Dear Helen Hartman,
Recently my grown child had to move home and now it seems that everyone I talk to is in a variation of this situation. I know multi-generational living was the norm in the past and still is in many cultures, but it’s a big adjustment. How do we do this and not end up hating each other?
Dear Loves Your Loved Ones But Maybe Not So Close One,
Helen read recently that more American adults are living with their parents than any time since the 1950s so that’s where Helen will go for advice. No, I don’t have a time machine. I have the next best
|What have you got? A Genie? A group of friends who solve mysteries? A robot that makes stuff and senses danger? What?|
My vast resources… IOW the stuff I have found in flea markets, estate sales and antique malls that is close to the top of the stack so I don’t have to bend or stretch to get to it.
|Because you're old, right?|
I can certainly see why having the younger generation around would get on your very last nerve. Let’s see what the experts from the Science Research Associates Inc. have to say about it.
|These young people were able to live among Parents by disguising themselves as 30 year olds, behaving like and blending in with the Parents in their familiar environment, the suburban kitchen.|
In reading over the booklet it seems "Science" is on the side of the parents.
|Because your friends are idiots. (Harsh? LOOK at these people. They don't even know you take your tie off when you hang from chandelier!)|
One solution they offer is forming a family counsel to help deal with things, such as the family budget.
|"Dad, I've gone over the numbers and there's no doubt about it. We are going to have to make some cuts in the family. You're fired."|
The problem is that is that you run the risk of everybody thinking their opinion matters!
Helen doesn’t see how that would work in her house. The rule around here is: Mama is the queen and if the queen ain’t happy…
I was gonna say HIDE but shopping is also good. If my kids moved in with gifts, especially if it was some awesome kitsch, it might make things so more smoothly.
Of course, every family is different.
|"Gee, Louise, you said your family was old fashioned but I don't know if I could put up with THIS!"|
In other words, not all of you can be bribed - or maybe your kids aren't in a position to spend $ on you. Not to worry, there's always blackmail.
|"But Mom, I don't want to do our old "Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting" routine for the church Mother Daughter talent show." "Less complaining, more kicking, Shiree. You wanted to move back home and I saw my chance to FINALLY win this thing."|
Maybe the best way to deal with adults sharing a house is to come up with some rules. Writing down rules is a long standing way of helping people navigate life.
But if you do go the written rule route, make sure they are clear.
|This is the image for Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery. I asked my Mom what that meant. She was evasive. For years I thought it meant Thou Shalt Not Offer Thyself to Go Up In a Beam From A Space Ship.|
I came across this bracelet full of "Teen" commandments this weekend. Of course I snapped it up because, well, who can resist judgmental jewelry?
Not so helpful, huh? Who’d have thought that something so cute wouldn’t have all the answers? Don’t despair, Helen is both cute and filled with answers, often to questions you haven’t even asked yet!
|"Honey, I am looking you over and honestly, I don't even know WHERE to begin!"|
The best way to live with your kids, or your parents, is the best way to live with anyone. Give them rules. Give them room. Give them respect.
And last but not least, give them heck with they don’t do the same for you.