|October 23, 2015|
If you have fond memories of frequent visits with your grandparents or even living in the same town as your grandparents, you may one of the lucky few. While many of today's families are multigenerational and live under the same roof, some children don't know their grandparents very well due to long distances or may not have a grandmother or grandfather. Elderly individuals don't need to be biologically related to act as a mentor or a positive influence in a child's life. Many elders act as "honorary" grandparents for children of all ages. If your child doesn't have a close relationship with a grandparent or you want him or her to have more interaction with an older population, contact a nursing home in your local area; many places are more than happy to have visitors of all ages.
Why Intergenerational Relationships Matter
Creating a healthy and strong relationship with someone of a different generation is beneficial for everyone. Some children, who don't have frequent interactions with elders, may be afraid of older individuals. Similarly, elders who don't have regular interaction with younger people may have inaccurate assumptions about younger populations. While intergenerational relationships benefit individuals differently, here are a few benefits based on programs involving youth and elders:
What Can You Do?
If you want to participate in creating a healthy relationship with an elder, you don't need to be part of an official organization or class. Consider making holiday cards for elders or plan an activity (such as a game) that could include children and adults. Always call the nursing home ahead of time and communicate with the employees in charge; tell them what activities you have planned. Additionally, once you've created a schedule, stick to the plan as young and old depend on consistency.
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