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Moving in with Your Kids

Moving in with your children could be a calculated decision or one thrust upon you by cost of living issues or medical ailments. Either way, how the transition is managed can bring a family together or pull them apart.

Making the Transition: Moving in with Your Kids

In the past you may have felt like there was a revolving door on your home as children grew up and left the parental home only to find their way back again…and again. A new trend is developing and this time it is the parents that are moving in. Poor economic times, elderly parents living well beyond their retirement savings, and a cultural shift to more family-centric living are all responsible for this growing phenomenon. Moving in with your children could be a calculated decision or one thrust upon you by cost of living issues or medical ailments. Either way, how the transition is managed can bring a family together or pull them apart.
Before moving in with your children it is important that all parties discuss some ground rules and have an open discussion. If grandchildren are in the picture, and are old enough to participate, then make sure they are included as well. Respecting each other is the best way to make sure the transition goes smoothly. Below are some key components that will make moving in with your kids a recipe for success.

Maintaining your own space

If you are fortunate enough to be moving into an in-law suite scenario with a private bath and possibly even a kitchen then maintaining your own space will be a piece of cake. For many, simply having a room of their own is all that the family can provide. Sharing a space with another family member, like a grandchild, should only be a short-term solution. Having your own space, whether it is small or grand, is critical to everyone’s privacy.

Beyond the sleeping quarters you will no doubt have other items that require storage. Before moving in with your children be sure to discuss where your belongings are going to be placed. While you will want to keep your areas of the house clean and tidy it is also important that family members respect these areas as yours and give you some freedom to personalize it as needed.

Maintaining your own independence

If you are still working then this aspect will most likely take care of itself, but retired parents will need to make more of an effort to hold on to their independence. Simply put, be sure to keep up with friends, volunteer work, and any other recreational activities that you were doing before the move to place. If you make a point of coming and going as you need then everyone else in the household will feel more comfortable maintaining their usual schedule of soccer practices, lunch dates, and trips to the grocery store.

Being independent inside the home means taking care of your basic needs and every-day chores. This may require some careful planning, like creating a laundry schedule for the house, but it will be worth that small effort. The sooner you establish your independence within the household the sooner you will stop feeling like, and being treated like, a guest.

Lending a hand

There are plenty of ways parents can assist with the needs of the household. If your circumstances allow, you may want to pay for a portion of the mortgage or home utilities. Don’t forget to discuss in advance how other monetary issues, like groceries, will be handled and have some flexibility should the original agreement become a burden for either party. Perhaps your financial situation does not allow you to help in that regard, but you are able to take over a portion of the chores. As you can remember, cleaning, cooking, even helping the grandkids with homework can go a long way to assist an overworked mom. Having an extra set of hands available when a family member gets sick or someone needs to let the plumber in works to everyone’s advantage.

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