Parents and kids today dress alike, listen to the same music, and are friends. Is this a good thing? Sometimes, when Mr. Ballmer and his 16-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, listen to rock music together and talk about interests both enjoy, such as pop culture, he remembers his more distant relationship with his parents when he was a teenager.
“I would never have said to Mom, ‘Hey, the new Weezer album is really great. How do you like it?’” says Ballmer. “There was just a complete gap in taste.”
Music was not the only gulf. From clothing and hairstyles to activities and expectations, earlier generations of parents and children often appeared to move in separate orbits.
Today, the generation gap has not disappeared, but it is getting narrow in many families. Conversations on subjects such as sex and drugs would not have taken place a generation ago. Now they are comfortable and common. And parent-child activities, from shopping to sports,