According to the Census Bureau within three decades seniors will outnumber children under 15. What does that mean for your family? It means 2019 is even more important to bridge the gap between generations so each can benefit from spending time with the other age groups.
Benefits for Seniors
Sometimes as we age we forget what it was like to be young and there's no better way to regain that insight than to spend time with children. Kids and teens make the best teachers when it comes to explaining technology, so seniors can spend a day with their grandchild and a new laptop or smart phone and come away with a solid understanding of the shortcuts needed to navigate the Web. Playing in the park, working in the garden, or watching a movie together give grandparents a connection to their own younger days as well as a glimpse into the future. Interaction with children and teens helps relieve stress, and don't forget how much grandparents enjoy showing off the latest photos of their offspring. Why not have bragging rights selfies on a new smart phone?
Benefits for Grandchildren
There's no doubt children can learn the wisdom of their elders and building strong relationships with grandparents are part of a strong foundation for life. Kids will have a higher self-esteem and better social skills from interacting with seniors and may experience higher academic standards and less delinquency, too. Kids can learn their family history from their grandparents as well as stories from a bygone era and let's face it: what teen wouldn't love to hear their grandpa went to Woodstock?
Benefits for Adult Children
Sometimes adults get lost in the haze of raising kids, working, and taking care of their parents. By making sure your kids spend time with their grandparents you'll establish the continuity of family generations while enjoying the interaction between your parents and your offspring. This is also a good time to ask about your family tree and write down any gaps of information you might have so someday you are able to pass the facts down to your own grandchildren.
Keep in mind the interaction between generations is not exclusive to families. Seniors can volunteer at a local school, hospital, or youth program to give much needed guidance to children and teens that might otherwise have little or no adult mentoring. Both groups will benefit from the time spent together.