Inter-generational relationships are becoming more popular these days as people are seeing the benefits that they bring.
Relationships and activities between older adults (whom we at Educara we refer to as Grand-Friends) and children serve an important role in the life of children who may not have the benefit of grandparents or elderly person in their lives.
In connecting generations we cultivate relationships to where age doesn’t matter. We can share traditions, histories, skills, creativity, spirit, and a sense of wonder. And these things can be shared through grand-friend Activities!
Inter-generational relationships help the young, the old, and the community in many ways:
- Provide an opportunity to learn new skills for both youth and seniors, with seniors teaching youth about careers or other knowledge and youth teaching seniors how to use technology.
- Help youth to understand and accept aging, and promote a healthy cultural attitude toward aging
- Fight violence and crime by giving young people purposeful activity
- Give older adults more energy and something to look forward to
- Fill a need for children who do not have grandparents, or whose grandparents live far away
- Reduce depression and isolation in the elderly
- Keep family history alive
- Give older adults a way to stay connected to the community and strengthen the sense of social responsibility in young people
- Break down stereotypes each generation has about the other
One of our parents summed up it up perfectly by saying “My son gains so much from participating in inter-generational activities with grand-friends, as well….a grandparent figure, exposure (and reduced fear) to walkers, wheelchairs and people who like to ruffle his hair. These “grand-friends” are kind, patient, and have a wealth of information to share with the children and after every activities he comes home with a big smile and shares with us his many stories of his grand-friends”.
It’s very clear to us at Educara that taking the time to build inter-generational relationships among young children and older adults is an important aspect of early childhood education as well as an important part of daily activities for these residents.
Inter-generational friendships are a WIN WIN!