Throughout our lives, we’re always taught to listen to our elders because they have a wealth of knowledge and experiences to share—which is true. But what often goes underappreciated is what we can learn from the younger generations around us as we get older. You may be surprised by the level of insight and knowledge the younger generation has to offer. Studies have shown that when older adults connect with younger people, they can cultivate a sense of purpose, discover new learning opportunities, become more active and see the world from a different, possibly unexpected, perspective.
Here are 7 things you could learn from the younger generation as an older adult.
Appreciate new technologies
Let’s start with what might be the most obvious thing younger people can teach us; it’s no secret that younger people are generally more up-to-date with the latest modern technology, which many older adults struggle with. These days, kids start their lives typically pretty engrained with modern technology, which only grows as they get older and get cell phones, social media, etc. One big thing younger generations know about is how to stay in touch with friends and family online; this can be especially helpful for older adults living in retirement communities who may not see their loved ones as often. Younger people can teach their loved ones how to use video calling apps or help them to text or use Facebook to keep communication strong.
Be more open-minded and accepting
Kids are generally more tolerant and open-minded; they might not know any different than to accept people with open arms, despite differences. As we get older, we tend to become more set in our ways and beliefs, which isn’t necessarily bad. Shifting your mindset and your ideas might be difficult, but having younger people around can help open your mind to new concepts and get you excited to learn something new or discover a new skill that you might’ve turned your nose up to in the past.
Follow your dreams, no matter what
Younger people are dreamers and aren’t afraid to dream big and shoot for the stars with big dreams of being a pop star or an astronaut. They set big goals and don’t hold back. Maybe they won’t grow up to be famous pop stars, but pursuing those dreams and not letting anything stop them is something everyone could learn from. No matter what you feel might be holding you back, don’t be afraid to reach for your dream! Maybe you’ve always wanted to try painting or learn carpentry. Well, what’s stopping you? Take it from the kids; nothing is impossible!
Appreciate the little moments
Younger generations tend to get a bad rap for being too attached to their phones and taking too many pictures. But, with phones, cameras, and social media, we can record every moment of our day and capture those moments so we never forget them. It’s not so much about getting that perfect selfie or snapping the perfect Instagram shot of your dinner. It’s more about appreciating the little not-so-important moments of the day that you might be missing and being more open to seeing those moments and sharing them with friends and family, no matter how trivial they might seem at first glance.
Don’t be afraid to get messy
We all know kids are messy, but when did we stop enjoying the moment and start being afraid of getting messy? Get creative and get messy! Each new game, craft, and activity is an opportunity to learn something new! You’ll probably find it hard to get bored when exploring new things, especially if you can do it with your loved ones.
Stay in motion
Young people are always on the go, constantly exploring, discovering and moving. Of course, staying active and moving is essential at any age, so let the little ones in your life keep you active! Go to the playground, go on that walk, or play in the backyard. But younger people can also teach us to stay in motion and not hold on to the past. Children tend to move on quickly; if they fall or make a mistake, they get back up and try again. This is something that we tend to lose with age. Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody has regrets, but it’s essential to forgive ourselves, put the past behind us, and get back up.
This time in your life is the perfect chance to stray from your usual, learn something new, try a new hobby, create a masterpiece, and dream big! There’s so much that both generations can learn from each other, and you might discover something great together! Sharing this experience is all about caring for each other and ourselves, making everybody’s life a little bit more enjoyable and bringing you closer to your loved ones.
At Trillium Communities, we know how important it is to stay connected with your family and friends after moving into retirement housing. That’s why we’re proud to have an open-door policy in our communities; your friends, family, and other visitors are welcome to come and go as they please. That’s the Trillium difference in action! Be sure to stay up to date with our community events calendars on our website to find an event or activity your family or friends might love to experience with you!