Q: Recently, my husband and I were discussing how intelligent our teenage grandchildren are compared to how smart we were at their age. I believe they are considerably smarter, while my husband disagrees.
In your experience, what are your thoughts on this?
A: First of all, no generation is biologically smarter than another. It's all a matter of perspective, and it depends entirely on what criteria you focus on. For example, there is no doubt people of younger generations are brighter when it comes to technology. They are adept at finding information almost instantly, which gives them a heads up on older generations. However, their options can be questionable, and common sense sometimes fails them, leaving us wondering why they make certain choices. Now, grandparents' decisions can also be questionable, but the old adage of "two heads are better than one" is reassuring.
There are certain things in life that can't be taught — they have to learn through hands-on experiences. Teenagers these days have to adjust to and cope with normal rites of passage, but also peer pressure, competition, sex, drugs, education, safe driving, budgets and communicating with parents. What we consider to be intelligent decisions regarding these aspects may be different than what our grandkids think. In any case, they need to think reasonably before making choices.
Often, our grandchildren's decisions come as a total shock. If this happens to you with your grandkids, react with love and a positive attitude; teach them to be kind, set standards and examples for them and be patient. After all, spending time with our grandchildren is an opportunity we do not want to miss! — Doug
Q: I've been getting into a lot of arguments with my sister-in-law ever since she and my brother moved closer to me. It seems like we can't be in a room together for any length of time before we disagree and everything blows up. I'm not sure what's changed, as I used to see her somewhat frequently, but something must have, because she seems like a different person to me!
It's now gotten to the point where I don't want to be around her, and I feel resentful. I had been hoping to spend more time with my brother now that he lives closer, but so far it has been a change for the worse.
What can I do stop this cycle of conflict?
A: First of all, it's important to assess how your own actions are playing in this pattern. The easiest way to change it might be to change your behavior.
Also, keep in mind that change can be upsetting. Moving is a massive undertaking, and adjusting to a new environment is stressful. So, your sister-in-law's attitude may be temporary. That being said, having family closer is also a change for you, and it may be making your routine a bit off-balance. Perhaps you are getting more upset in situations than you normally would.
Sometimes, just being patient and letting things play out is the best way to avoid stress. — Emma, Doug's granddaughter
Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: Comrade King