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Spending time with people that are perceived as different than us can be difficult. We oftentimes feel as if we have nothing in common with them and so we feel awkward and uncomfortable; we don’t want to waste our time and energies being there.
Throughout the holiday season as you spend time with older family and friends, be prepared for the unexpected in regard to behavior and interactions based on how life and age affect us. It’s ALWAYS hard for us to be faced with seeing and interacting with decline in our loved ones. Our responses to the decline in our loved ones greatly impacts the way our children interact with them also. It’s our job to help them have a POSITIVE perception of aging, and of their elders. Our kids will mirror how we respond. This is an excellent opportunity to set the standard for their behavior with the elderly (they too will one day become elderly - as unimaginable as that may seem). This is crucial as these little children will be the ones responding to us when we are elderly (yes, you too will one day grow old)! Older adults need the life/livelihood of kids and teens just as the lives of youngsters are enhanced by interactions with their seniors. Help them enjoy these holiday visits by preempting some of the discomfort that they may feel.
Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. Mark Twain