When I was a small boy I didn’t like vegetables; they were multi-coloured, bland and good for me. Any English northern boy worth his salt wouldn’t touch such a thing. I wanted ‘yellow’ food – chips, deep fried chicken, pizza and more chips – with a side of chips. It is fair to say, my parents did not agree. Then there was the time my parents wanted to go to their Godson’s christening, but I wanted to stay at home and play video games. Once again, they disagreed*.
This is a common feature among households, parents just don’t seem to agree with their children. And equally, children don’t seem to agree with their parents.
Now this is for a very good reason. Your parents have lived 20 to 30 years longer than you. So even if they aren’t the best parents on earth, they know enough to know that a diet of chips and video games, does not a good healthy child make.
So yes, I concede, so far there have been no big revelations. Well done Mindfump, you have described the basic principles of child rearing, something which has been in place for hundreds of thousands of years.
What I found as I grow up however, was that I learned how to look after myself. I could choose the right food, the right moments to watch TV or when to play video games. I learned that I need to work to earn money, and to live. What then happened as I grew up was that I began to disagree with my parents about other things.
Politics, goals, ambitions, attitudes to life, and so on.
This is a major source of conflict – or was at least. I love my parents and they are genuinely decent people. But some of their views made it difficult to have full respect for them, as I couldn’t grasp the thought process behind them. I genuinely felt affected by this. As I somehow felt disloyal or unloving, feeling I should agree with them about the big issues in the world.
Then I realised – This should happen. I should be disagreeing.
It should be a worrying sign if we completely agree with our parents. It is no big deal, but all human progress depends on it. Change depends on it. There appears to be a limit to how much change one can undertaken, a limit to how much one can accept or comprehend. I haven’t done the research* but it appears by middle age, we are set. Our views are our views and we did all of our changing when we were young, and now it is time to stay the same.
That is it humanity, no more need for change!
When we reach middle age, we are comfortable, we have seen change, been part of change and we look back at all this change and think ‘oh, look at all that wonderful change’. Then our kids come along and want more change. The cheek of it – don’t they know how much we have changed already?
Well no we don’t. Children have a terrible understanding of the past, even the recent past. That is why children laugh at old jokes which have been around for decades. They just don’t know. Although on a side note, it is true that tennis players do wake up around ten-ish and Noah did in fact use flood lights on his boat.
OK, so we don’t have a great understanding of what has gone before.
That is also a good thing, because if we (the kids) did, we
definitely probably wouldn’t want to change as much either.
But we must continue to change, to disagree and move forward. If I agreed with my grandfather I would still call black people by the N word. If I agreed with my grandmother, I wouldn’t be ‘sure’ about those gay people. If I agreed with my Dad I would dislike immigrants and if I agreed with my mum, I would like Eastenders – something which doesn’t bare thinking about.
So now I am much more comfortable when I disagree with my parents. Life has genuinely become easier with them, as I now understand their views won’t change dramatically. Therefore hours of debate and argument will be beneficial to no one. Plus I get to play Super Mario Kart whenever I want, without feeling bad.
*That was as bad as my childhood got.
*But I will continue to speak confidently about the subject