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Multigenerational Family Living

Updated on April 7, 2013

One Roof - Three Generations

More than 6 million American families ( Via AARP), that's 1 in 20 households. have more than two generations living in the same home. And my family is one of those. For my family and for many other families, what might have started as just a answer to a problem or crisis, turns out to be one of the positive joyful experiences of a lifetime.

Most of us think of the past when we think of granny and gramps living with their children and their children's children. But there is a very modern and increasing trend of merging families under one mulitgenerational roof. Largely thought of due to the latest economical crisis but really for a multitude of very good reasons.

For us to come to this decision it was mostly economical. I had been laid-off from a high paying job and had tried to start my own business. When the housing market crashed my home went into the foreclosure process. With the added challenge of getting hired again as a 50+ woman in an already difficult job market pushed me into considering alternative solutions. My son and daughter-in-law offered to let me live in their guest suite. However, this situation turned into something beneficial to the entire family.

As a young two-income upwardly mobile family, my son and their wife were always struggling with day care, school drop offs and pick ups, after school activities, and just the day to day care of a busy family. My new career as a real estate agent gave me the flexibility to step in when needed. And having a loving family member as their stand in gave them a sense of security.

As for me, well, I was raised in a Multigenerational household. My single mother raised me and my siblings in her Parents home. We felt loved, cared for, and the luckiest kids around. Now I get the chance to enjoy not only observing my son and his young family grow and thrive but be an active and welcome participant which is the greatest gift I could ever imagine.

Why a Multigenerational Household?

What Are You Daffy?

I get this response all the time. But there are many very sane and excellent reasons to create a multigenerational household. Any particular family will have their very own specific reasons but here are a few of the most often stated.

*Unmarried 20-Something children are choosing to live with their parents while finishing completing education, getting settled into careers, economic related or just by choice

*Immigration. Immigrants are more likely to live in a multigenerational household.

*An aging population. Fortunately the Baby Boomer generation are more financially stable and are able to offer their parents a safe loving home in their old age and at the same time provide a place to live to their own children.

*Economic - Sharing household bills and expenses can offer a solution to many economic issues and help family members save for future large purchasing events.

*Child Care - Many parents prefer to have a loving grandparent or other relative as a secondary child care provider for small children and teens.

The Return of the Mulit-Generational Family

The Return of the Mulit-Generational Family
The Return of the Mulit-Generational Family

My 5 Best Tips to a Successful Multigenerational Household - Space, Space, and More Space

  1. All adults (even include older children) should have a clear understanding and agreement on the particulars of the situation. Everyone should be on the same page as to why the family is doing this and how.
  2. Determine the responsibilities or each individuals. Who pays what bills or portions of bills. Who maintains the home, takes care of the children or elderly parents, who shops, and who cooks.
  3. Allow the parents to handle the parenting Is should clearly be agreed upon first as to who and how discipline will handled. Also I would suggest a family meeting policy where the adults can discuss household issues such as any possible disciplinary issues that effect the entire household.
  4. Privacy and boundaries. Grandma's room should be respected by all as well as a married couples quarrels and discussions.
  5. Take a breath and count to 10..maybe 20. Now is the time to be calm, listen more than you speak, let others live their own lives, and let things roll of your back.

The Family That Sticks Together

The Family That Sticks Together
The Family That Sticks Together

Tip # 3

Let Parents Raise Their Own Kids.

This can be a big source of discourse. But all adults must agree to let the parents be the parents.

Famous Families Living Multigenerationally

There are some very famous households that choose to live with several generations under one roof.

Fictitious or Real, some Good Examples some Bad.

1. President and First Lady Obama. Obviously the Obama's did not ask the First Lady's mother to join them at the White House for economic reasons. There situation was one of wanting a loving grandmother to help stabilize a challenging transition.

2. The Walton's. A story based on a real family during the great depression, a very real reason to form a multigenerational household. The TV series often showed the wisdom of Grandma and Grandpa being a huge benefit. And do you remember that huge caring family sitting around the family dinner table, hashing out their day's problems and successes.

3.Joan and Melissa Rivers. When Joan Rivers moved to Los Angels again, instead of purchasing her own L.A. condo, she moved in with the single daughter Melissa and her son Conner. A hilarious and successful realty show ensued. Joan Knows Best

Multigenerational Families on T.V.

Waltons, The: Seasons 1-9 & The Movie Collection (10 Pack)
Waltons, The: Seasons 1-9 & The Movie Collection (10 Pack)

The best example of Multigenerational Living


Modern Version of a 3 generation household


How to Live with Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life

Great new comedy based on the Multigenerational Family Trend.

Don't Forget to Have Fun

Whether for just a few short months or for years to come, the most important thing is to have a good time. Enjoy the situation while you can. Take pictures, give hugs and kisses. Make time for special family fun. Set aside one day a week for family game night, movie night, even theme dinner night. This is your family, love it.

Thank You For Stopping By. - Please Leave a Comment Just to Say Hi.

