Spanning the Generations: When Seniors and Juniors Collide

Aug 10th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Visiting among the several generations in a family is almost like travelling to foreign countries where other languages are spoken. Communicating with a 90 year old is far different from doing so with a 15 year old.  Blending conversations among generations which stretch from 10 or eleven to the mid nineties sometimes requires a language guide. 

Spanning the generations in terms of language, perceptions, world views, willingness to venture into strange territory, sustaining a respectful disposition are among the requirements to carry on a meaningful exchange.  After all, persons in their teens are in the process of creating their catalogue of life experiences, their comprehension of what makes up the world, their view point regarding politics, history, the whole range of  existential wonders that meet and greet everyone of us as we mature.

In order to develop an atmosphere in which respect and appreciation can occur, meeting each other with separate awareness of our differences will contribute largely to our ability to engage conversationally.  Maintaining patience, respect, listening with care, allowing the other person to contribute, all are essential to a healthy exchange.

Gaining and sharing respect is among the most critical of these components.  No matter someone’s opinion or position, they have the right to it and to express it.  Heading it off, putting it down, disregarding its merit is a sure fire way to obliterate the possibility of getting anywhere in the way of a productive, healthy and respectful exchange.

Much of what I write here pertains to me.  Whether it is discussing ways to keep healthy, maintain curiosity, developing and maintaining good relationships and so  on, including developing means for having healthy conversations, all address me and my own struggles with being whole and wholesome.  Those who know me well enough will be pleased with my own confession.  Those who don’t may just decide to evaluate their own interactions with the generations to ascertain just what may need attentive improvement.

Self criticism is a process some avoid.  Self improvement likely will be stimulated by self analysis.  If your language is lacking in your ability to carry on cross generational conversations, perhaps an evaluation and a determination of what improvements are needed is timely.



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  1. [...] the original post:  Spanning the Generations: When Seniors and Juniors Collide Tags: [...]

  2. Thanks for the ping!

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