Kids and Elders: Back to the Future.

April 25, 2020

Kids and Elders: Back to the Future.

May 29, 2023

Necessity is the mother of invention. And, midlife (and later) is the midwife of intergenerational collaboration. I want to point out an interesting trend that may warm your heart. I was recently talking with my friend and entrepreneurial mentee, Dana. She told me the following:

“With everyone stuck at home during this pandemic, and parents trying to keep their kids engaged with school while working, we are creating a matchmaking service, pairing kids with elders willing to virtually tutor them by video call (homework and beyond). This relieves pressure on parents, while breaking the cycle of isolation for seniors and kids alike, and ultimately rebuilds the fabric of the primordial village in a time where it is needed the most.” You can learn more about it at eldera.ai.

There’s certainly momentum for this idea based upon the recent New York Times article on the Grandparents Academy, as well as this inspiring story of suburban Chicago seniors offering English instruction to Brazilian teens. And, of course, Experience Corps has been offering older literacy tutors in public schools for much of this century.

While homework help or English instruction may be the focus of these programs, what’s really going on is the cultivation and harvesting of elder wisdom. Whether it’s learning stories of past world events or understanding one’s emotions more fluently (a subject most public schools completely ignore in their curriculum), this is an early indication of the “invisible assets” of elders and the intergenerational potluck available to us in the future (just like it was in the past).

I say it’s about time. Time lived on the planet and how we share the wisdom of that time with those younger than us.

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

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