Seniors-children Realtionship

Is the joint-family system better than living separately?
There is no doubt that the joint-family system has many advantages such as the experience of the elders, their time & effort in taking care of the children or looking after the household and their advice when the youngsters are at fault. The elders themselves are no doubt benefitted as they are not left alone. This contributes to their mental and physical well-being. Also, in times of sickness and need, the younger generation will be there to care for them. Grandparents and grandchildren have a special bonding that enriches the lives of each other.
But it cannot be denied that when certain social and family circumstances act as a barrier against the joint family system, then it is better that the elders and youngsters live separately. This way the relationship is still cordial and not spoiled by staying together. But efforts should be made to meet each other, with the children in the family, and talk to one another as often as possible.
What should be the attitude of the younger generation towards the elders?
First of all, the younger generation should learn to respect the elders and their experience. They should understand their feelings and sentiments and care for the elders. Sometimes, the wisdom and experience of the elders may be invaluable in solving their own problems.
It is not enough for the youngsters merely to provide for the elders. It is more important to show them affection and respect. Domestic problems could be discussed with the elders. It is not necessary to always accept what they say, but the elders feel wanted and respected. This prevents a conflict between them and the youngsters.
One should always remember that the wheel of life is constantly turning and the youngsters themselves will have to one day depend on the next generation.
It is said in the
Vedas that devotion to elders is like devotion to God.
What should be the attitude of the older generation towards the youngsters?
Elders should first of all make an effort to understand the socio-economic conditions, careers and family of their children. They should try to adjust and not interfere in the day to day affairs and problems of their children's family. Unless asked, they should patiently refrain from giving advice. They should not compare the attitude of the youngsters of today with their own attitude when they were young.
They could try to assist in the day to day affairs of the family, like taking the grandchildren to school, doing the bank work or paying the bills. Interaction with the grandchildren most often refreshes the minds of the elders and in fact delays the ageing process.
Though some people prefer to be left alone, solitude is one of the main problems for elders.

(Courtesy: http://seniorindian.com)

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