Plugging-in generation gap — being your child’s best friend

Opinion Saturday 19/June/2021 20:31 PM
By: Anis Sajan
Plugging-in generation gap — being your child’s best friend

A child who finds a friend in his father finds a treasure in life!
 There is no better relationship than a prudent and faithful friend. The basic foundation of every relationship is friendship. However, communication is the key. It is indeed the engine of a perfect relationship between a parent and a child. With the age of transition, it is seen that children struggle to understand and go along with their parents in different phases of life. In the whole process of the change, effective communication is getting overblown.

I, Anis Sajan, Vice Chairman of Danube Group and my wife Rubina Sajan are parents to two children: Azhar (23 years) and Sahil (20 years). As parents, we cannot afford to ignore the duties of raising them in a significant way. However, there is no denying the fact there is a sure visible generation gap between me and my children in my family. The values, tastes and outlook on life are different with each generation. In general, both parents and children do not see things from the standpoint of each other. As a father of two, I believe that listening and empathising with the children is important for a parent to strengthen the relationship. Here are a few things which parents can look deeper into to have a better relationship with their children and bridging the generation gap.

Unleashing the true friendship power

Being the child’s first friend is the best thing to do. First a friend, you will always have a first say in the child’s life. It will help the child to share a special connection with you. The wisdom of friendship will open up a foundation for a new way of parenting. While growing, children with more friends of their age onboard start to spend less time with parents. By knowing their close friends and connecting with their parents and family will tell you a lot about your child.

It is usually observed that sons are mama's boys. They share everything more often with their mother than with their father. Learning to put me in my children’s shoes and trying to understand their thoughts as well as encouraging them to share their experiences has not only helped me to be their faithful father but also for them to be my faithful friends.

Lead from the front

As things move fast, little things like “special bonding” are left behind. Technology affects the generation gap to a larger extent. Gone are the days when cell phones were used mainly for the dire need for communication. Gadgets definitely go along with your child’s personal time but a family space where a child can safely interact is becoming fewer and fewer. But should they be blamed alone? Not anymore! As a parent, it is our responsibility too to be gadget-free at least one time a day most preferably the Dinner Time.

One meal a day

The simple act of talking to your children about each other’s day at the end of the day can close the generation gap to some extent. All great changes happen at the “dinner table”. At the same time, all the fondest memories happen when gathered around the dinner table. Keeping that time open for communication and building a bond is very productive. I am happy to find a good interaction time always with my children Azhar and Sahil, making them share an incredible positive connection with me. It also reassures them of parents being with them in even the hardest phase of their life.

The game changer- sports

As parents, we constantly compare our growing years to how our children are seen spending their childhood. How I used to let my imagination run wild in my childhood and do things out of curiosity have evolved and changed now. Children are getting glued to their gadgets more and giving preference to online games over sports. As a sports aficionado, and father, helping my children develop a healthy sports-playing routine was always a plus. Keeping them busy in sports will divert their attention from using gadgets 24/7. I am happy to go out and play cricket twice a week with my sons Azhar and Sahil while developing a healthy rivalry in the game between father and son. This early-cultivated approach towards life will help them become ‘Accomplishers’ and ‘Explorers’ rather than just ‘Followers’.

Over the years I have seen parents missing out on family interaction. Giving our children space and the right space is very important. This father’s day let us take the parent pledge and make a big difference happen!

Happy Father’s Day!