How many grandparents raise their grandchildren
3 generations under one roof: when parents move in with children and grandchildren
Pack the boxes and move in with the children in old age: many older people dare to take this step. The extended family project can go well but it is crucial that young and old approach it with realistic ideas and a lot of tolerance. Because everyone expects a major change when 3 generations live under one roof.
The distance to the children is often too great
First of all, it is the children who are drawn to another city. The trigger is usually a visit to university, a new job or a new love. The children visit their parents on public holidays, otherwise everyone lives their own life. In our society, the proportion of parents whose nearest child lives more than two hours away is growing. That means that you don't just visit each other. This distance is too great for everyday life together. For a long time this is quite practical. Many parents enjoy the newfound freedom; it is the same with adult children.
But when the grandchildren come, the desire for closeness often grows again. And so it is more and more often the parents who set out and move to the children. “Our daughter went to Cologne for work. And we started to think: How can we realize in the future that the family is often together? When our granddaughter was born, we packed up and moved there, ”says Gudrun Preller. The grandparents' grandchildren relationship is a very special one.
The 76-year-old and her 78-year-old husband Dieter lived in Erfurt, Thuringia, for more than 40 years, and have been living near their daughter in Cologne for five years. They carried out the move with a moving company and had the costs of the move calculated in advance with a move calculator.
When 3 generations live under one roof, this requires a high degree of tolerance
The grandparents are usually happy to take care of their grandchildren.
Age researchers are convinced that “drawing to the children” usually has some good basis: Because the emotional bond between aging parents and adult children is usually there. Both benefit from this model: the grandparents can go on excursions with the grandchildren or perhaps take on part of the care, and the children can provide practical support with shopping or other areas of life.
The three happily united generations under one roof? How well a move succeeds in old age depends a lot on how realistic the expectations are. It makes a big difference whether you are only visiting the children or whether you move in with the children in old age and spend everyday life with them. Coexistence between three generations under one roof requires a high degree of tolerance. As an adult son or daughter, do I really want my mother or father to sit at the table every lunchtime? And as a grandmother, do I really want to play in the sandpit with them every afternoon, as much as I like my grandchildren? These are typical situations that you should think about beforehand.
When 3 generations live under one roof, communication is very important
If you don't clearly state your own limits, you run the risk of the anger leading to a big crash at some point. The parent-child situation in particular harbors this risk: although one has long been an adult and independent, one takes on the child role again when the parents are around, say many psychologists.
Talking about it before moving in together creates the best conditions for a well-functioning extended family: What do I imagine as mother and father - and what not? What do the children want and what do they not? Unpleasant questions also belong on the table: What happens when the parents get older? What do you expect? And what are the children willing to do? Emotional offsetting transactions, in which you hold back what you have done for each other, are very difficult.
Moving to the children should be considered carefully
For the parents, a change of location often means separation from the familiar environment.
The right amount of distance is important. "We moved into the granny flat, so we still had our own privacy thanks to the separate entrances, because we wanted to get along well with each other," say Gudrun and Dieter Preller. Preserving one's own environment and one's own interests is very important: It is ideal if not only the children and grandchildren are the motivation for the move, but also if one has possibly always toyed with the idea of moving from the country to the old age City draw.
But some psychologists also warn that a change of location should be carefully considered in old age. Young people simply move again when they no longer like it. As an old person you don't do that anymore. Because there are also very practical efforts involved: Moving is exhausting and many underestimate that. It brings with it many goodbyes: from the things that no longer have a place in the new apartment, from friends, from cherished habits.
Many questions need to be answered when parents move in with children
Parents should consider beforehand whether they really want to change all of their doctors, with whom one may have had treatment for decades, or how important the morning chat with the long-time trusted baker's wife is. Equally important: an honest self-assessment of your own sociability. Not every senior still enjoys making new friends.
“Of course it was difficult for us to say goodbye - to friends who have grown dear to us and also to familiar places,” admits Gudrun Preller. But the couple also feels that life remains in motion precisely because of the closer contact with the younger generation and that time and again we have to adjust to our new home: “Our granddaughter is becoming more and more independent, we are no longer working so intensively. I think it's a good time to make new friends again. "
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