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How Generation Gap Effects On Children's Life?

Today we will discuss a topic that affects us all: the generation gap. As we younger it's natural to feel disconnected from the older generations, but what happens when this disconnect becomes a gap? Today, we'll explore the potential effects of this gap on children's lives.

We'll delve into the reasons behind the gap, including cultural differences and communication breakdowns, and examine how these can impact children's emotional and mental health. We'll also look at ways to bridge the gap and foster positive relationships between generations.

What Is Generation Gap?

Generation gap refers to the differences in opinions, values, attitudes and lifestyles between people of different generations. It can occur between parents and children, but also between grandparents and grandchildren, or even between siblings who were born years apart.

One example of generation gap is the difference in technology use between older and younger generations. While older generations may prefer traditional methods of communication such as phone calls or letters, younger generations tend to rely more on social media and messaging apps. This can lead to misunderstandings and frustrations on both sides.

How does generation gap affect on children's life?

One of the most significant effects of generation gap on children is the lack of understanding and communication between them and their elders. When there is a significant age difference, it can be challenging for both parties to relate to each other, leading to misunderstandings and conflicts.

Children who experience generation gap are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. They may feel isolated and disconnected from their families and communities, which can have long-lasting negative effects on their mental health.

Another impact of generation gap on children is the potential loss of cultural identity. As younger generations become more influenced by modern culture, they may lose touch with their own heritage and traditions. This can lead to a sense of disconnection and alienation from their roots and cultural identity.

Impact on Communication

Communication breakdown can occur when children and older generations have different communication styles, values, and expectations. For example, older generations may prefer face-to-face interactions while younger generations prefer texting or social media. This can lead to misunderstandings and frustration on both sides. The impact of communication breakdown on children's emotional and mental health can be significant.

It can cause feelings of isolation, loneliness, and anxiety. Children may feel unheard and unsupported, which can affect their self-Esteem and confidence. It is important for both generations to make an effort to understand each other's communication preferences and find common ground.

Communication styles within a family can influence a child's sense of self and identity. If a child's communication style clashes with that of their parents, it may lead to conflicts regarding cultural or generational values. These conflicts can shape a child's identity as they navigate between different ways of expressing themselves.

Differences in communication styles can affect children's relationships with their peers and other adults. If children are more comfortable with digital communication , they may struggle in professional or formal settings where older communication norms are prevalent.

Influence on Values and Beliefs

Societal norms and cultural values evolve over time. What was considered socially acceptable or normal in the past may be viewed differently by younger generations. For example, changing attitudes towards gender roles, marriage, sexuality, and racial equality can lead to clashes in values and beliefs.

And , Religious beliefs can be a significant source of generational conflict. Younger generations may be less religious or interpret religious teachings differently than their parents or grandparents, leading to differences in moral values and ethical perspectives.

For children from multicultural backgrounds, generational clashes can impact their cultural identity. They may feel torn between preserving their family's cultural traditions and adopting the values and practices of the society in which they live. This tension can influence their sense of self. The stress and tension resulting from generational clashes can cause emotional distress for children. They may experience anxiety, frustration, or guilt when caught between conflicting expectations and values.

The clashes between generations can influence a child's relationships, both within the family and outside of it. They may seek out peer groups or mentors who align with their evolving identity, which can affect their social circles and support systems .A child's identity, influenced by generational clashes, can impact their future choices, including educational pursuits, career decisions, and relationship choices. They may prioritize certain values or beliefs based on their identity formation.

Case studies and examples:
Meet Aamal an 18-year-old college student with a passion for pursuing a degree . She is in her second year of a bachelor's program at a reputable university, where she has been thriving academically and enjoying her coursework.

However, Aamal's parents, come from an older generation with different educational values and career expectations. They believe that the only path to success and financial security is through a career in medicine or madical field.

The generational clash begins when her father insist that Aamal quit her current undergraduate program and enroll in a coaching institute for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), a highly competitive medical entrance exam in their country. They believe that becoming a doctor is the only prestigious and secure career option.

This decision leaves Aamal in a difficult situation. She values her parents' opinions but is passionate about her degree and has no interest in a medical career. She also recognizes that her strengths and talents align more in other field.

As the clash , Aamal experiences significant stress and emotional damges. She feels torn between her own aspirations and her parents' expectations, and the pressure to conform to their generation's beliefs weighs heavily on her. Aamal academic performance begins to suffer as she becomes increasingly unhappy and disengaged.

In this example, the generational clash between Aamal, a young adult pursuing her passions, and her parents, who come from an older generation with different career expectations, highlights the challenges that can arise when children are pressured to conform to their family's values and beliefs regarding education. It underscores the emotional damages and conflicts that can result from such clashes and the impact they can have on a child's academic and personal life

II Case
Meet Sarah, a high school graduate excited about college. She has a diverse group of friends, including boys from different religions. Her parents, Priya and Raj, are conservative and want her to make friends within their religion.

The Conflict:
Sarah's parents are worried about her friendships. They fear she might drift away from their religious community. They offer to support her financially if she attends a college where she won't be with her diverse group of friends.

Sarah is faced with an emotional and challenging dilemma. She values her family's traditions but also adore the friendships she has developed with her diverse group of friends.She wants to make her parents happy, but she also values her education and friendships.

In conclusion, it is clear that the generation gap can have a significant impact on children's lives. From communication breakdowns to cultural differences, there are many challenges that must be overcome in order to bridge this gap and promote understanding between generations.

However, the benefits of bridging the generation gap cannot be overstated. By fostering better communication and understanding between generations, we can create a more supportive and nurturing environment for children to grow up in. This, in turn, can lead to improved emotional and mental well-being, as well as a stronger sense of identity and belonging.


Written By: Arush Bhardwaj, BA-LLB , Central University of Kashmir.

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