Grandparents and young adults can use summer vacation to bridge the generation gap and take a break from technology.
We live in a device-addicted world… and it is having an impact on our family time.
For adults, escaping from email, taking a break from binge watching the latest television show, and tuning out texts can be difficult enough. For teens who have grown up in a world where mobile devices and the internet have always been present, unplugging from technology seems almost impossible to do.
If your young adult’s technology is starting to interfere with the quality time he or she spends with family – and particularly with grandparents – it may be time for a tech intervention. Next time your young adult takes too much screen time, encourage your child to spend some quality time disconnecting from devices and reconnecting with his or her grandparents.
These five fun, cross-generational activities will help young and older adults alike unplug and connect:
1. Save the World
Volunteering builds character, self-esteem, and compassion. Find a volunteer opportunity that both your young adult and his or her grandparent can get passionate, and encourage them to help others – together. Another benefit of volunteering? It looks great on college applications.
2. Learn a New Hobby
Is grandma a gourmet chef? Does grandpa enjoy woodworking? Summertime can be the perfect time for young adults to learn a new pastime from their older relatives. Whether you set up weekly lessons or plan an afternoon of learning, both young and older adults can benefit from quality time spent together sharing a cherished activity.
3. Get Fit
Encourage your young adult to become his or her grandparent’s workout buddy. Setting workout dates encourages both parties to stay committed, and ensures that both your child and his or her grandparent make physical activity a priority this summer. Great grandparent/young adult workouts include dog walking, gardening, mall walking, Tai Chi, or jaunts to a favorite destination such as a local lake or park.
4. Share Stories
As technology has pervaded our society, storytelling has become a lost art. But when seniors and young adults share stories, something magical happens. Storytelling cultivates creativity and a sense of connectedness. Holiday Retirement recently launched a national bedtime story drive to reignite the art of storytelling and facilitate this connection. Storytellers of all ages are encouraged to submit original stories that have been handed down from generation to generation at: sharebedtimestories.com. Selected stories will be included in a children’s book that will be published later this year.
5. Use Technology Together
Technology is not all bad… especially if it can spur communication. Encourage young adults to put their tech knowledge to use and spend some time teaching grandma and grandpa how to communicate via text, online chat, or video chat. The benefit? Whether a young adult is currently in college or soon will be, he or she will now have a new way to stay connected to grandparents throughout the school year.
Building cross-generational connections between young adults and their grandparents is a simple – but impactful – summer project. Encouraging these activities will not only stave off summer boredom and encourage kids to unplug, but will also help young adults and their grandparents to spend quality time together, build life-long memories, and maybe even cause the young adult to ignore that latest text on his or her phone.
What has your family done to help bridge the gap between grandparents and teens? Share your suggestions with us in the comments below.