1. Show Respect: Children may need to have the term
“respect” qualified. Children can show respect by….
- greeting elders and exchanging a few polite words:
"Hi, Uncle Fred, it’s nice to see you.”
- using proper titles of Mr., Mrs., etc. Children may know how
to address Grandma and Uncle, but what about the 70 year
old neighbor that you call "Joe" or "Sandy"
- stepping up to assist in someway,
“can I hold the door/take your jacket?”
Remind kids to..
- pick up any toys or belongings the elderly might trip over
- be patient. Don’t try to squeeze past the elderly when stuck behind them in the hall
- not run or horse play near where an elderly person it standing.
- The elderly might not be able to hear/understand what children are trying to say, so it
might be nice to share an idea through a drawing or by coloring a picture.
- If the older person has difficulty with mobility, children can offer them something to
drink and/or deliver hors d’oeuvre etc..
Bring generation gaps together by..
- playing a simple game such as cards or checkers
- deomonstrating a magic trick, reciting a poem or singing a song.
5. Enough is enough
- Remind kids that the elderly might not like excessive or prolonged activity around
- Allow the elderly time to speak with other adults without interruption
- Take loud or rambunctious activities outside or to another room
Most importantly we should convey to our children the value of our elderly. They should be put on a pedestal and appreciated for their knowledge, life experience and wisdom. After all, we will all be there one day too.