This article has been written by 16-year-old Aarna Vadhera @.aarnavadhera.
‘Communication‘ is one thing that each and every single one of us does daily. It is a key skill required in maintaining our relationships with anyone, whether it’s a family member, a friend, or an acquaintance. A minor gap in communication can completely change our equation with the other person.
We have a different equation with everyone but only some relationships are worth mending and expressing your true thoughts too. I would try to resolve a fight with my parents but not my extended family because they will say what they want to say and I won’t be seeing them every day.
Everyone has an opinion, and it always stinks. We just have to figure out whose opinion matters.
Why Is Communication Important?
Communication is a two-way thing, and the only people I would bother trying to put effort into communicating with are my parents and close friends. There could be a gap between two people trying to convey their thoughts and emotions due to things such as a different upbringing, different sets of challenges, and different priorities. During Covid, it felt like the world had stopped. Everyone was dealing with their own set of problems and we had to start staying at home with our families. As a person who distances themselves instead of putting across their thoughts, I was unable to do that anymore. I could do that with friends because of our whole lives being online, all I had to do was block them or mute their chat.
This toxic behaviour of shutting out people was no longer working with my parents resulting in more conflict and less constructive conversations. It wasn’t just me, it was a lot of other teens too,
When our parents were younger, they were told to deal with their problems by drowning themselves in work. Back then, times were also harsher, physically. People from the older generation believe being born in this generation is bliss because of easy access to resources with the help of digitalisation.
We can buy groceries, clothes, and medicines, book a cab, contact someone living miles away, take pictures and share them, all in a fraction of a second with a click of a button. Yes, this has made our lives more comfortable physically, but it simultaneously creates mental and emotional problems.
Due to this generational gap, figuring out what a child requires in a situation has become more complex than it needs to be.
Communication With Kids
While having a conversation with my friends about the communication gaps between kids and parents, we concluded that physical problems (feeling weak, lifestyle changes, material things) need to be faced with solutions and emotional problems (loneliness, anxiety, demotivation) need validation. With the comfort of texting, we have lost our ability to communicate efficiently. It could be in any relationship whether it’s a friendship or even between our family members.
In today’s world, almost everyone has mommy or daddy issues but they are not finding solutions to those problems. The main reason why these problems arise is due to a lack of effective communication to bridge the gap between the generations.
So Who Do We Blame, The Parents Or The Children?
Communication is a two-way thing. The problem with us as kids is that when we sit down to talk to our parents, we forget all the points we have to discuss. This could be due to all the other negative posts we see on social media and how our problem has been completely distorted in our subconscious mind because of the thousands of things our minds are trying to process. It’s not like I have the best communication skills either. During the pandemic, when the whole world was suddenly online, my parents and I had loads of arguments that we didn’t know how to resolve.
Over time, by having discussions collectively and separately with people, we have found ways to communicate that have allowed us to not hate each other and solve problems instead of creating new ones.
Before having a conversation with anyone, ask them if they need validation or solutions. This prevents further conflict and issues. Giving another person the wrong kind of comfort may amplify their negative emotions more because they are unable to get the comfort they require in that situation. When someone vents to you and you say, ‘Oh have you tried this’ makes the other person feel like they still have that problem instead of getting it out.
One of the first lessons we learn while growing up is empathy. Each person seeks an empathetic response from another individual, especially someone they feel close enough to be vulnerable about their feelings with. Giving empathetic responses to your children such as ‘You are so strong to be able to deal with all of this’ instead of ‘Maybe you need to try harder’ makes your child feel more secure. They feel like they can trust you to always have their back and boost their confidence. The one thing everyone seeks is recognition. Giving an empathetic response is a way to recognise and validate the other person instead of making them feel insignificant.
Listening helps in analysing the problems by getting a full 360 view of the problem. The reason why they are trying to talk to you is to get the built-up emotions out, not to take your unrequired input. If they are looking for input, listening clearly can help them understand the scenario more clearly and see underlying problems instead of the obvious problems on the surface that even they are aware of.
Not all problems need to be resolved, definitely not right away. If it’s just getting worse and worse, the best thing one can do is step back. The good thing is that at least you tried.