(c) 2013 Trina Lambert

(c) 2013 Trina Lambert

So now to explain what’s right about how we interact with our mostly grown/grown children and their friends these days. I am not always as cranky as my recent post on the topic might have led you to believe. Though I continue to believe there is a lot of vulnerability in the informal relations these days between generations, I also know that if I really wanted to keep the stronger boundaries of earlier times, I would do so. Just as there are negatives to our squishy relations, there are positives.

For one thing, the more time we spend in fellowship with people of different ages, the more we understand the perspectives of people who are not our age peers. It’s easier to stereotype and minimize the concerns of others when you keep your distance—no matter your age. However, the world is not just made up of people at one stage of life; the better we understand one another, the better we are at creating a society that works for different kinds of people facing different kinds of stresses.

But for another, why limit your interactions to those who are just like you? By mixing only with your own age group you might be missing out on enjoyable times with people who—who knew?—are enjoyable too.

There’s some good that comes from acting silly, even for those of us who have long been the grown-ups in the room. And to do that with our kids and their friends can be a joy. Growing up and being grown up takes a lot of energy for anyone dealing with the hard facts of life, whether young or old. Is it any wonder that both sides are prone to exacerbating the friction by resorting to an “us vs. them” mentality?

Whether or not the kids or their parents are all right I can’t say, but we’ll never know if they (we) never spend time together. Mea culpa for suggesting there was no middle ground.