Zarnain Shah

Zarnain Shah

Zarnain Shah is a final-year medical student at Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Pakistan. She is a common girl with some uncommon goals. She is a dreamer, reader and writer – in that order. She can be reached at
Zarnain Shah

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I know a girl who was harassed by her chemistry teacher in her high school. However,  she never discussed it with her parents because she was afraid of their response. I know a guy who is a wonderful poet but none of his family members know about it because he thinks they will never appreciate his work. I also remember when a close friend of mine opened up to me about how she, at the age of 8, was sexually harassed by her 15-year-old cousin but she could never discuss it with her parents out of fear. Also, I can’t forget a friend of mine who failed an exam, didn’t discuss it with anyone and spent an entire day crying in her bed until her family found her unconscious in the room and she was admitted to the hospital. Next day, her parents came to know about the results through one of her friends.

Communication is a vital part of any relationship. When it comes to the relationship of parents with their children, the importance of an open and honest communication cannot be emphasized enough. But in many cases it is observed that both parties hesitate or feel uncomfortable in sharing their opinions with each other. This leads to the communication gap in their relationship. Here, we are referring to the communication beyond the formal chat about the lunch menu, the exams and the results.

The questions arise that why does it become difficult for young people to convey their thoughts and communicate with the people who taught them the language in the first place? Why does a young girl assume that her mother, with whom she shares her DNA, would not be able to comprehend her feelings? Why can’t a guy take some relationship advice from his father? When did it get to the point that children no longer felt comfortable talking to their parents about their deepest fears, their hurts and their pain?  Why can’t parents be friends with their own children? And where did their relationship break down?

I personally believe that both parties are at fault. On one hand, kids do not respect the generation gap between themselves and their parents. Today’s young generation is more technology- savvy and people spend most of their time in their own little world with their gadgets. It is hard for older generations to grasp the concept of what’s going on. This creates communication gap and the beautiful relationship that they share begins to lose its charm. On the other hand, parents want their kids to be perfect and avoid doing mistakes in life. It is due to this reason that from a very young age, children come to a conclusion that their parents’ love and support is restrictive of good behavior and accomplishment. These children become scared of disappointing their parents and anxious that confiding in them will be met with judgment and disapproval. Sometimes, the parents cannot spend time with their kids due to their busy schedule which also encourages communication gap.

The communicatoion gap between parents and children gives rise to worst case scenarios for the kids like choosing a bad life partner, a wrong career, silently bearing domestic abuse or sexual harassment and mental illnesses like depression and anxiety disorder. Therefore, it is mandatory to bridge this communication gap in order to avoid regrettable decisions in life.

Parents need to understand that blaming the young generation or calling them lazy or useless bums can cut to the heart of their children. Forcing the “parents are always right” rule will make them rebellious. Instead, they should make the kids feel that whatever happens in their lives, they will try to sort it out and support and accept them.

Young people need to recognize that their parents love them unconditionally no matter what. They must accept the fact that in many aspects of life, their parents are more experienced than them and asking them for their point of view will do no harm.

In most circumstances, families who talk about their problem s with each other have a better chance in solving their disputes than the families who remain silent. Family talks would make both parents and children conscious of the mistakes. As a consequence, those mistakes would serve as a lesson for both of them. Knowing the perspective of each other would allow them to have a more lucid view of the situation and hence the misunderstanding and misinterpretation would be avoided. This would also make them aware of their fault as a parent or as a child, thus, allowing room for improvement. And most of all, it would create an open, trusting and healthy relationship between parents and children.

Keepig the recent events and communication gap in our culture in mind, what do you think would Naureen laghari had done if her parents had discussed about her religious views or the friends she possessed? Would Naila Rind still hang herself to death had she been able to inform her family about the guy who kept blackmailing her? Would Dr. Aneel bajaj, who was meant to save lives, had taken his own life had he discussed his problems with someone and lessened the burden from his mind? Would the rate of child abuse be that high if parents had properly discussed sex education with their kids? Would depression, anxiety and low self-esteem be as prevalent in our community as it is now had the parents and children given adequate time to each other talking about their issues?

If you think the situations mentioned above would have been better had both parents and children took efforts to bridge the communication gap then you know exactly what to do next. Go and talk to your parents/children about your passion, your dreams, your problems, your fears and anything that comes into your mind. After all, the special bond between a parent and a child is unlike any other bond in the world and you’ve got to take efforts to maintain this bond.