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Gen Z children: Every parent’s headache

In a world largely driven by technology, parents are facing new challenges in understanding and connecting with their teenage children.

This is the dilemma of many parents, including John Otieno and Mercy Njeri.

John, a father of two and a resident of Kangemi in Nairobi observes that his daughters possess a lower level of tolerance and are easily offended, often choosing to isolate themselves in their rooms – a luxury he never had.

On one occasion, John attempted to send them to stay with his brother during the holiday period, but they returned within a week as they struggled to adapt to the new environment.

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“It is difficult raising teenagers in this generation. This is because they spend so much time on their phones and this affects their social life,” John told Nairobi News.

Mercy, also a resident in Nairobi, has had a similar experience as she struggles to understand her children’s behaviour.

Growing up in a village with her grandmother, Mercy learned the value of addressing inappropriate behavior head-on and developed a strong determination to complete her education. However, she now faces challenges in communicating with her own children.

Despite her efforts to spend quality time with them and understand their perspective, they remain unresponsive. Seeking guidance, Mercy has not given up on reconnecting with her children.

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Millennials and Gen Z, commonly known as digital natives, can sometimes be quick to judge and make assumptions, often lacking generosity in their understanding of older generations.

Joy Akinyi, a 19-year-old, emphasized the importance of recognising that individuals may need personal space or be dealing with internal matters on days when they choose not to engage in conversations.

As the digital age continues to shape our lives, the question remains: Will millennials and Gen Z ever find common ground? Understanding and open communication will be key in bridging the generation gap and fostering meaningful connections between parents and their teenage children.

Through shared experiences and open dialogue, it is hoped that both parents and young adults can work together to build stronger relationships and create a future where understanding and empathy thrive.

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