Remember small quarrels with your parents at the dinner table as a kid- they want you to eat the horrible vegetables; you just wanted to have the dessert? Fights with them as a teenager- leading from something as feeble as the new pair of jeans that you were wearing? Major clashes on the choice of the person you were dating or which career you want to pursue? Every one of us has had disagreements and fights with our parents at some point of time in our lives. Clashes and conflicts between parents and their kids is an unavoidable phase that keeps popping in and out of every family. There are people who are very good at handling such issues, but even the best of them has had their share of conflicts. So, why are these parent-child-conflicts so common and such an inevitable part of our lives?
The generation gap between the parents and the children is a major cause of these conflicts. These conflicts are often a cause of great anxiety and depression in many families. Sometimes they become so serious that they lead to splits in the family. Therefore, it is important to solve these issues before it’s too late. It is important to develop a positive relationship by trying to understand each other and bridge the psychological and emotional gap. Understanding the reasons and causes of these issues could be the first step to solving such conflicts.
Here are the ten most common reasons why parents and kids quarrel-
10) Perspective and attitudes-
The older generation and the younger generation have different ways of perceiving things, they have different attitude towards certain things. You might be looking at the same things but it doesn’t mean you also see the same things. You might say that wearing black colour nail polish or torn jeans is a way of expression, but the older generation may find it absolutely outrageous. Because of this difference in perspective, there are instances where the older generation takes offense to something which the younger generation might have considered completely harmless. The younger generation therefore needs to be sensitive to certain things if they want to maintain a good relationship with the older generation.
9) Friend circle and habits-
It is a known fact that we are greatly influenced by the company we keep. For this reason, Parents are constantly wary of the kind of people their kids are going around with. So they try to keep a check on their kid’s friend circle. The parents do this for the concern they have for their kids but sometimes these constant checks could prove to be irritating and even embarrassing for the child. Also, parents disapprove of certain habits that youngsters find fun or enjoyable, like staying out late or having a midnight party. When parents restrict such habits, the younger generation finds it unfair. This leads to anger and resentment.
8) Need for space-
Parents feel protective about their children and they like to be involved and be informed about the things that are happening in their children’s life. But the younger generation feel a need for space as they are discovering and experimenting with new things. That is when the need for involvement for the parents and the need for space for the youngsters clash. The child may feel suffocated by the over involvement of the parents who want to know everything about them while parents might get hurt by the fact that their children want space from them.
7) Expectations and nagging-
Every parent has hopes and expectations for their children. These expectations are often the cause of inspiration for the children. They feel a sense of responsibility towards those expectations, wanting to make their parents proud. While certain amount of expectation is healthy, excessive amount of hopes and expectations leads to insecurity and problems for the child. The constant hope and nagging can have a toll on children and when they are not able to come up to the expectations, they feel inadequate, leading to self criticism and low self esteem. In a lot of cases, the child blames the parents for what they feel.
6) Freedom and control-
While parents like to be in control of their children, youngsters are constantly seeking freedom from the control of their parents. As children grow up, the need to be an independent person also grows. They are no longer happy or satisfied being under the protection and control of their parents. There’s a tug of war where the parent is trying to keep control of their children and the children are trying to free themselves from the control. In any case, a struggle for freedom can never go without conflict and chaos. When the parents and the children are in such a phase, conflict is unavoidable.
5) Opinion and taste-
Just because you are the offspring of your parents doesn’t mean you will have the same taste and opinion about everything. Whether it is about which political party you support or whether you like or dislike something about the current system of administration or what kind of lifestyle you prefer. The list can go on. When such differences come up in the family, the parents could feel offended. They may be taken aback to find that the child they have raised has such different or even contrasting opinions and taste from their own. While the younger generation may very well disagree with that they are not allowed to have their own opinion and taste.
4) Decision and resolutions
Parents sometimes find themselves in complete disagreement with their children’s decision. The decision that children makes can be really disappointing or even devastating for the parents. Your decision to take up a career completely different from the one your parents have dreamed for you or your resolution to move out of the house to be on your own might leave your parents devastated. The thing to keep in mind here is that children should not make snap decisions when they feel like. Decision making should have a process, where you let your parents know what you might be deciding, give them a hint as to where you might be heading, not hit them on the face with snap decisions.
3) Demand for respect-
Parents deserve and expect respect from their children. They would want their children to recognise and appreciate the things they have done for them, the sacrifices they have made, because every parent has made sacrifices. They are also the older, more experienced generation. They have seen and experienced more of the world. On the other hand, youngsters also want respect for their opinions and thoughts. They feel responsible for the society of which they are a part of. They are the ones who will be taking over the society from the older generation. When either of the generations fails to see the importance for respect of the other, there is conflict and tension between the two generations.
2) Differing values.
You must have felt that your parents never seem to understand you, and you never seem to understand them. Differing values is another big problem leading to clashes between the younger and the older generation. It may be social values, religious or cultural. The younger generation sometimes find it hard to understand or accept the traditional values that the older generation upholds. They might feel that those traditional values are irrelevant in the modern world. They tend to overlook the necessity of traditional values in the present world. But the truth is one generation cannot do without the other. It is important that both generations try to embrace both traditional and present values to avoid conflict.
1) Communication gap.
It is the major cause of conflicts and quarrels between parents and their kids. Communication gap -a result of the generation gap- is a serious issue at an individual level as it is for the society in general. Communication gap leads to miscommunications and misunderstandings. The thing to understand here is that your parents grew up in a completely different world than you. Sitting down together and talking out matters at hand, explaining things to each other will help bridge the communication gap between you and your parents. Because only after you make the effort to bridge the gap, then only can you go about correcting the misunderstandings and miscommunications, and thereby solve the conflict issues.