How to Manage a Multigenerational Household

Vector illustration of cross section of the house

Sometimes, events may occur that will either cause you and your family to move in with your parents, or have your parents move in with you. A living arrangement such as this can benefit everyone because there will be more people in a home to take care of it. Having multiple generations in your house will help bring your family closer, and there are several ways how you can make this arrangement work.

Having another generation of family members move into a home is a significant change, so make sure you and your children know why this is taking place. The reasons may include unexpected expenses, job loss, working parents who need grandparents to look after children, or maybe it’s the ability to afford nicer things when multiple employed family members live together. Whatever the reason may be, make sure everyone understands the need for such a transition, so as to make the change somewhat easier for everyone involved. It may take the younger members of the family to get use to this, but if you keep them informed with what’s going on, they will come to terms with the new housing arrangement.

The first thing you should do is set some boundaries, particularly in the upbringing of your children. I know your parents will help you take care of them, but if you want to be the one who disciplines them, make sure your parents know early on. You should also let your parents know what’s appropriate for your children, be it television shows, activities, snacks, and bedtimes. Doing so will let your parents know what you expect from your children, and you will have the peace of mind knowing your parents are taking care of your children the way you want them to. In order to avoid confrontations, you should bring up these expectations as soon as your immediate family and parents begin living together.

When another generation moves into a home, there may be privacy concerns since you have more people living with you. This is to be expected because everyone is trying to have their own space, and sometimes, people will feel like their privacy is being invaded. Even though you all love each other, it’s perfectly normal that someone may get on your nerves when residing in close quarters with you. In order to combat any tension that may arise between you and your family, make sure everyone is given time and space to relax in the house. You won’t be offending anyone by taking some time to yourself, because everyone has felt the need to be alone one time or another. If there’s too much going on in the house and you’re unable to relax, go outside for a refreshing stroll, ride a bike, see a movie, go to a friend’s house, or do anything else if you want to get away for a bit.

If your parents move into your home and are still ambulatory, ask them if they wouldn’t mind helping with some household chores; or, if you move into your parents’ house, you should offer to take up some of the housework. Since you have more people living in a house, the upkeep will be less of a burden on everyone because there will others taking on some of the responsibility. At the start of the new arrangement, your whole family should sit down and discuss how each person is going to help out around the house. Divvy up the chores by asking others which ones they prefer to be responsible for, and depending on how old your parents are, make sure they are physically capable of doing the chores they choose.

Set aside some time for the family to enjoy some activities together. With three generations living under one roof, everyone most likely has different schedules, so it can sometimes be difficult to dedicate time to which the family can relax and enjoy each other’s company, outside of having dinner together. You should look at everyone’s schedules and figure out a when everyone will have some free time, and you can then either plan a trip to the park, a relaxing walk, a movie night, a game night, or anything else that will allow your family to unwind together and have fun. Dedicating some family time to your week will give everyone something to look forward to and will help in strengthening the bonds between everyone in the house.

When multiple generations are living together, there will be times when a family member thinks their way of doing things is better, resulting in a quarrel. Whenever something like this happens, or any other kind of disagreement, you must always remember to be respectful. Yes, family members tend to have a dispute from time to time and display different opinions on certain matters; that’s perfectly normal. But, if this happens, just calmly sit down with each other and work out the issue. I know each generation in the home will be set in their ways when it comes to certain aspects of maintaining the household, but when you’re all living together, respect and collaboration are important in settling arguments.

Having multiple generations live together will have its good days and its bad days. But, in the end, it will work out for the better. With additional family members residing in a home, there will be plenty of help to go around in raising your children and maintaining the house. Although it will take a bit of time to adjust to a change such as this, just remember you all love each other, and living together will not only provide the opportunity for everyone to pitch in and make it easier to take care of the house, but it will also give your family the chance to create new memories to share.

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Posted on February 4, 2016 at 11:43 am
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , ,

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