Today’s seniors are described as “cre-active” and with good reason! They are the new grandparents, as shown by the research “Portrait of New Seniors: comparing generations” carried out by the TRIAL Laboratory of Catholic University and by Senior Observatory, the cultural association of and for the over 55 supported by Yakult in Italy.
The figure of grandparent, is no longer linked to the concept of aging: it is in fact a small percentage of the 65-74 year olds who say they begin to feel older as they become grandparents. Only about 4% states the research carried out in Italy.
So, there is a new experience of life which adds activity and motivation to this age group, resulting in greater psychological wellbeing, as also confirmed by recent epidemiological studies published in prestigious scientific journals.
More than a state, then, the role of grandparent is now a real role with which the senior invests themselves, becoming even more concretely a pivot around which the different generations living together in a family can safely organize their lives.
So here are some suggestions to make the grandparents’ work even more rewarding and useful for themselves and for the grandchildren – co-stars of this combination of wellbeing:
- Tell your grandchildren the family stories: about their parents when were young, yourself or your ancestors. You will grow their sense of belonging to the family and, at the same time, you will hold them spellbound.
- Willingly accept the new customs that the world of your grandchildren, constantly changing, will bring in your homes. However, choose the most significant traditions of the past and let them live with them: you will give to your grandchildren a greater sense of history and a greater knowledge of the culture and diversity that they experience.
- Teach your grandchildren some skills difficult to find in their technological world. They are precious: they will not find them anywhere else.
- Let your grandchildren teach you new skills, their own.
- Be genuinely interested in their interests: try to play their games, to listen to their music. And ask questions: they will love to let you understand their enthusiasm.
- Give yourself time. Languages, technologies, new knowledge: their world is a different world and constantly changing. But do not be afraid: understanding and appreciating it is only a matter of time. So, do not hurry and you’ll be amazed how it will manage to entertain you too!