In an August 31, 2014 article in The Boston Globe, staff writer Leon Neyfakh addressed this interesting question. He pointed out school-aged children attend classes assigned by age, college students live on a college campus with same-aged peers, workers toil alongside other working-aged people, and senior citizens often live in 55-and-older enclaves where their grandchildren are not welcome to live. While some separation is beneficial (e.g., college students and seasoned adults have different bedtime schedules), Neyfakh wrote that too much intergenerational separation leads to mistrust across age groups, robs generations of opportunities to learn from one another, and inhibits the ability to be sensitive to the needs of others. He wonders whether such intentional sorting by age groups into separate generational islands may not bode well for future intergenerational co-operation.
At Bridges Together, we have the same concerns. (Click here to read Founder and Executive Director Andrea Weaver’s article on why intergenerational programs are necessary– not just nice.) This is why Bridges Together educates professionals from many fields on how to create intergenerational opportunities. It’s why we create easy-to-implement program curricula for teachers and others to implement. It’s also why our monthly enewsletter contains questions to begin conversations in our own families and circles of love. Sign-up for our enews today! To find out more or share your ideas, please contact Info@BridgesTogether.org.