Parents and children – Are there ways to improve understanding?

In our modernized world today, we tend to take for granted others opinions and feelings. What matters most is our own opinions and ideas. Parents and their children are not excluded from this category. Parents expect their children to think and behave like they do. Their children on the other hand expect them to understand and respect their feelings. This, I feel is the root of all parent-child problems.

In my opinion, it is perfectly normal for parents to want to protect their children. However, this natural instinct should not be overdone or the consequences would be most undesirable. Youngsters of over-protective parents tend to exhibit rebellious tendencies. Behind their parents’ backs they exhibit all kinds of bad behavior and some even find themselves involved with bad company. Worst still, some youngsters deliberately do things forbidden by their parents right under their parents’ noses. This will inevitably result in parent-child quarrels and misunderstandings.

Youngsters on the other hand, in spite of having the right of freedom of speech, thought and action should not be over-demanding. They must realize that parents most often know what is best for them. Thus, advice and, less often, scoldings, should be taken constructively and in a humble manner. They should not regard these as obstacles and hindrances but rather as care and prevention for them to face the world. After all, these parents have tasted more of the spices of life.

Thus, looking at there two points, it is important for parents and their children to strike a balance. Parents must allow freedom but there must be a limit to it. Youngsters must be satisfied with their freedom and respect their parents’ wishes. They must take their parents’ protectiveness as a sign of concern and love and not of selfishness and possessiveness.

In obtaining freedom of speech, youngsters must know the difference between standing up for a point and being merely rude and stubborn. Freedom of thought must be guided so as not to lead one astray. Freedom of action does not mean that one can do anything regardless of other peoples’ wishes and desires. These are the techniques that parents wish to impart to their children and should therefore be accepted gratefully.

Apart from these factors, youngsters, at the age of adolescence are prone to imitating others. They get easily influenced by others, especially by the media. They become impressed by the western idea of freedom and independence. The youngsters who try to adhere religiously to these western norms often abandon the ever-essential virtue, that is, filial piety.

The enormous generation gap between parents and their offspring is the only unavoidable factor giving rise to the parent-child problems. Parents fall to realize the needs of the child because they have never felt these needs during their times. On the other hand, their youngsters fail to realize their parents’ needs as they have not reached that age of wisdom yet. Thus, in my opinion, the only way one (either parent or child) can overcome this problem is by being tolerant. As Harper Lee wrote in the book To Kill A Mockingbird, one can only understand others when one jumps in their shoes and walks around in them!