They are highly opinionated. They are fierce. They are confident. They are the upcoming future. “Oh, common bro”, they are Gen Z! Well, yes “BRO” because that’s how they address everyone including friends, strangers, cousins, parents and (hilariously true, but) their partners, too. They have a fresh view of almost everything and there’s so much to be proud of them.
Now, who exactly could be termed as a member of Gen Z? All those who are born between 1997 to 2012 are Generation Z, also known as ‘Zoomers’.
Generation gaps have been in existence since ever. But the fact that this gap is expanding,and the gap brackets are getting shorter has its cons along with the pros. Having said that, bridging this generation gap is all the more challenging when it comes to the parent-child relationship.
Real-world and reel world
The digital revolution has brough the world closer but has pulled people away from each other. Born in the digital era, Generation Z has never known a world without mobiles, laptops and gadgets. To put it simply from a parent’s perspective, for Gen Zers, mobiles are their besties and ‘Insta’ is their extended family.
They live in a bubble, where making trending ‘reels’ and memes is their definition of being socially active! Having more ‘likes’ on posts is the measure of their popularity in society, and the number of ‘followers’ on social media is the base to judge one’s personality. Can’t blame anyone. It’s an inevitable by-product of the digital era. But little do they realize that this ‘reel world’seems cool only if it does not become their reality forever.
Bursting the bubble
While Gen Zers are busy uploading their life updates on social media, parents have literally zero knowledge of what is really happening in their life. Today’s parents are quite open-minded as compared to the older generations. But there’s still a major gap and they can hardly relate to each other’s issues. As parents, you must take the initiative to know more about their life. Burst their bubble and bring more communication to the table daily. Ask for their opinions and make them feel heard. Sometimes, it’s just the first move that matters. Take one to bridge the gap.
Expressing emotions often
While parents are still trying to figure out the meaning of emojis, this new generation is the OG (Original Gangsters as they say) of emoji game!Still, it is surprising how it is hard to express emotions in real life.
Creating a safe space to express emotions is the key. While oversharing is dangerous, no sharing at all is a red alert, too. Both kids and parents should know their boundaries while sharing. Set a tone to your bond and try to connect emotionally often.
Stay away from toxic parenting
When we come to think of old parenting methods, did they really do any good? In fact, it gave a bad childhood to many. Being a toxic parent will only add to the distance. Whereas being a good, non-judgemental friend shall help them express themselves better. Restrictions and punishments would turn them into rebels.So, always try new ways to shape their mindat the right age.
Learn and grow together
Gen Zers are unstoppable, as they should be. They are happy about what they are becoming into and why not! Their progressive outlook towards life offers a lot to learn for all the other generations.They have smart solutions to the problems, and their fresh perspective is something parents should adopt.
Their school of thought might not resonate with you, but there’s nothing wrong in considering their opinions and respecting them even if you disagree at times.
When you have advice for your children, there’s this expectation of that being taken into action. Drop that and let the give-and-takeof adviceoccur from the sides. Embrace the change of perspective!
The baggage of exposure
Generation Z is quite ‘woke’ and emotionally mature than other generations. They have wide exposure to changing culture, thanks to the internet! But this extra exposure has influenced their minds. Sometimes, this gives them the baggage of pretending who they are not.The constant thought of comparing their lives with others affects their behaviour and mental health, too. Be patient towards them and tell them to stay true to their roots. Make them understand thatitis okay to be what they are.
Try not to burden them with too many expectations.Instead, set them free and accept them. This will help them realize their self-worth and motivate them to face life gracefully.
Be the ‘bestie’ they want you to be!
Finding the right balance between being a parent and a friend can be a bit tough on some days. But having a good friendship with your children is essential.
Slice out some time on weekends for the family, cook together, sing songs, play outdoor games, take up a hobby together, party in their style and share a laugh or two. This is the real fuel that would help strengthen your bond and connect better with each other. Take vacations often, learn more about their favourite ‘chill-time’ activities and be a part of them.
A hug is a love language
Sometimes, words can’t do justice, but hugs work as magic. Normalize hugging your children on happy and sad days. This would help bridge the emotional gap.
On days when arguments take a harsh turn, take time to cool off but make sure you hug your child at the end of the day. Also, celebrate their happy days with hugs. Theymight call this a PDA (Public Display of Affection) but the fact is—they love being loved;Who else can give them the warmth they need other than their parents? After all, it’s all about these little things that help you feel closer to your loved ones, isn’t it?