Stress-Free Multigenerational Family – Ep 179
June 17, 2019
In this last episode of our 4 part series, we talk about the article, Multigenerational Families Provide Benefits for Everyone. In the first episode, we talked about Families Living Under One Roof. The second delves into the Pros of Families Living Together. Also, while multigenerational living has its pros it also has its downside, which we discussed in the third episode.
Multigenerational living is one of the hottest trends in housing nowadays. Putting multiple generations under one roof could be a difficult task. However, if done with planning and open communication, it can be successful. A multigenerational household could be meaningful and happy for everyone involved. Anybody who is thinking about entering into this type of living arrangement should follow the tips below to make sure the transition is smooth and stress-free.
Have Family Meetings
Having family meetings depends on the family. In Jonna's household, it’s very calm. There’s a lot of conflict diversion. Not a yelling household. It’s very placid and we don’t do well with hashing out and having a big group discussion. What seems to work for us is to have quiet sharing sessions. One-on-one seems to work better for us.
You have to understand what your loved one is going to be receptive to. After which, create a conversation around that. Your family meetings might be in a big group or they might be a one-on-one conversation so that people are more open. Everybody can have their own style of a family meeting.
Communicate any household Issues with the family members
If you are living in a multigenerational household, communication is key. This goes along with family meetings. In Jonna's house, her husband was doing the laundry and her father also wanted to do the laundry at the same time. So they had to have an intervention. The three of them had to sit down and learn how to communicate with each other on these things. Being open about that communication and being willing to say this isn’t working for me but this way could help. They even had a calendar up so sometimes things get written on the calendar so they know that there won’t be a conflict.
Set Up House Rules in a Multigenerational Home
At the outset of a multigenerational home, you need to be open and honest and set out some ground rules. Jonna tries to avoid conflicts in her multigenerational home. So, what her family did was they created a neutral zone. Early on they just said, your beliefs and values are yours, our views and values are ours. If you want to talk about those beliefs and values do that away from the children and in your own space and vice versa. No politics, religion, and those things that you’re not supposed to talk about at parties. Some families are going to be on the same page and it’s going to work out just fine. They just set the standard early, they had the house rules really clear. It was to protect not only her and her husband but also her father from misunderstanding a conflict.
Establish Financial Responsibilities
For most families, multigenerational or not, money is a sticky subject. Try creating both individual budgets and a shared household budget. The financial bit can definitely be challenging. This is because as an adult child Jonna want to give to her family the whole time. She also had to be very realistic about how long the arrangement might last. Also, why they were doing it in the first place.
Part of her father’s agreement living with them is that they’re building out a second living structure that he’ll have on his own. So,