Jun. 25, 2010

Multiple Generations Living Together

Do you live with your children AND parents or grandparents? Even though the scenario of 3 or more generations living together may be more usually seen in older movies, the truth is that it is now becoming more common than few years ago. Of course, multiple generations home have many positive, but on the other hand, also many negative sides. I hope to show you some of them in this article and in case you are just now contemplating moving in with your parents or children, it may also help you a little.

-it may make more economic sense - but not necessarily, as sometimes the house is so huge that every generation has their own separate part and all of them only meet in the living room or kitchen
-the family is together and sometimes a really ideal family atmosphere and great relations could be created
-if the younger adults urgently need to go somewhere and don't know who could take care of the kids, in a multiple generation home, someone is always there to do so (hence no babysitter is needed) ; also, parents and grandparents can give great advice with regard to bringing up children
-members of the younger generation can take care of the house or go grocery shopping (the older are not always able to do this, maybe due to health issues).
-on the other side, the older generation could for instance cook while their kids are at work - mutual help is essential here
-any older people feel quite lonely, but living with their kids and grandchildren could help to overcome these feelings, as they will always have someone in close proximity that they can rely on

Why NO
-some might feel like they have no real private life at all, like they are never really alone -parents might interfere in the life of their children and grandchildren too much and vice versa -disagreements about bringing up the kids (the grandparents are spoiling them too much and so on)
-a very close relationship between children and their parents may not always be a good thing (women usually hate to be compared to the mother of their partner - e.g. "nobody can cook like my mom")
-having to adapt to and having to respect the needs and wishes of other generations (sometimes they may be surprisingly different)

It is very hard to give all the universal good and bad points with regard to multiple generations living under one roof- it all depends on the relationships between family members and setting clear rules right from the beginning. It is necessary not to lie to yourself and to your family. If you feel like you could not live in such a house, then don't. It is as simple as that. Even if your wife wants it, you are important too. Not taking your feelings and thoughts into consideration might end up in a catastrophe.

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