The benefits of inter-generational relationships

Children from our Gatley Nursery regularly visit local retirement home, Ashbourne House.  Their visits are a joy to watch, for both the children and the elderly residents.

The skills the children develop during their visits to Ashbourne House include communication, language and social skills; as well as empathy, care and kindness.

Interacting with the elderly is fantastic for children’s social development. The older generation often observes children without judgement. They provide children with positive reinforcements, not just through their words but also through their actions and their non-verbal communication such as facial expressions.  This allows the child to understand the impact of their behaviour and increases the likelihood of them repeating those same positive behaviours.  It also builds the child’s self-confidence and self esteem.

Conversations between the two generations promotes knowledge sharing opportunities.  The children recognise that the older generation have different experiences and viewpoints; and their curious minds are hungry to learn and understand more.

A key benefit for the children is that they can learn about ageing and develop an understanding and respect towards elderly people.  At the same time the older generation respect the non-judgement and naivety of the children.  This mutual respect encourages the relationships to flourish. And as those relationships flourish the children develop a sense of the responsibility of building relationships.  This leads to them looking forward to seeing their friends again

This image was taken at Ashbourne House in Easter 2018!