Many children in our society today have little opportunity to socialize with other age groups.
Give them the opportunity to interact with a mix of ages and they will do it naturally.
All ages greatly benefit from the interaction.
Two 9 year old girls taught me about age-mixing a few years ago. They asked if they could join a coaching group with their older siblings. Up to that time we coached those 12 years old and up. So I thought, ‘let’s give it a try and find out.’
This experiment taught me a lot.
I have watched the interaction that occurs with age-mixed groups. There are times when a younger (8-11 year old) participant shows little fear of getting up in front of a group. The older (13-16 year old) participant is taken aback. The older team member who has teenage angst is more self-conscious. This causes them to think. It gives them the courage to also get in front of the group.
The younger participants like to emulate their older group members.
When we enable children of different ages to play and work together all ages benefit.
The older child gets the opportunity to learn leadership and nurturing skills.
The younger child has an effective role model to emulate and an extra source of care and support.
I am convinced that age-mixed play helps children learn. This is better than age-segregated play. Children learn more from mates of different ages.
learn to be the mature partners in relationships.
learn empathy and leadership.
show more kindness and compassion toward younger children.
become more compassionate. Not only to young children, but also to others in their own age group.
play at and learn more challenging activities.
are involved in what may be too difficult or dangerous for them to do alone or with those of their peer group.
Older children don’t have to be forced to play with younger ones, or vice versa. Just give them the opportunity. They often prefer to play with others who are older or younger than themselves. It is natural for them to do that. They find this play is especially fun and beneficial.
Unfortunately, many children in our society today have little opportunity for age-mixed play.
However, we can provide this opportunity in our coaching programs. I have seen many benefits from age-mixed groups.
Are you are interested in learning more about group coaching?
If so, contact me to obtain a report on a simple and easy system on how to set up group coaching programs for youth. You can do this in the ‘Contact us‘ section of the website.
Please contact me to enter the discussion, REQUEST A FREE COPY OF THE GROUP COACHING PLAYBOOK and JOIN THE REGULAR COACHES FORUM.