Growing up, I thought my dad was the best in the world. He was so capable and through my observations, distant yet protective.
He’s the only father I’ll ever have – so he is the best and the only in that perspective.
However, being someone’s parent doesn’t entitle them to influence a child forever.
In fact, the older I get, the harder it is for me to listen. Here’s why:
Different Times, Different Values: The Generation Gap
It’s by no mistake that I live in a very different world than my parents’ generation. Just how much has the world changed since then? Quite a lot. I can recount the 90s quite well, possibly because that’s when the first internet boom happened, our first IBM laptop, dial up and the internet itself. It was all fun and games – but look at how fast things have progressed now? Could you imagine a life WITHOUT the internet? There’s so much content and knowledge floating around waiting to be explored, and so many more mentors one could seek out. Is the human race becoming colder? All you have to do is type it into Google and you’d see debates from both sides. So, in this age of information technology, free thinking is encouraged rather than old wisdom.
We inherently think differently:
Just because we share genetic material, does not a clone make. That, combined with nurturing makes us different. Generation gap aside, our personalities are different, as are our goals in life. There’s a good thirty years between my father and I, so its natural that we consider things from different perspectives.
I’m an adult, therefore I should be respected:
Yes, I get it, it’s hard to see someone you watch grow up as an adult. It’s hard not to fall back into thinking that’s still that child I read bedtime stories to. But time pass and people do grow, it’s important to see your child as an adult when the time comes, with the repercussion being, your child will gradually lose respect for you when you fail to acknowledge that.
You need to grow as well:
I used to see my father as a well of information I could consult at anytime. However, in recent years that haven’t been the case. Respect, like motivation, like cleanliness is something to be maintained. We’ve ran out of things to say to each other and since my opinions are never considered valid and I think his ideas are out of date and nothing new could be learned, see how that goes? Yes. So to stay relevant in anything, even in parenting, one must keep learning.
Effort is appreciated:
Genuine interest is appreciate. This is probably the most overlooked aspect of parenting. Children aren’t bored if you show them interest or challenge them to something new. Effort is appreciated. We, children, no matter what age, appreciate it when parents take time out of their day to see what we’re up to, to be genuinely interested in us, and the same is true vice versa. What’s frustrating is when one party doesn’t see things this way – then communication is required and action must be taken.
And there you have it, my reasons on why children don’t listen to their parents anymore after a certain age – it isn’t to say someone is a ‘bad parent’ because that concept would suggest the label is permanent, but it isn’t. Like most things in life, it can be improved.