A cheat-proof indication of adulthood maturity is the ability to be patient with anyone younger. Things about others that irritate us most are often most true of ourselves. God puts irritating people in our lives because mirrors are useful.
One of the biggest mistakes in life is thinking one is ready to become a parent. When you make that mistake, you’ll probably have children who will be sure to tell you specifically how mistaken you were. Parents are only irritated about their teenagers by things they haven’t outgrown themselves; the only difference is in the price of the toys they quibble over. But, parent or not, never judge the younger generation by your own standards.
Sometimes younger generations don’t know as much as older generations because they are still learning. A teen driving for the first time might take the long way home because it’s the only way he knows. That’s nothing to be angry about, even if it made him late. An adult who knows more should tell the teen to arrive at a time one hour earlier than actually needed—and make sure the teen never knows why. Have some fun news waiting, happily jest about not being ready yet, be smart enough to be flexible enough because the adult is supposed to be older and smarter.
Sometimes younger generations know more than older generations because of advances in technology and science. So, when young people do things in ways that seem wrong to older generations, it is the older generations’ responsibility to recognize the improvement and welcome it. Don’t become that old fart who can’t get out of the way of those who will continue all of his good progress after he bites the dust.
As a metaphor, generations compare to video displays. Each new generation is more efficient and has higher resolution. Younger generations want to be more efficient and light weight. They don’t need to become hippies in order to be irritated with taking the trash out all the time. Because youth build on what the wise began, they see finer details and are therefore concerned about things the old sage could never see. So, judge at the right resolution.