Today, like many generations ago, extended families share the same household. Often this means that typically three generations (adult children, children, and grandparents) live under the same roof. Rising costs of real estate, healthcare and childcare make more families consider joining forces across generations. However, togetherness such as this has its benefits and drawbacks and can be very challenging. Each generation introduces a new set of potential complications, which must be addressed in order for a multigenerational household to function and co habitat.
Whether you’re considering meshing your family together or are already doing so, here are some things to consider that may be helpful in having the best possible experience for everyone.
Have regular conversations about how people are feeling about the living situation. Everyone should be comfortable in sharing their thoughts and voicing their opinions. If possible, establish some physical boundaries so family members have some space of their own- especially children and the elders. Respect one another’s privacy. Establishing house rules is a must, share in household tasks and include any children that can help with simple chores to lighten the load.
Money can be also become a sensitive issue, especially when family members have different levels of financial means. Be fair and realistic in sharing costs in the home. Communicate about these things so that everyone is genuinely comfortable and agreeable to any arrangements made. If the living situation is temporary expectations on this should be clear (moving out date). Life is chaotic enough, set family time aside for some fun or one-on-one with kids. Living with others is always a challenge, and because it’s family do not expect for it to be easier. Whatever the reason, living with one another can be a great experience if approached with the right mindset and look after, help and support each other.