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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Pauline GirlingPosted at 15:44h, 25 May
I’m taking an online course through Dublin University on Strstegies for Successful Ageing and one of the key areas they focus on besides health and well being as you age is the importance of
Inter generational socializing.
The parallel between the yoga philosophy – particularly Ayurveda – and successful ageing is so interconnected – it bowls me over!
Thanks for this great information.
Claire HardingPosted at 16:23h, 20 August
I love this article. It’s such an important dimension; to consider in our daily life; especially in this day and age.
I also love the simplicity of your advice; makes it feels possible and more rewarding to not just try but ‘do’ positive things to improve these relationships. Thank you. X
Rita GoldhorPosted at 17:09h, 28 April
When you are 90 years old (and I am) your children are often in their 60s and experts in their own fields.
How can you get them to listen to your viewpoint?
JelenaPosted at 07:03h, 04 May
Hello Rita, If these views cover my works, it means that the story is not empty.
Misty WeaverPosted at 12:32h, 01 October
Wonderful article! Unfortunately the tip sheet is no longer available to download.