The younger generation – more specifically, my teenage daughter – has me stumped. Because she does things that simply don’t make sense. And it frustrates me well past my usual state of composure. (Yes, believe it or not, I am a fairly composed person – really – I’ve worked on it over the years and as of late tend to remain reasonably calm even when provoked.) And I try, like many parents these days, to be a card carrying member of the “Pick Your Battles” and the “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff” clubs but sometimes, it’s the little things that make me sweat the most. That makes my insides boil to the point of combustion – literally. And I hate that feeling – because when I am mad or upset with my children, I inevitably end up being disappointed in myself. I know. I know. That in itself is probably a Dr. Phil issue but it’s not where we’re going here – not today at least.
Now I’m sure that in all my attempts to perfect the valley girl persona I tried desperately to mimic when I was a teenager (yep, I really did used to say things like “Gag with a spoon”) that I did a few things that sent my own mother off her rocker, but I don’t remember being blatantly disrespectful or dim-witted, if you will. If my mother said “no”, then “no” was the answer. And I didn’t feign the “Wait … what … what do you mean? What are you talking about?” disposition either. At least that’s the way I remember it and since my mother doesn’t read my blog, that’s what I’m going with here.
Point being, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to have a whole lot of empathy for the generation that seems to hold an innate sense of entitlement without having to work for it – and yes, I know, I am one of the guilty ones that has perpetuated this – if they didn’t like what was for dinner, I made them something else. When they were the ripe old age of 10, they got an iPhone. The list goes on …
And so, while this isn’t a Monday (I’m drifting from my 2014 Monday Empathy Journal already) the topic at the Daily Post happened to match my thoughts – not to mention my search for a more empathetic year. And so today – when my daughter gripes about dinner, refuses to talk about school, soccer, her latest post Instagram, leaves a pile of dirty clothes at the top of the stairs and steps over it 15 times – I will look at her with the love that I have for her, the deep, deep love and try my best to squash the tendency to give in to frustration. I will be empathetic, not only because she is my daughter, but because she is a member of the younger generation – because she is young. And that in itself can be frustrating enough for them, let alone me.
Now you go have like a totally awesome day -
This post is ENTRY #3: 2014 EMPATHY JOURNAL – inspired by The Daily Post: Generation XYZ. “Think about the generation immediately younger or older than you. What do you understand least about them — and what can you learn from them?”