Letters

The evolving role of parents

Regarding "The disappearing generation gap" (May 29, Homefront): I do not agree that the generation gap between parents and their kids is shrinking, but that we pretend it's no longer there. Parents today are on the defensive. They and other parenting figures are no longer considered founts of wisdom and learning they were in times past. In the age of the one-parent household, and staggering divorce rates, some parents may go along with their children's tastes and ideas – but at what cost? Parents need to be role models, to be teachers, and most of all – mentors. I highly doubt my 18-year-old wants or needs me acting his age and hanging out with him and his friends. He does, however, need me to be a parent.
Marc Widershien
Boston

My philosophy as a parent was always "kids are people, too." I found that by reasoning with my kids, "because I said so" disciplining was unnecessary. Since I've never run my daughters' lives or made decisions for them, we express a great closeness. The one rule I always stressed was that every action has consequences, and forethought pays immeasurable dividends. Consequences were clear and always followed through.

Much depends on a parent's willingness to listen to their children. Honesty, too, is vital. My kids and I are very close, but we are still parent and children – not buddies. I have their respect, they have mine, and our relationship is solid. Nothing is more important.
D. Garrett Jackson
Gig Harbor, Wash.

The shrinking generation gap is not good. It indicates one of two things. Either children have lost their childhood and are feeling like, and being treated, as adults, or "adults" are indefinitely postponing maturity. Or, perhaps, it could be a bit of both.
Will Hart
Sierra Vista, Ariz.

Times have changed and relationships – all relationships – are very different today from the past. There will always be a generation gap, but today we deal with that gap differently. I was raised when HBO was "invented," when Beta tapes were only for those with lots of money, and MTV only played music. So my kids and I come from very different places. But this gap doesn't have to create a divide.

I am their mother first, but I keep communication open. I listen to my kids' music and I enjoy many of their fashions – although sticking to a more age-appropriate wardrobe for myself. Although we don't always agree, my kids are open with me and able to express their needs.

Most important – I'm not making them grow up before their time. I'm the adult here, and I give them their childhood. I refuse to take that away too soon. But I also refuse to not allow them to figure out their beliefs and stand up for them.
Betty Friedel
Gardner, Kan.

Foreigners taking US jobs

Regarding "Despite soft economy, a call for foreign tech workers" (June 3, Work & Money): I read your article on US companies hiring foreigners with interest. My husband and 69 of his co-workers lost their computer- programming jobs this year when their company hired H-1B programmers from India. The company made no secret of the fact that this was a profit-boosting move and – as was required – posted the salaries of the new workers. They are earning half to two-thirds what the Americans were earning.

My husband was required to stay for six months to train his replacements or lose his severance pay. He is now unemployed, despite his efforts to find work. I don't know how Harris Miller can say there are so many IT job opportunities in the US. Perhaps he would care to tell us how to find one?
Linda Evans
Matthews, N.C.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com.

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