Experts often speak of the generation gap, or the differing perspectives of older and younger groups, as a major obstacle to intergenerational relationships. However, research shows that it may be worth your while to build bridges with people of all ages to expand your worldview. Just what can the older and younger generations learn from each other? Have the Talk of a Lifetime. You may be surprised by how insightful that first conversation can be!
The benefits of intergenerational relationships are numerous. In fact, social psychologist Eric Erikson has stated that the advantages are plentiful for both older and younger generations. The younger generation can learn valuable life lessons from an older generation who has experienced a great deal of setbacks and triumphs. These conversations can relieve anxiety about the future, especially when the time comes to celebrate a loved one’s life after they die.
The older generation also benefits immensely from these interactions. These interactions can invigorate the older generation, which can reduce feelings of loneliness. Additionally, the older generation can share family stories with a brand new audience, and ensure that their life mattered.
Just how can the older and younger generations connect? There are plenty of ways to enjoy time together!
Consider spending time outdoors together with relaxing activities like gardening and walking to enjoy the fresh air and good company. Talk about your favorite things to do, and share memories around those activities.
Indoor activities can also be a blast. Try scrapbooking to discuss favorite memories with one another, and share stories about old pictures and keepsakes. Or take turns reading a favorite book out loud.
Each generation has a unique skill set to contribute to the world. Younger generations can teach the older generations about technology, while older generations can showcase skills like cooking and crafting. The key is to make the time to talk.
While dedicated activities can be terrific ice breakers, don’t underestimate the power of a good conversation. Talk about your favorite accomplishments in life or your favorite memories with your family.
Make a New Connection and Learn Something New
It’s clear that the older and younger generations can learn a lot from one another, so take the time to get to know someone a little better. Whether planting seeds with your niece or visiting seniors in your community, Have the Talk of a Lifetime, you could walk away with a better understanding of the world around you.