071: How your child can benefit from intergenerational relationships

We recently did an episode on the impact of intergenerational trauma, which was about how the ways we were parented, and even the ways our parents were parented, ends up influencing the relationship we have with our children – and often not in a positive way.

But there’s another side to this story: relationships between the generations can actually have enormously beneficial effects on children’s lives, even when these are affected by issues like radically different parenting styles, and mental illness.

Today we explore the more positive side of intergenerational relationship with Dr. Peter Whitehouse, who (along with his wife, Cathy) co-founded The Intergenerational School in Cleveland, OH, which is now part of a small network of three schools that use this model.

Have you ever thought about how you talk about ageing effects what your children think about older people?  (I hadn’t, but I have now!)  Do you struggle to navigate the difference between the things your parents want to say to and buy for your child, and your own values?  Do you worry about what your child might think of their grandparent’s absent-mindedness or volatility?  Join us as Dr. Whitehouse and I navigate a path through these and other issues.

References

Babcock, R., MaloneBeach, E.E., & Woodworth-Hou, B. (2016). Intergenerational intervention to mitigate children’s bias against the elderly. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships 14(4), 274-287.

Bessell, S. (2017). The role of intergenerational relationships in children’s experiences of community. Children & Society 31, 263-275.

Bostrom, A-K., & Schmidt-Hertha, B. (2017). Intergenerational relationships and lifelong learning. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships 15(1), 1-3.

Even-Zohar, A., & Garby, A. (2016). Great-grandparents’ role perception and its contribution to their quality of life. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships 14(3), 197-219.

Flash, C. (2015). The Intergenerational Learning Center, Providence Mount St. Vincent, Seattle. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships 13(4), 338-341.

George, D.R., & Whitehouse, P.J. (2010). Intergenerational volunteering and quality of life for persons with mild-to-moderate dementia: Results from a 5-month intervention study in the United States. Journal of the American Geriatric Society 58(4), 796-797.

Geraghty, R., Gray, J., & Ralph, D. (2015). ‘One of the best members of the family’: Continuity and change in young children’s relationships with their grandparents. In L. Connolly (Ed.), The ‘Irish’ Family (pp.124-139). New York, NY: Routledge.

Hake, B.J. (2017). Gardens as learning spaces: Intergenerational learning in urban food gardens. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships 15(1), 26-38.

Hawkes, K., O’Connell, J.F., Jones, B.G.B., Alvarez, H., & Charnov, E.L. (2000). The grandmother hypothesis and human evolution. In Adaptation and Human Behavior: An Anthropological Perspective, edited by L. Cronk, N. Chagnon & W. Irons, pp. 231-252. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.

Kirkwood, T., Bond, J., May, C., McKeith, I., & Teh, M. (2010). Mental capital and wellbeing through life: Future challenges. In C. Cooper, J. Field, U. Goswami, R. Jenkins, & B. Sahakian (Eds.), Mental capital and wellbeing (pp. 3–53). Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Low, L-F., Russell, F., McDonald, T., & Kauffman, A. (2015). Grandfriends, an intergenerational program for nursing-home residents and preschoolers: A randomized trial. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships 13(3), 227-240.

Murayama, Y., Obha, H., Yasunanaga, M., Nonaka, K., Takeuchi, R., Nishi, M., Sakuma, N., Uchida, H., Shinkai, S., & Fujiwara, Y. (2015). The effect of intergenerational programs on the mental health of elderly adults. Aging and Mental Health 19(4), 306-316.

Schwartz, L.K., & Simmons, J.P. (2001). Contact quality and attitudes toward the elderly. Educational Gerontology 27(2), 127-137.

Senior, E., & Green J. (2017). Through the ages: Developing relationships between the young and the old. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships 15(3), 295-305.

Sun, Y., & Jiang, N. (2017). The effect of grandparents’ co-parenting on young children’s personality and adaptation: Chinese three-generation families. Asian Social Science 13(5), 7-15.

Whitehouse, P.J. (n.d.). Intergenerativity: Imaging between to imagine beyond. Taos Institute. Retrieved from https://www.taosinstitute.net/Websites/taos/files/Content/5694536/Whitehouse_-_Intergenerativity_presentation.pdf

Whitehouse, P.J. (2010, Spring). Taking brain health to a deeper and broader level. Neurological institute Journal. 17-22.

Whitehouse, P.J., Bendezu, E., Fallcreek, S., & Whitehouse, C. (2000). Intergenerational community schools: A new practice for a new time. Educational Gerontology 26, 761-770.

 


Also published on Medium.

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