The generation gap

There she was, the plump, loving mum who came and spent at week at her daughter’s university out of concern for second degree burns that the young girl had sustained when boiling water spilt on her while she was pouring tea. And so at every given moment the mother would lovingly change her bandages and warn her to be careful.
And then there was the pretty daughter. She was full of conflicting emotions: so excited about coming to a great university, and so embarrassed by her mum being around her, when all the other students had come to campus independently. One day when she was attending an open lawn party with the other freshers, her mum walked by and told her to be careful and not dance too much so that her burns could heal.
“Go away mum. I am with my new friends. You are embarrassing me,” she said.
The mother walked away, sighed, and thought of how she had sacrificed promotion opportunities at work so as to be able to devote more time to her children. And for what? For this day, when her daughter effortlessly put a group of new friends on a pedestal, and who chided her for dressing up in an old fashioned way.
The social exchange theory of Homas is based on the idea that all relationships are based on give-and-take. This perspective argues that people calculate the overall worth of a particular relationship by subtracting its costs from the rewards it provides.
I wonder what ‘reward’ this mother got for the relationship with her daughter?


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