Benefits of Teaching Your Children to Help the Elderly

I didn't grow up with grandparents around, but my children have grandparents who live in the general area. Most of them are not really elderly, but they are getting older, and I'm happy to learn from reader, Nancy Evans, about the benefits kids have by spending time with elderly people. In fact, this post makes me want to look into volunteering with some elderly folk in my area.

Parents who teach their children to show compassion for the elderly are giving them a gift that can help them grow to be a better adult. A child sitting next to their grandparent on The Perfect Sleep Chair, reading a story together, can have lasting memories. There are many benefits in helping your children manifest the desire to assist the elderly. Do you have an elderly relative in your family, whether it be grandparents, an aunt, uncle, or cousin that your family could help?

There are programs now in several countries that are closing the generation gap between the elderly and young ones. These programs have profound results for both the older person and for the children. The elderly are more positive and hopeful in life, and the children are more open to new ideas and well-rounded in their thinking.

What are some of the benefits your children gain from bonding with an older relative?

• Children gain self-confidence
• Children are less afraid of elderly ones
• They see that aging is a normal part of life and takes the fear out of growing old
• Prepares them for when their parents get old
• Teaches them how to be kind, thoughtful, and compassionate.
• Teaches them to learn from older ones
• Helps them to show respect and dignity to others
• Helps them to lessen stereotyping and encourages tolerance
• Build character and social skills

There are many more benefits to caring for the elderly that we have not even mentioned. Maybe you were not given tools to care for the elderly as you were growing up to adulthood. So you may wonder, "What do I do with my children and my relatives?" There are many activities that your family can do together. Here are some ideas to get you started.

• Take a walk in the park
• Eat a meal together regularly
• Cook a meal and wash the dishes together
• Put together a puzzle
• Make a craft or draw a picture
• Take your relative shopping or on errands
• Sing a song
• Pick your relative up for your child's school activity
• Play an interactive game
• Look at old family pictures
• Starting making a family tree
• Watch movies

Some of the ideas may seem old fashioned, but that was an era of respect and thinking of others. Some of those cherished qualities can be handed down to your children. Give your children those lost treasures.

At first, like most new ideas, it may be a little uncomfortable. However, this is an excellent lesson to teach your child to embrace awkward moments. It will help give them moral fortitude in the future as they stand up to peer pressure. It is also good to keep a sense of humor. Funny things happen in life and we need to laugh about things and not be too serious all of the time.

After the uncomfortable feeling wears off, it would be good to ask your children what kind of ideas they have to help your elderly relatives. Children often have great ideas, and it teaches them to be proactive. That is a great life skill.

It is understandable that time is limited in this day and age. Most dads and moms have to work long hours and sometimes more than one job to take care of the household. It is worth taking the time.
Visiting with elderly relatives can be a fun priority and bond the entire family. It does not have to take long. Even just an hour out of your schedule will be just fine. Or you could take your older family members with you while you are doing chores like grocery shopping, washing the car, or picking out new clothes.

There are many benefits of teaching children to socialize with older ones. The rewards will be seen in your children now and as they grow to adulthood. A wise parent will take the time and have your children spend time getting to know that aged relative. Make helping your children embrace the older ones in your family a priority. Your children will thank you.

See my disclaimer.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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