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A fellow dad whose son was in the same class as mine was, once complained to me, how differently do we deal with our children. I had laughed then and answered half-jokingly, depends on how you were raised. While that in itself may just have been nothing but a knee-jerk, tongue-in-cheek instant reply, I thought much later that I might have perhaps been right after all. For surely, it’s not rocket science to know we’re great mimics whenever we’re faced with similar parent-child experiences from childhood.

In many instances, I catch my younger son seriously reminding his younger cousins to ‘eat your vegetables before leaving the table’ and it doesn’t at all surprise me where he got that idea from because I heard the same being commanded of me when I was a child. I’m even willing to bet my parents too heard that from their parents. Somehow, it reminds me of a familiar ‘pass the message’ parlor game in my youth, although the results of that was always entirely different. There, the intended message always ended up disparate from the original one in the end.

But going back, as my fellow dad continued, our children (or his son’s) talent at ’mimicry’ ends there, along with other analogies at the table. For one, he says, his son’s so “onion-skinned” (his words). A stern warning from him and his wife and he’s already curled up in himself and sulking like a baby not getting what its wants. I concur and say my young son is the same but, weren’t we all when we were their age? Then it was somewhere along this time when I knew where he was heading ,when he asked ‘what’s happening with the children of today?’

I didn’t want to go there, the generational distinction that’s so popular in many written treatises and even informal table discussions. Even as I admit, it was such an interesting topic, I’m no social scientist do I wish to be one, especially it concerned kids yesterday, today or tomorrow). Inasmuch as there might already be so many circumstantial so-called evidence on the table which point at supposedly set-attitudes by generations Boomers, Exes, Zees or millennials, I still say, I give each individual the benefit of the dance, er doubt.

Truth be told, aren’t we all easily led, often jumping to conclusions based on our set biases? As example, it’s so common among pinoys; we are always wont to spurt generalities like, Ilocanos are like this and Ilonggos are like this, Cebuanos are such and such, and so on. So, for me at least, Boomers like us, all the way down to millennials, get the same treatment. Perhaps in the end, if we just left everything as personal opinion, we might even get a laugh out of it all. Meanwhile, back on the subject of children, they be yesterday’s or from light years ahead, let’s just enjoy the few years they remain as such. Leave the “they’re our hope for the future” and other rhetoric to the sages, whom everyone disagrees with anyway.


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