My dad is a boomer, and I’m Gen Z. We sometimes have different perspectives, but our relationship is built on mutual respect.

    Jael Bore (not pictured) is Gen Z and her father is a boomer.

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    My father has always been older than most of my friends’ dads.Our opinions on some topics differ, but we’re surprisingly aligned on other things.He gives me great advice, and our relationship is built on respect.

    I’m 22, and my father has always been much older than my friends’ dads. Growing up, this difference was a constant source of fascination. During elementary school events, my father’s age always stood out. But over time, what once seemed unusual became completely normal to me.

    He would let me help on his farm when I was on break from school. It was more than just bonding; it was an opportunity to learn from his enviable work ethic and perspective. I cherished those moments together, immersing myself in the activities that kept the farm running. He always emphasized that work wasn’t just about the tasks at hand but about the person you become through the process. That’s not all I learned from him.

    We view technology differently

    When he finally got his first smartphone, after much convincing, it was an opportunity for me to teach him new things he found challenging to understand. My father was born in the age of handwritten letters and couldn’t understand why statuses disappeared after 24 hours on WhatsApp.

    Amusingly, he views social media as an utter distraction, while I see it as a tool that enhances my daily life. He frequently warned my siblings and me about spending too much time in front of screens, which led to constantly tracking my screen time and ensuring I kept it as low as possible.

    He taught me about hard work

    As my siblings and I grew older, he became intentional about instilling a sense of responsibility and agency in us. Every parent wants their children to appreciate the value of hard work, but I think my dad took it a notch higher. He had us set goals annually and develop actionable steps to achieve them.

    While his views and approach have sometimes clashed with my more progressive, digitally influenced perspectives, these differences have often led to enriching discussions. We debate various topics, from the significance of social media activism to the evolving definition of success. These conversations not only broadened my understanding but also taught me to value and respect diverse viewpoints.

    I was pleasantly surprised by his views on mental health

    The pandemic brought to the forefront a significant generational divide in views on mental health. Like many of my Gen Z peers, I found myself struggling with anxiety and depression during the lockdowns. The constant barrage of alarming news, social isolation, and the uncertainty of the future took a toll on my mental well-being.

    My father’s approach to wellness and happiness, shaped by his boomer values, initially seemed out of step with my own understanding of mental health. He grew up in an era where mental health issues were often stigmatized and rarely discussed openly. Many in his generation value stoicism and resilience, often equating mental strength with the ability to endure hardships without complaint.

    In contrast, my Gen Z perspective on mental health is more open and proactive. My peers and I are more likely to seek professional help, use mental health apps, and openly discuss our struggles over lunch.

    However, my father’s perspective on wellness was surprisingly holistic. He emphasized the importance of a balanced life, drawing from his experiences of overcoming adversity. His approach was centered on maintaining physical health, building strong relationships, and finding joy in simple pleasures. He often shared stories of coping with difficulties in his youth by staying active, engaging with his community, and practicing gratitude.

    During the pandemic, his views became a lifeline for me. He encouraged me to establish a daily routine, incorporating physical exercise and regular sleep patterns, which helped anchor my days. He stressed the importance of staying connected with loved ones, even if only through phone calls or video chats, to combat the isolation. His insistence on finding joy in small, everyday activities — like cooking a meal together, gardening, or simply taking a walk — helped me reconnect with the present moment and alleviate my anxiety.

    Teaching and learning from each other, my father and I have built a relationship grounded in mutual respect and understanding.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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