Financial considerations often form the basis of adult children and parents moving back in together. Even with the potential costs of remodeling to accommodate the two families, maintaining one household rather than two generally creates considerable savings for everyone. As Rhea summed it up in her comment yesterday, there are positive outcomes from sharing housing with family - saving money, for one. "Necessity will force a lot of living situations that we might not initially choose but will save us from financial ruin. It pays to learn how to live well with others!"
The support generated on both sides can serve as the foundation for resolving past misunderstandings between parents and adult children. Understanding and forgiveness are easier to accomplish when different viewpoints are considered. And rather than taking each other for granted, family members can express their gratitude for one another.
An additional benefit of the multi-generational experience is the closer relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. Generations living together lead to a win-win situation for everyone here. A grandmother says, "It's been surprisingly wonderful. I'm getting a level of contact with my kids and grandkids that has been more rewarding than I could ever have dreamed." From the perspective of a busy mother, the reactions are more practical. "My husband and I are lucky because my mom helps take care of our kids while we are at work."
The close bonding allows the extended family to build rich memories to savor over the years. As the older generation continues to age, these times may be the impetus for planning their care by the new sandwiched generation, with the grandchildren pitching in to help.
With Thanksgiving just one week away, tomorrow we return to the topic of last week: gratitude. We will look at some reactions - internal and external - to saying "thank you."