If you are torn between the never ending demands of your children and aging parents that makes you wish secretly that life would have been much better if you belonged to either the previously well established generation Gen X or the next hopeful generation Gen Z, then you are not alone. I also belong to such an unfortunate generation whom I would like to refer as Gen “I Wonder” Y (Gen IWY).
The concept of nuclear family probably started around the prime time of our parents (Gen X) when the joint family system failed and many of them shifted base to cities from their native villages with some safe job prospects working for banks, Government, private firms etc. It was expected that the children would take care of the parents with meagre pension in their old age and many dutiful children like us are only willing to oblige.
We as children grew up as very well mannered, disciplined and hard working individuals who understood the importance of studies to attain a promising career in the future. Landing a secure job acted as the carrot dangling in front of the horse which propelled any Gen IWY to give his best in anything he did. Gen IWY are people who are well educated, knowledgeable and well travelled, but yet when it comes to taking an uncommon stand for social causes would not be able to do so for the fear of the society. In their heart, they know why it is best to do a certain thing differently, but they tend to follow the instructions given by higher authorities instead of holding their stand just to fit in with the rest of the crowd.
Then came the show stealers – The Millennial children, Gen Z. We as the parents of Gen Z are grooming our children for success from early childhood by always encouraging them to be natural leaders and also to follow their passion instead of having just a career. As a result, they have become extremely self absorbed, self promoting, self assured narcissists who strongly believe that most of these characteristics, at least to some degree, are highly desirable. Gone are the days, when a child is expected to follow what is being told. Nowadays, the free thinking children defy any authority, don’t take “no” for an answer, don’t like to be bothered to care about anything and are openly unapologetic about their disregard towards others.
On the other hand, the elderly parents are always overly judgemental, criticizing Gen IWY’s style of upbringing and try to influence them with unsolicited advice about parenting, instead of being loving and supportive. In a scenario like this, Gen IWY is constantly pulled between the conflicting parents and the children for even the most trivial decisions like where to go on vacation, what food to make at home or what movie to watch on TV.
If I look at this situation passively as an outsider without any emotional connect, I would say that each generation is constantly evolving and has a vital significance in the society. We should always learn to overlook the shortcomings and incorporate the positive things of each other to lead a happy, content and enriching life, especially when living together as a family under one roof.
Gen X, Y, IWY, Z and all the other future Generations to come – Just remember that we are all playing a “small role” in the “bigger scheme” of things!!
(Photo Courtesy – Internet)