Edited and reposted 8/10/19
“As a young adult, I spent hours listening to my uncle describing his younger days and the 200 chickens the family raised in an urban backyard during WWII. They raised the chickens and shared eggs to help feed the neighbors.”
Have you heard stories like this before? Our older population holds a wealth of information that won’t be found in books!
How can we teach younger generations about the value of our beloved older adults in the community?
Intergenerational Communication Can Make a Difference
Cultured, intentional relationships breed respect, but the distancing of space between generations creates indifference.
Encourage children and teenagers to engage with older adults.
Parents can help guide children and teens with questions they can ask their grandparents, older neighbors, or friends.
The following are six conversation starters you can use or share. Ask an older adult if:
- their family had a garden and nourished themselves with food that wasn’t purchased at a local grocery store. (Many even had mandatory gardening classes as part of their schooling!)
- he or she remembers how to dehydrate, smoke or can their food in order to preserve it. (Ask about the icebox, their first refrigerator in their home, and the deliveries by the iceman!)
- chickens were raised at home. Did their neighbors have chickens? (It was common for chickens to be raised, even in urban homes!)
- he or she ever butchered a chicken. Most likely, they did or someone in their family did the job!
- how they lived in a world without plastic! (Isn’t THAT hard to imagine!)
- if he or she is a veteran. (Times of war and the hardships endured seem as remotely possible as a fairy tale to children today.)
Teach the younger generations to enjoy intergenerational communication by helping them learn the value of life experience!
Please share your thoughts on other ways to bridge generations…
Share a story from your past or your parents, or grandparents!
2 thoughts on “6 Conversation Starters for Intergenerational Communication”
I really enjoyed this topic. I agree its an important part of our lives to have those stories from the older generations. I feel that at a young age, we need to as parents, encourage our children to volunteer maybe with meals on wheels or such to come in contact with the elderly. It is also important to encourage a relationship with their grandparents.
Thank you for taking the time to enlighten us Kathryn…
Love hearing what you have to say, Cheri. You’re such a compassionate person and I know you have been a great example to your children!
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