The idea of multigenerational homes may seem uncomfortable to some, and downright impossible for others. Adults moved away from their parents to have children and be free, so isn’t having the grandparents come stay with them going in the wrong direction? While there may be many bad things to say about a multigenerational house, the truth is that these homes are usually the best, especially for children. They gain a myriad of benefits, and both parents and grandparents gain some benefits as well.
There is a predominant thought that most grandparents do not have much money, and that is their main reason for moving in with their own children. While this certainly can be a factor, the truth is that senior citizens control over three-quarters of the nation’s money, according to GrandParents.com.
Because of this, grandparents can often help with the financial burdens of running a house and raising a family. While they should not be depended on entirely, they can still help with the bills every now and then.
Sometimes getting all the money needed to run a household leaves both parents very busy, and they are unable to give proper time and affection to their children. The same goes for single parents, who have to work but also need to care for their children.
In this case, grandparents benefit both the parents and the children. They allow the parents to go to work or do whatever they need to, without leaving the children alone. Grandparents can also cook and do other household chores, so the children are well fed. Children are given the affection they need, and would normally get, from parents.
Even if the parents are not busy, grandparents are able to give another source of love to children that they would not have otherwise. When a child grows up just with his or her parents, some children find it hard to believe that other adults can give them love. With grandparents around, this broadens that horizon. It also gives them more love than a singular mother and father could, because there are more people around.
One of the most important functions of grandparents is to give their grandchildren certain life lessons. This can be from stories of the past, or just general experience and knowledge that grandparents have accumulated in their long life. Since grandparents are in the same house, the children have easy access to this connection with their grandparents.
Children don’t think about it too often, and no one really wants to admit it is a possibility, but there is always a chance that something can happen to the parents that will dramatically affect the children. They can get a divorce, they can die in an accident or they can contract a fatal and terminal disease.
When this happens, children often go live with their grandparents. If children don’t know their grandparents, or rarely see them, it can be a very stressful time for children. They do not know what to expect, and there may be negative consequences for the child and the family.
If children are currently living with their grandparents, then they already know what to expect. After understanding that something is preventing their parents from attending to them and loving them, they can easily depend on grandparents for the same love and affection.
Until now, all of the benefits have been about the parents and children, but they aren’t the only ones benefitting from this move. Grandparents often benefit as well from moving in with the rest of the family, because they have a sense of purpose again. Not only that, but keeping up with the children gives them a new sense of energy, and it gives them exercise as well. They also get more mental stimulation because they have to be imaginative around the children, or they have to help with homework.
Most people fear having a multigenerational household, but the truth is that everyone benefits from it. Even if there are disputes between the parents and grandparents, they can often be dropped to care for the children and to maintain a healthy household. Don’t fear having the grandparents move in; it should be embraced, because it helps everyone.
Tom writes for Assisted Living Today, a leading source of information on a range of topics related to elderly care and connecticut assisted living .