Edgar’s Experience with the Generation Gap in the Sixties

Edgar and Judith Brown January 22, 2018

Art Skills Required: Managing the Generation Gap

generation gap

As children grow, their parents go through phases of parenting that are more difficult than the other stages they go through during their children’s youth. For Edgar, that phase happened during the dissident generation back in the sixties. What made it harder was the fact that it created a generation gap between him, his wife, Marjorie, and their four kids—Roger, Martha, Gayle, and Gary.

During that time, the children were in their high school years, and society was changing. Rebellion against any form of authority was becoming more common among the younger generation. Consequently, since parents represented authority, they were also subjected to defiance.

Managing the generation gap became particularly hard with Roger, the eldest. He got angry when his parents refused his request to go to a Peter, Paul and Mary concert, and even disregarded their advice for his future. Edgar and Marjorie were willing to pay Roger’s college tuition, yet he ended up calling one day, announcing his decision to join the marines. He did not consult his parents on this issue.

Edgar also had to deal with some difficulties when it came to Gayle, his third child. Gayle was their best student whose grade point average was exemplary. However, problems surfaced when one Thanksgiving break, she introduced her boyfriend, Tommy. That was the first time Edgar met with him, yet the couple announced then that they were getting married. Perplexed at the sudden news, Edgar kept asking why they were in a rush to tie the knot. He did not get any straightforward answer, so he was pushed to ask if Gayle was pregnant. With that, Tommy got angry and stormed out of the house with Gayle. Eventually, the couple’s wedding pushed through with only Tommy’s family in attendance.

Fortunately, Edgar did not have as many problems with Martha and Gary. With these two, Edgar did not have to mind the generation gap.

Martha was not the type to get caught up in the rebellious attitude. Instead of giving in to the pressure of the dissident generation, Martha chose to work with her parents and toward blending in with traditional values.

An example of this was Martha’s dedication to her parents’ rules when it came to relationships. Edgar had a rule against the kids going steady in relationships during high school. Martha was smitten with a boy named Mike, and they became very close. The two of them were very respectful of Edgar’s rules—asking permission when they wanted to go out, specifying where they were going, and what time they would be back, and following through on those promises. Eventually, Edgar broke his own rules and permitted Mike and Martha to be in a serious relationship.

Meanwhile, Edgar and Gary seemed to have no generation gap at all. According to Edgar, Gary was a “normal boy inclined to be mischievous, but seldom went beyond the limits of requiring discipline.” Gary immediately found employment after high school. Since then, he has been moving up in his career and has made it to success.

The generation gap may have created some rift with Edgar and his kids at some point, but it also allowed him to experience the complexities and joys of parenting.

Did you find this article interesting? There’s more to Edgar’s adventures and life in  Of Raincrows and Ivy Leaves. Connect with me on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter if you want to discuss your thoughts on this.

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Judith A. Brown

Edgar Brown is a war veteran who was a navy pilot in the Black Cats Brigade. After the war, he serve... read more

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