Family, Family Life

What is a generation gap?

What is a generation gap?

Typical generational conflicts

The social changes of the last decades have not stopped at the coexistence of young and old. What was still common practice at the beginning of the last century – namely that three generations lived under one roof – has become a rarity today and is – if at all – only practiced in the countryside.

Progress “emancipation”?

Since young mothers are now also often employed, if they live close enough, they involve their grandparents in more or less intensive care of their grandchildren. Conflicts are inevitable, beginning with availability and ending with upbringing and nutrition.

Of course, all parents love their children, and the awareness of supporting them probably lasts a lifetime. On the other hand, many seniors begin to pursue other activities at a time when they no longer have to be solely with the family.

When children become parents

If the young generation does not take the needs and wishes of their parents into account, considerable conflicts can arise that can even lead to quarrels. The seniors will certainly be happy to help out as babysitters or take care of the grandchildren over a longer period of time. But after all, nobody wants (and should!) let themselves be taken advantage of.


“I can do that with grandma!”

And when the grandparents look after their children’s offspring, the problems often only begin. Many are so infatuated with their grandchildren that they throw away all their previous parenting principles and completely spoil the little ones, showering them with gifts and even “fucking it up” when the kids misbehave. This leads quite logically to the fact that the children love to be with their grandparents and find their own parents “stupid”. When grandparents spoil their grandchildren

“Nutrition” issue

While education and co can still be met with understanding and explanations, when it comes to nutrition, all insight (on both sides) often ends. Many seniors believe that the foods that were good for themselves and their children in the past are not bad for their grandchildren either. On the other hand, the principle of healthy nutrition has prevailed for many parents : lots of vegetables and fruit, whole grain products, fish and lean meat. If, on the other hand, the grandparents feed the grandchildren sweets and bread rolls, intensive discussions are required, especially since many children are overweight anyway.

resolve generational conflicts

Basically, it helps if you try to understand the other side during the conversation. In doing so, one’s own standpoints should be clarified without striking a “reproachful tone”. Grandparents will certainly agree to offering bars of chocolate throughout the day instead of a whole bar of chocolate at once. In addition, many grandparents are very willing to compromise if you actively involve them in child-rearing issues.

Conflicts between grandparents and parents cannot be completely avoided. The important thing to remember is that the proverbial tone makes the music when it comes to addressing differences in parenting. So many small problems can be solved in a friendly, goal-oriented and understanding manner before they become a tangible generational conflict. By the way: A cup of coffee and a piece of homemade cake often work wonders during parenting talks!


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