Respect for Elders
You hear about it all over the news: “The Baby Boomer population is reaching retirement age!” or “The number of Baby Boomers in the US continues to influence the life and culture of Americans!”. These are all true! According to the the US Census Bureau, within the next 17 years, all the baby boomers will be age 65 or older and will account for over 20 percent of the US population. This means a lot more elderly people in our neighborhoods, stores, churches, and anywhere else you and your family frequently visit. Your children may or may not have living grandparents, but they will certainly come in contact with elderly people regularly. So respect for elders is really important.
Children are used to interacting with their peers and parents, but what about the elderly? Do your children feel comfortable talking with this generation? Do your children respect individuals of this great generation? Here are a few tips with helping your children respect, and maybe even enjoy, the elderly generation.
Be the Example
Children are observers and they learn by watching those around them. The first step in teaching your children to have respect for elders is to do so yourself. Our Kids Magazine mentions that more often than ever adult children are becoming caregivers to their elderly loved ones. Selflessly caring for these loved ones, is a great chance to model to children proper respect. Treating these elderly loved ones with respect and love is one of the most important things you can do in teaching your children.
Respect through Learning
Teach your children the stories of what this great generation has lived through and endured. Better yet, have the elderly in your life teach your children about what it was like growing up 60 or more years ago. The website A Place For Mom encourages its readers to hear first-hand accounts about events such as World War II or The Great Depression from the elderly rather than learning it from a book or movie. This type of learning can lead to a great sense of awe and respect.
Surround Yourself with Good Company
One final note about teaching your children to have a respect for elders is to surround them with others who respect this generation. Do not allow your children to interact regularly with others who you have seen disrespect the elderly. The website Life, Hope, and Truth quotes 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Bad company ruins good morals” which could not be more true than when children are around people who disrespect others.
As the population of the United States continues to age, it is more and more important to teach our children how to interact with those they come in contact with. Continue to teach your children important values such as respecting their elders.