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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Im many Asian countries multigenerational living is very common and I think it is good for the kids and for everyone.

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 4 years ago from Central Florida

      A handful of my friends with small children have at least one parent living with them and there are definitely some great benefits to having a multi-generational household. I appreciate your realistic tips for helping make it work, not the least of which is having boundaries, realistic expectations and PATIENCE and love for one another.

    • profile image

      poutine 4 years ago

      I am happy to read that it is working so well for you.

      I really believe in your advice #3 in letting the parents raise their kids.

    • JauntyGiGi profile image

      JauntyGiGi 4 years ago

      @Vikk Simmons: I think you're right vikksmimmons. It can be a beautiful experience. Thanks for your kind comments.

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 4 years ago from Houston

      This is a great topic and it's interesting to read about it, too. I had moved in to take care of my parents and now I still care for my mom who is 98. With the economy in its current state I imagine we'll see more and more of this occurring. Great topic.

    • Elaine Chen profile image

      Elaine Chen 4 years ago

      I like the picture of old hand holding baby's hand. It is meaningful image. It is not easy to stay in mulch-generation family; may have a lot of argument especially in term of kid's education.

    • Elaine Chen profile image

      Elaine Chen 4 years ago

      I like the picture of old hand holding baby's hand. It is meaningful image. It is not easy to stay in mulch-generation family; may have a lot of argument especially in term of kid's education.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      I enjoyed this article, I have been in the same situation, with my families, broken marriages have had my children and grandchildren living in the same house.

      But now in our seventies my husband and I have had our home to ourselves, for the last two years. It is nice, like the first two years of our marriage before we started our family in our twenties.

      All the best for your future.

    • Kathryn Beach profile image

      Kathryn Wallace 4 years ago from Greenbank, WA, USA

      Sweet lens! I had a wonderful landlord for a while who was still renovating when I moved in (I was in a hurry!). He came by every day to work on the place, and kept asking me, is everything ok? Are you happy here? Finally he explained. He said he lived with his wife and kids, his sister and her kids, and his mother. It was his mother that was insisting every day that he be sure to fix the house up as if it was her moving into it. He used to laugh about how with 3 women in the house, he never had to wonder what he was supposed to be doing. He was obviously very happy to be living with the whole tribe!

    • lewisgirl profile image

      lewisgirl 4 years ago

      This is a great lens! My daughter and her family have been asking me to move in with them for awhile. My sister and her husband and one daughter and family all live together and she says it works very well.

    • chi kung profile image

      chi kung 4 years ago

      interesting topic, maybe it is better to have generations close by....

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great to read your lens. We have three generations living in the same village, not quite the same but still very nice.

    • profile image

      miaponzo 4 years ago

      I would love to have a family like that!!! :) How fun!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for the informative lens. I believe that more and more people are going to start going back to this way of living.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Fun lens. Thanks for sharing. SquidAngel blessed! ;-)

    • JauntyGiGi profile image

      JauntyGiGi 4 years ago

      @Elyn MacInnis: Thanks for the kind comments elynmac. I do believe it has been a more common lifestyle in other countries. Thanks for visiting.

    • JauntyGiGi profile image

      JauntyGiGi 4 years ago

      @Elyn MacInnis: Thanks for the kind comments elynmac. I do believe it has been a more common lifestyle in other countries. Thanks for visiting.

    • JauntyGiGi profile image

      JauntyGiGi 4 years ago

      @SusanDeppner: Thanks for visiting Susan.

    • JauntyGiGi profile image

      JauntyGiGi 4 years ago

      @CraftyStaci: Oh CraftyStaci, that is a houseful. All the more fun and laughter.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I LOVE your lens. We like living with out kids when we can. They are so dear. In China lots of people live in big families, but Grandma and Grandpa are often "right" and everyone else has to take it. But not always. Things are changing.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      Nice to meet you and yours! We had to move in with my husband's parents twice in the past 6 years in order to get back on our feet again. We felt very blessed to have them open their home for us until we could live on our own again.

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 4 years ago

      Congrats for your LOTD! Family is our real fortune. Best wishes to you :)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I enjoyed meeting you through this lens which really does a great job of describing the benefits of Multigenerational Family Living. I really agree with letting the parents be the parents. We have had times when we have been multigenerational but right now it is just my hubby and I at home although our grandson is in and out daily.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      My husband grew up next door to his grandparents and loved it. My biggest regret in raising my children, without a doubt, is that we didn't live close to either set of grandparents. That's the only thing I can say that I'd do differently if I had it to do over. I love the idea of multi-generational families!

    • CraftyStaci profile image

      CraftyStaci 4 years ago

      We also have a multi-generational household, with my husband's parents, brother and two nephews living with us and our two children. It can be challenging, but following your 5 tips keeps everything running a little more smoothly.

    • malikaehf profile image

      malikaehf 4 years ago

      What a lovely lens about families sticking together!