Life Lessons from the Elderly: Teaching Kids Valuable Skills

  • Published on:
    January 10, 2024
  • Reading time by:
    5 minutes
It’s no secret that our time on Earth is finite. If you’ve already lived a full life, one of the best ways to pass your legacy to the next generation is by sharing the wisdom and skills you’ve accumulated over the years.

It’s no secret that our time on Earth is finite. If you’ve already lived a full life, one of the best ways to pass your legacy to the next generation is by sharing the wisdom and skills you’ve accumulated over the years.

These lessons can be anything from moral teachings to upstanding habits. In either case, these teachings can help provide the youth with a new dimension of knowledge that can help them face the world more readily.

As many would agree, school isn’t the only venue for learning. Kids can learn a lot about life from the wisdom imparted to them by all sorts of elderly folks, whether it’s their grandparents, a family friend, or their neighbours.

Here are some elderly-approved life lessons that children can learn from and bring with them for the rest of their lives.

  1. Good Manners are Fundamental

Every elder and parent should try to instil good manners in their young ones as early as possible. This starts by teaching them the value of respecting and empathising with others.

Teach them how to say “Please” when they need something and “Thank you” when they want to express their gratitude. Furthermore, teach them how to apologise when they’ve done something bad and to be proactive in righting their wrongs.

Beyond these phrases, it’s also important to teach them how to be respectful and listen to others. They should also learn to make time for other people who are important in their lives, such as visiting their grandparents at an over 50’s Mount Barker community.

You can start by modelling these behaviours around the household, as children are very receptive to how older people—especially their parents—do things.

Lastly, teach your child how to be well-mannered to all types of people, regardless of their age, social class, race, and relationship. By teaching them to be well-mannered, you can set up a foundation for them to have pleasant interactions and strong bonds well into their adulthood.

  1. Learning Never Stops

It’s natural for some kids to feel stunted in the traditional educational system. The long hours in classrooms, the impractical lessons, and the student body drama are just some of the few things that can lead them to wrongfully detest the concept of learning.

That said, elderly folks should prime young ones that learning extends beyond the four walls of the classroom, important as it is. The world is vast and there are many places where you can extract knowledge, whether it’s people, cultures, or concepts.

Learning doesn’t have to be limited to just reading from a textbook. Students can choose to specialise in things like dance, music, sports, or other facets of life that catch their eye. 

Elderly individuals can teach students how to appreciate learning and keep an open mind on the ways of the world. By doing so, these kids can build resilience and discipline—two skills that can make for a successful member of society.

  1. Being Independent is Important

Independence is a valuable skill that children should develop as early as they can. From chores to making decisions for themselves, independence can help these children grow, flourish, and face the world with unrelenting confidence.

It’s natural for parents to take care of bits of chores around the household when the child is too young to do them on their own. However, at some point, it’s important to delegate these tasks to the children and teach them how to handle these chores. 

This can teach them the importance of hard work and discipline, setting them up for a smooth transition to adulthood.

Besides chores, harnessing a child’s ability to make decisions on their own is also equally important. This way, they can learn to trust and rely on themselves, which can be helpful in various situations throughout their lives.

  1. Value Money, But Don’t Let it Consume You

Financial responsibility is a skill that may be above a child’s abilities at the moment, but laying the foundation of sound financial habits is always a worthwhile endeavour. 

You can start by teaching them the basics of finances. Teach them to hold off on unnecessary purchases and instead try saving the money for future use instead. Also, teach them that money is a finite resource, and that they should treat it with great care and consideration.

Besides that, it’s also equally important that you teach them to enjoy the life they’re living. A lot of elderly folks regret working too much to the point that they neglect their parental duties. 

Money is important, but it’s also only a tool in and of itself. It’s important to also foster relationships and find happiness in other things.

Balance is key when it comes to money and living a good life, so be sure to instil mindfulness in your child so that they don’t swing overboard in either direction.

  1. It’s Important to Live Healthily

Elderly individuals are the most susceptible demographic to health problems, whereas kids tend to be little balls of energy who can devour pretty much anything without major repercussions. 

That said, it’s a common trend for elderly individuals to feel the consequences of their early-life eating habits at their age. This may vary; some people could feel chronic fatigue, while others could be suffering from health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Given this, it’s important to teach kids to eat healthily and maintain a good body weight for their age. They should incorporate vegetables, fruits, and lean meats into their diet. They must also refrain from eating too much sweets and fried food.

It can understandably be difficult to get your child to eat right with all the tempting food options around. You may start small at first, like simply putting a small helping of vegetables in the family dinner table and having them eat it together with the rest of the meals. 

Besides food, it’s also to let them live a healthy lifestyle at large. This includes an active lifestyle, meeting with friends often, and making time for things that make them happy.

  1. Help Others Always

Elders tend to value altruism, acknowledging the joy it brings to both sides. Teaching a child to become altruistic can be a great way to help spread kindness to the world.

Small as they are, there are many ways a child can be of help. They can start by proactively asking mummy or daddy to rest as they take over some chores. They can also help old ladies cross the street, or reach for things that their tinier friends may not be able to reach.

Regardless of the action, instilling altruism to a child helps keep them deeply connected with the community that helped shape who they are. 

They can carry this value throughout their lives, spreading the joy and kindness that has been a positive and fundamental part of society from generations past.

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