“When we were of your age we did not have things our way. We strived for it, sacrificed so that we could be in this place.” Sounds familiar? Every youth must have heard these lines from parents or grandparents or uncles or aunts and even elderly people living in the neighborhood. The two strongest emotions that arise whenever these lines are uttered are that of humor or anger. Can we keep both aside and think from a third perspective of understanding. That is one way of bridging the gap.
Let me correct at the onset itself understanding does not equal to surrendering. That’s a very limited way of looking at it. It’s as weird as if I step into the sea, the waters will take me in. There are many other possibilities you can feel the water and step back, you can swim or you can even sail through. Let us look at how we can make the last option possible – ‘Sailing through’…
Take it light
Keep conversations light. Elders have their way of putting things across but you need not take it heavily. Because that’s when the words become bitter, expressions become stronger and you lose both the possibilities of understanding or making them understand. Being elder to us they have that natural urge to control and guide so their tone becomes imperative. On days like these it is better to step back. Create a space where matters can be kept on hold be it education, job or relationships.
Gauge what matters and how much
While you have created a space – decide on what you really want. If the point of conflict is about something that you are really passionate about, muster the courage and put forth your plan. Be soft-spoken and thorough as ambiguity about your idea makes most of the parents anxious. Convince them to give you a chance and hear what they have to say. Assure them that their insecurities will be taken care off (and you better mean it) because you never know if there is a hole in your boat.
But contrary to that if you yourself are in self- doubts consider listening to them. The latter is beneficial when you are unknowingly falling prey to herd mentality and fads that in no way connect to your personality. What is strange is that deep down inside you know it but for social validation you choose the veil. In such cases which are very prominent even amongst grown- ups parental reservations actually help one find the real meaning to life.
After all they are people who have contributed to your growth, trifling your relationships with them over pesky matters is not worth. Even they put in a lot of efforts to create a rapport with your new persona (that changes with puberty, college, higher studies, first love, poor results or excellent scores and the list goes on). For parents they grow with their child.
Never underestimate them
We often read stories of toppers coming from humble backgrounds. Yes every child is blessed and they must have worked hard but even their parents must have burnt the midnight oil to make them into the person that they are. However less is the exposure of a parent given their life span they would always have some valuable inputs to give if given a chance. So hear them out non- judgmentally breaking your own molds, inside which you have buried their experiential wisdom.
Find a mid- way out
It need not be their way or your way. In most of the cases one can find a mid-way – try reaching there the fastest. If you think your parents will not budge and you don’t wish to give in either, proceed your way with conviction. Worst case scenario is if its they who turn out to be correct, admit that you were wrong and best case scenario is that you succeed even then be humble and pay them your respects.
Fight with compassion
When as a child we make mistakes our parents scold us, reprimand but at the days end they always make it up. Till the time things are sour, a part of them is with the child and it is only for the betterment that they maintain a curt distance. Can we please treat them the same, it’s okay to have disagreements but as you fight for your dream, your passion, and your love can the fight be compassionate? Can the words and actions be chosen with due consideration to what they have given us over a life time? And trust me it is not as difficult. Yes, they put up a strong face but inside they already know they have lost to your decision, help them transcend.
You may think that my article is dwindling towards the side of the parents but somehow the aggression is uncalled for even in the most extreme situations. They have been patient with us when we messed up out of innocence and they deserve to get the same back. The rules of Karma never change.