|Re: Intergenerational Activities||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: pattymara (pattymarajuno.com)|
|Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 13:36:03 -0600 (MDT)|
On Sun, 19 May 2002 21:20:01 -0700 Becky Schaller <bschaller [at] theriver.com> writes: >What kinds of intergenerational activities do other communities have where adults and kids are encouraged to interact and >get to know each other better? At Tierra Nueva, on the central CA coast, the most long lived activity for young children and seniors has been our storytelling Tuesday. Only a few senior women have been faithful to the effort, and the kid turnout is usually only 2 to 4 toddlers-5 yr olds, but they meet every Tuesday in the library for an hour. Many of the young families here were propelled into cohousing by the what I call the "Myth of the Many Grandparents". They looked forward to numerous seniors, always available, eager to become stand-in grandmas and grandpas to their children, babysitting, doing activities, sharing their wisdom. The reality is far from the myth. Our seniors, some newly retired from their professional lives, are actively involved in outside events, social and environmental activism and lots of travel. They are just as busy as the young families, and the middle age families (working at several jobs to keep their kids in college and grad schools). There is no real "leisure class" here. We're all busy. And when community events create opportunities for young ones and seniors to rub against one another, more often than not, the interaction is relatively superficial. The kids really want to be with other kids. The same could be said for the adults. The shadow issue here, not really talked about deeply, yet, is the wide gap in parenting styles--those who raised their children in the Eisenhower years don't really have the same perspective as the families with young children today. Additionally, most of the seniors here grew up during the Great Depression. They are adamant that all the kids should be pitching in with community tasks, just like they had to, to survive. Some of the families encourage their kids to join in on work teams, but most do not involve their kids in the maintenance and housecleaning tasks of community life. Another shadow issue is that some of our seniors don't have the emotional maturity and psychological stability necessary for developing trust levels with the parents of young children, enough so they will entrust their children to their care. The REAL relationships which seem the most valuable to me (and I am one of those middle age parents with kids in college) are the ones that are formed by frequent interactions on a day to day basis. The young ones become familiar with me because I am part of their parents' circle of friends...we cook for one another, go places together, camp out regularly. We hang out. This kind of social intimacy can't be scheduled or manipulated by social engineering. It just grows inch by inch. coheartedly, Patty Mara Gourley Tierra Nueva Cen. CA Coast ________________________________________________________________ GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO! Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less! Join Juno today! For your FREE software, visit: http://dl.www.juno.com/get/web/. _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe and other info: http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l
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