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My Family and Other Globalizers | Generation gap: the only constant of parenting

Descriptions of my school years have the effect of a horror story on my boys.

January 29, 2022 / 04:58 PM IST
(Representative image) Schools were once wholly focused on academics, with reams of homework and constant examinations that required copious by-rote memorization and regurgitation of facts. (Image: Museums Victoria via Unsplash)

(Representative image) Schools were once wholly focused on academics, with reams of homework and constant examinations that required copious by-rote memorization and regurgitation of facts. (Image: Museums Victoria via Unsplash)

Note to readers: My Family and Other Globalizers is a weekly parenting column on bringing up global citizens.

Amongst the most universal of hoary cliches is the generation gap. Just as day follows night, so every generation of parents recalls their own upbringing as gritty and disciplined, while worrying their children are spoiled and soft.

My Family and Other Globalizers logoWe spend so much of our early adulthood rolling our eyes at our parents for their antiquated ways, trying to escape their out-of-touch mentality. Then we have our own kids and find ourselves helplessly converted into our own parents by biology.

When I turned fifteen years old, my father had presented me with a cheap watch. “I got my first wristwatch when I was at university,” he’d intoned dolorously, seeming almost reluctant while handing me the present. I was left in no doubt that he considered me to be overly indulged.