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Natural Awakenings

Play Together, Stay Together: Develop Closer Intergenerational Bonds

May 31, 2011 08:07AM

A new study has confirmed an old adage: A family that plays together, stays together. According to researchers from Canada’s Concordia and Wilfrid Laurier universities, shared leisure is vital in the formation of bonds that can bridge generations.

“Shared leisure time allows grandchildren and their grandparents to establish common interests that in turn enable them to develop strong inter-generational relationships,” explains Concordia Professor Shannon Hebblethwaite. Grandparents often use get-togethers as opportunities to share family histories, personal experiences and life lessons and to teach, mentor and pass on values, traditions and family legacies.

The study builds on previous research that found how healthy inter-generational connections help grandparents age better and exhibit more positive feelings about life. Family cohesiveness also tends to sharpen youngsters’ sense of empathy as adults.

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