Kids + Elders: Intergenerational Connectivity
Tips for all intergenerational relationships – including for grandkids and grandparents.
Intergenerational friendships offer unique benefits. Inspiration and risk-taking from the young pair exquisitely with weathered by experience from elders. Enlightening each other’s perspectives weaves together a higher functioning society.
Many of us are raised with ageism that is locked in generational cultural differences. When we get interested in those differences – the good, the bad, the ugly – we get to know each other better. Ferret out prejudging with keen curiosity and a light heart.
Ignite Sparky Ground
We all relate differently – notice if your partner is more audio(likes to talk), visual (likes to look) or kinesthetic (likes to touch things). Some people open up when talking or driving. Plan activities accordingly. Brainstorm together to identify common ground on activities that transcend age. Go for a walk, make food together, read to each other, craft, delegate your own story hour of made up or personal stories. Spend time outside. The more what you do isn’t just focusing on having a conversation – the more it’ll naturally grow. FInd activities that are easy to do while talking.
Turn Towards Tech?
Seeing as tech isn’t going anywhere – find out how it fits in your relationship. Come to an agreement on what tech you want to use and what tech you don’t want to use. You may find playing scramble on your smartphones makes your friendship more interesting.
Rock Your Rhythm
Who we spend time with we usually end up spending more time with. Develop a rhythm. Especially for grandparents who call and ask the same questions each week, “How was school?” and have trouble getting the conversation going. Instead – start your own book club with just the two of you. Or write a weekly snail mail letter. Rock your relationship by establishing its rhythm.
Listen to Learn
Intergenerational friendships have the awesome potential for respect without judgement. The less critical we are of each other – the more our curiosity and trust can grow. Get absorbed. Let go of expectations about what this relationship should be like. Instead- listen to learn.
Rub off on each other
Pass on what you want the other to learn. Get curious about what tickles their fancy – and find an angle in that which sparks your interest.
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