Instill in your children compassion and respect for old age, so they treat you with love when you are old.
"My daughter just doesn't respect her grandmother," said Mala, mother of 19-year-old Diya. "She is so short with her, and ignores her when she speaks. I don't know what to do!"
If only Mala had stressed the importance of being polite to the aged at the outset, she perhaps would not have seen this day.
Many parents mistakenly try and teach children that elders are always right. They forget that children have minds of their own, and there will be a time when they can reason for themselves and will be able to see faults in the reasoning of others. At this point, they may realise that just because someone is older, doesn't mean they are wiser. And if you try and force them to believe that an older person is always right, you can be sure that your children will grow defiant, and will have less faith in your judgment.
Focus on compassion
Instead, instill in your children a compassion for old age. One day you too will be old, and so will your children. Many people can be very cruel with the aged. They are ignored socially, and not taken seriously by anyone, including their own servants. If their children and grandchildren too start mistreating them, where can they turn?
Teach by example
If you want your children to treat elders including yourself with respect, you need to teach them by example. If they hear you speak rudely with your mother, there is no way they will treat your mother with respect. And pretty soon, this lack of respect will extend to you. Sow the seeds of disrespect, and your children will disrespect you.
Spend time with your grandparents
It is important to respect others, especially your elders, in order to gain respect. Also, make it a point to be patient and tolerant with the aged, especially in front of your children. When a person becomes very old, chances are, she may become more difficult to be around. This often happens as they are frustrated with their dependence on others. Old age can be a curse if you don't have the love and respect of your own children, grandchildren and, with life expectancy increasing, great-grandchildren. In addition, as everyone lives longer and longer, old age, presuming it begins at 80, can carry on for another 30 years, if not longer. The first thirty years of a person's life carries so much impact and importance, but the last thirty years almost seem to have grown stagnant. The love and respect of a person's children can make old age a wonderful time.
Teach your kids that all elders wants is love and company. Chances are, they have a lot of knowledge and a lot of memories, and only want to share them with whoever has the time or inclination to listen to them. How often do you go and spend some time sitting and talking to your grandmother? Do this now, take your children with you, and not only will you brighten someone's day, but chances are, when you reach the ripe old age of 90, you will have your grandchildren paying you regular visits. Could there be a better retirement plan?