Should Young and Old Interact More Often?

             
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It’s undeniable that senior adults love to see little ones in action. But what happens when both seniors and little ones can regularly interact together?

A Washington preschool is demonstrating the answer to that question.

“Called the Intergenerational Learning Center, the preschool is located within Providence Mount St. Vincent, a senior care center in West Seattle. Five days a week, the children and residents come together in a variety of planned activities such as music, dancing, art, lunch, storytelling or just visiting.”

This unusual, but effective, learning experience was captured through the video camera of Evan Briggs. According to Briggs, the effect on the senior citizens was huge, for they:

“did a ‘complete transformation in the presence of the children. Moments before the kids came in, sometimes the people seemed half alive, sometimes asleep. It was a depressing scene. As soon as the kids walked in for art or music or making sandwiches for the homeless or whatever the project that day was, the residents came alive.’

Briggs said the moments between the kids and the residents [are] ‘sweet, some awkward, some funny — all of them poignant and heartbreakingly real.’”

Filming in such a location also caused Briggs to see “just how generationally segregated we’ve become as a society.”

In your own experience, have you found that interaction between your little ones and older adults is a benefit and blessing to both? What are some effective ways you have found to foster a love, care, and concern for the elderly in your children?

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