For many children who don’t spend a lot of time around the elderly, seeing people who are far older than them can be a little scary or intimidating. But luckily, this isn’t how things have to be.
With your help, your children can learn to respect and appreciate the older people in their families and their communities. To help you see how this can be accomplished, here are three ways you can help your kids become more comfortable around the elderly.
Use Media About The Elderly
One of the first places you should start with helping your children see the elderly in a different and more flattering light is to show them some media where this happens.
There are plenty of movies and TV shows out there that show people interacting with the elderly in a way that’s loving and kind. You could also read books together about older people so that your children can see good examples of what they are like and how to be around them.
Watching this kind of media can help your kids see that older people are valuable and easy to interact with. While they might have to speak a little louder, their interactions with the elderly don’t have to be that different from their interactions with any other people.
Spend More Time Together
To help your children become more comfortable around elderly people, they are going to have to spend more time around elderly people.
If your children have grandparents, this is a good place to start. You could also take your children to assisted living facilities or other places where there is a larger number of elderly people.
When in these types of environments, make sure you’re teaching your children by example, too. If you’re nervous around older people, it’s more likely that your children will be as well. So step outside of your own comfort zone and get to know the elderly people in your community by serving them.
Plan Activities That Everyone Will Enjoy
If your children are already a little nervous about spending time with elderly people, having them just sit down and talk together can be a lot to ask.
Rather than going this route, try to plan some kind of activity that everyone can enjoy together. Doing things like eating together, doing a puzzle, sharing music with one another, and more can help bridge any gaps between the young and the elderly, as these are things that people of all ages like and can enjoy with one another.
If you’re wanting your kids to have a better understanding and respect for the elderly people in your life and community, consider using the tips mentioned above to help them become more comfortable around senior citizens.