The focus of conversation at St. Arbucks this month has been how we older adults can become more engaged and connected with the younger generations. Here is an exciting list of possibilities for you and your friends. Enjoy…as we continue to celebrate God’s gift of aging!
BACK TO SCHOOL – FROM THE “GOOD OLD DAYS” TO THE “GOOD NEW DAYS”!
As children and youth head back to school, burdened down with their bulging back-packs, we older adults can also be involved in the “back-to-school” process. Here are some handy hints of activities available for the over-65 crowd. Feel free to add your own suggestions as well:
- Offer your assistance at an elementary or high school as a volunteer in a class, in the cafeteria, in the library, or on the playground,
- Give a “Welcome Back to School” gift to a favorite youngster in your life, like a Starbucks card, food card, prayer booklet, necklace, or …..
- Write an e-mail or note to a young person or two, saying that you will be praying for them.
- Contact the parents of a student and offer your support and help to them during the school year.
- “Sneak” a favorite student or three some spending money, just between you and them!
- For college students, bake some yummy cookies and get them in the mail as soon as possible! They will enjoy your thoughtfulness and it will also prevent you from eating them yourself!
- Let them know that you will be praying for them throughout the year…and then do so!
- Plan to visit the school, just to say HI, to offer to volunteer, and to meet their teachers.
- Enroll in a class yourself so you continue to grow and learn along with your younger friends! Lots of on-line courses, community college courses are available.
- Send a selfie to a young friend with an “I’m praying for you” tag line.
- Text a special young person once in a while, just to say HI, but do not do it tooooo often!
- Ask the parents how their kids are doing and inquire how you can continue to help and support them.
- Be a greeter at the local elementary school. If Wall Mart can do it, why can’t you do it also!
- Look for mentoring and tutoring opportunities in your local school. As you share your gifts with the students you will receive so much more in return from them!
- Encourage other older adults around you to join you in doing these and other activities with you. The more the merrier!
- Invite youngsters over to your home when they are out of school – just to chat, laugh, tell jokes, and listen to their stories and challenges.
- Take youngsters out for a special breakfast or lunch on weekends or when they have a day free from school. Ask them to tell you about their high points and low points of the week, and then listen wisely!
- For grandchildren especially, make plans with them to go on a Grandparent/Young Person Vacation Trip to a destination of their choice during a break or long weekend. Obviously, it is best if you set the financial limits and guidelines of such an adventure! One-on one excursions can be great experiences for all!
- Plan to attend as many sports events, plays, concerts, and special events where your young friends are participating. Be the best cheerleader, encourager, fanatic fan you can be, but it is probably not wise to point and shout out “There’s my grandchild – isn’t she the best!” (Even though she is!)
- Think of at least one specific activity you can do each week to connect with one or more school age kids, whether they are grandkids, neighbors’ kids, or kids from your congregation.
Free One: Remember to thank the Lord for the gift of children of any age as you continue to encourage and empower vibrant, grace-filled living across all generations, in the name of the Lord!