’t get it? Possibly you will find communicating effortlessly to the ones who are nearer to your age than the individuals who are more older or more younger than you. If yes, then you have experienced the generation gap.
So what is the generation gap?
A generation gap is a difference of opinions between one generation and another regarding beliefs, politics, or values. In today’s usage, “generation gap” often refers to a perceived gap between younger people and their parents or grandparents. (Source: Wikipedia)
Let me tell you it is not one-sided. Youth is packed with energy and passion and is vulnerable. The old on the other hand, have intelligence and experience and they are invulnerable.
Now this part is interesting, I am not sure whether you know about this or not but the generations are also distinguished as follows:
The baby boomers (born from 1946 to the 60s)
During that time, there was a statistically significant increase in the number of births that occurred. Though there is no definitive answer as to what caused the baby boom, there are some economic, social and psychological factors that may have combined to create this surge in births. Some historians have put forth the idea that the baby boom was directly related to the end of World War II in 1945.
The generation X (those born in the mid-60s and 80s)
Well, they are almost on the verge of retirement with the same employer, they intended working in their career when they entered the workforce. They are mostly known as philanthropic. Generation X members not only take care of their own children but frequently help support their aging parents. Some of them plan to work after retirement, not for financial reasons but to remain socially engaged and intellectually stimulated.
The Millennials (those born in the 80s and 90s)
Millennials grew up in a time where everything they needed to know or wanted to know was at their fingertips thanks to the advancement of technology. This constant need to know, do and want more has led millennials to carry a skill set that is infinitely scalable and different in comparison to previous generations. Millennials are an often-underestimated group that can easily gain that knowledge through working with their baby boomer and Gen-X colleagues. They value community, family, creativity in their work & are great multitaskers. They’re more loyal to employers than previous generations.
The Generation Z (those born from the mid-1990s or 2000 onwards till now)
They are the first truly mobile-first generation. They are comfortable with: a smartphone, TV, laptop, desktop, and iPod/iPad mean super-fast communication and unlimited access to media technologies, smartphones and online shopping. Z expects to have knowledge at their fingertips and the independence technology gives them to be able to work anywhere and for whom they choose. Highly transient and mobile, they expect immediate responses from others.
Why it happened??
Well, it is the result of the fast-paced development of the society. In earlier times two or three generations live in the same way of life, situations, and environments as the development was moderate… In any case, today, nearest past is especially obsolete & the world is more advanced each day. Parents don’t even know a large number of the cutting edge advancements and equipment can kids utilize.
How to close the Gap??
Once you’ve fully understood the differences, you can address How can we end this generational war?
“Everyone has something to teach and everyone has something to learn.” – Desmond Tutu
In order to get better, we have to learn from each other. Each group brings their own unique skills & insight to the table. Therefore younger people must work with the older people to gain experience and the older people must work with the younger people in order to use their strength, sharp minds and capacity to achieve the set goals that will bring about a positive transformation and development to the society.
Being up to date is the only way to cope up with the generation gap.
Present your viewpoint to children in a friendly manner. Also, make sure that children are receptive so that they listen to you when you advise them. Otherwise, whatever you say will not make an impression on them.
Sometimes adults behave like children and even need to be taken care of. Sometimes they want to pamper their children; at other times they expect children to behave like adults. Isn’t this confusing?
Using the power of love will help in how to deal with old people. Yes, as they get old they behave like children. Give them love and understanding. Learn to enjoy dealing with them. They are also going through a transition. Be committed and compassionate then you will get the right mode to help them.
Remember just passion and risk-taking are not enough; neither is experience and wisdom because we live in a dynamic world. Approaches have to change and for this, we need understanding and flexibility. A healthy communication is essential to bridge the gap.