At times, seniors are labelled as old, frail, stubborn, repetitive, and not in touch with the rest of the world. They are seen as people who need care and help. However, the truth is - many seniors are still very healthy and smart, capable of leading active life styles, as well as able to contribute to society. Their rich life experience and strong understanding are valuable assets for the family and society at large. One Chinese saying captures this in a nutshell: “A senior is a treasure to all in the family”. Perhaps you would ask: how then can one become a treasure to all in the family? Read on.
Be constructive and positive
Look at life from a positive perspective. Life brings both easy and tough times. If you take on a positive attitude in the face of hardships, you will be better equipped to encourage your family to persist through thick and thin. You will then be able to share happy moments with better days for the family.
Be kind and forgiving
Treat your family with kindness and understanding. Have a big heart and do not hold grudges against anyone for their small mistakes.
Care for the family
Try to be playmates for your children and grandchildren while they are still young. This is when you can care for them, show your love and share in their growth. You can be someone they trust at this stage – in whom they can confide their deepest thoughts and feelings. You can be advisors for your grandchildren, helping them sort out difficult situations. You can be the stronghold of the family, cheering up and supporting them at any time.
Show your understanding in your relationship with your children, their spouses and their younger ones. Do not think they should follow your will. Respect their own lifestyles and privacy.
Be fair and responsible
Treat each and everyone in the family fairly. Make sure there is no preference for or finger pointing at anyone, but be fair with just treatment for all. Where possible, play your role as mediator if any misunderstanding or misgivings arise. Show your commitment and sense of responsibility for the entire family.
Be a good listener
Are you good at listening to the feelings and views of your children or grandchildren? Try to respect their views rather than sticking to your own ideas.
Put your family’s hearts at ease
Seniors who have their own constructive and active lifestyles will put family members’ hearts at ease. This is another way to support the younger generation, since they would not need to worry about senior family members while pursuing their roles at work, school or other activities.
Treasures from life experience
The profound knowledge and wisdom of seniors did not come in one day. Bit by bit, their life encounters over decades transpire into acts or words of wisdom that can guide the younger generation in their endeavours. Handing down such wisdom can be fruitful and fulfilling.
Keep up with the times
An eagerness to learn new things in society will keep you abreast of the times. Learning new skills and technology also helps to bridge gaps across generations.
Set good examples
An old Chinese saying goes: “there are new things to learn as long as one lives”. Seniors with this attitude and the enthusiasm to help others are living examples of good character, worthy of respect and love from the younger generations.
Look at life with a light heart and those around you can share your happiness. This would make you more lovable in their eyes.