With today’s technology overload, kids may benefit from embracing a few old ways.

Meghan Overdeep
June 27, 2018

There are plenty of things teens excel at that older generations can’t even begin to comprehend. Kids these days can post an Instagram story in their sleep and find anything they need to know on Youtube, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t benefit from learning a few things the way their grandparents did.

As Jennifer Winward, an instructor at the University of California at San Diego and founder of standardized testing preparation service Winward Academy, recently wrote in The Washington Post, today’s youth may benefit from embracing a few old ways.

“While helping teens master standardized tests over the past two decades, I’ve seen how they increasingly rely on technology to learn,” Winward writes.  “It’s time to switch things up.”

Scroll down for five valuable (and dying) life skills that kids can learn from their elders:

Storytelling:

Nobody tells a tale like Memaw and Pawpaw—capitalize on that! “Encourage your teen to talk with them, learn about your family and learn how to tell a story,” recommends Winward.

Formality:

“We live in a casual world, and it’s getting more and more laid back by the day,” notes Winward. “There are still plenty of folks who once lived in a time of decorum when women wore hats and gloves when out and people communicated by writing letters.” She recommends having kids ask their grandparents to share letters they’ve written and received to learn about respectful salutations.

The personal touch:

Kids can learn a lot about maintaining relationships from their grandparents. (Y’all remember how much harder it was before smartphones!) “They can ask their grandparents about how they stayed in touch with friends,” says Winward. “Grandparents will probably describe greeting people with smiles and eye contact and planning get-togethers.”

WATCH: Southern Kids Talk About Their Grandparents

Good penmanship:

“Writing by hand — and ensuring it is legible — takes concentration, practice and patience. Those are all important skills to hone,” advises Winward. “Plus, research indicates writing in cursive is still an important skill. When writing in cursive, students activate different parts of their brains, ones not typically developed by basic reading and writing, and they refine their fine motor skills.”  Have Memaw sit down with the kids this summer and show them how she mastered her flawless penmanship.

Preserving a family history:

“Consider all the knowledge grandparents have to impart: their personal histories, their tastes in music, their thoughts on the world events they witnessed,” muses Winward. She recommends having your kids speak to them and maybe even record the conversations. “Your teen’s future self — and maybe even future generations — will thank you,” she notes.