The Psychology of Everyday Life:Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage


What is the importance of generational boundaries?

One of the most important boundaries in families with children involves the boundaries between parents and children. When the boundary between generations is too permeable, children have too much information and too much power. The demands of immature minds excessively influence parental decisions, or even the parental marriage. This not only throws the family off kilter because the adults are not in control, but it also leaves the children feeling insecure and unprotected. When the boundaries are too rigid, the children may have no influence on parental decision making. Children may feel overly controlled or unimportant. Ideally, the generational boundary should be firm but permeable. However, this is the ideal and not always the reality. It is never easy to know exactly where the boundaries should be. While parents should not expect to always get it right, they should nonetheless strive to maintain appropriate generational boundaries.


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