Advice and Protocol Sustainable Development

8 Pros and Cons of Living in a Multigenerational Household

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Multigenerational living refers to sharing a single household with at least another adult generation. The term has become quite popular in recent times because the number of multigenerational households in the US is increasing at a steady pace. That being said, multiple generations living in the same home is far from a new concept. It doesn’t necessarily refer to having a numerous extended family living together but can also involve just living with your parents as a married couple.

Primarily due to financial reasons, the trend of multigenerational living is experiencing a surge in popularity. If you’re considering this type of household, it’s important to be prepared for potential drawbacks. There are also some substantial advantages that will make you more receptive to the idea of living with other family members. Let’s explore the pros and cons of living in a multigenerational household.

Pros of Multigenerational Households

1. Saving Money

This seems pretty obvious but it’s still worth understanding better how multigenerational living can put your finances back on track. There are multiple ways in which living together with other members of your family could be more economical. You will share lots of costs such as utilities, property taxes, and home maintenance. Basically, anything from considerable monthly expenses such as food to little costs like decorating can be significantly reduced in a multigenerational household.

If you live in an area where affordable housing is scarce, it’s much more economical to share the rent with your parents and divide all other essential living expenses. Saving more money is a very important aspect if you’re struggling with student debt. It’s a smart financial solution if you’re planning to make a down payment for a home in the future. Multigenerational households are also recommended in case you’re recovering from a financial problem.

2. Great Care for Children

Adults with children can often struggle with finding affordable and reliable childcare solutions. This is one aspect where having the grandparents around can be very practical. They get to enjoy spending more quality time with their grandchildren while the kids are properly taken care of without requiring babysitters.

That being said, this is only possible if we’re assuming that older adults still have the energy to babysit the younger generation. Families with divorced parents can typically benefit more from a multigenerational living arrangement. Grandparents can step in to help mind the children when the single parents become overwhelmed.

3. Better House Management

More adults in the house will improve the overall efficiency when it comes to managing all the daily chores involved in maintaining the household. There’s significantly more support provided for parents that have young children who struggle to adapt to their new life balancing cooking, cleaning, and other tasks. Similarly, elders in need of assistance can take advantage of some life quality improvements by making use of extra willing hands nearby.

Living in a multigenerational household can be considered quite convenient. Take grocery shopping for example. Elderly parents won’t have to deal with the hassle of everyday tasks that have become harder to do as years have gone by. When someone needs help, there are more adults available to provide convenient support for everyone.

4. Culture Sharing

If you value the cultural knowledge of the older generation and wish to share it with the next generation, multigenerational households are highly beneficial. You can keep the extended family close and allow for customs, language, and other important pieces of cultural knowledge to pass on to the children. The younger generation can interact more effectively with the older one and the result is a preserved cultural heritage. More generations living together maximize this benefit.

5. Positive Impact on Health

Your aging parents can benefit from a positive impact on their health, especially when it comes to mental wellbeing. Loneliness can be difficult to handle by anyone but it’s felt particularly strong by elders living alone. A multigenerational household can bring back the connection to the family and reinforce the sense of community through shared activities.

It’s worth keeping in mind that multigenerational living by itself isn’t enough to fight against loneliness and mental health decline in seniors. This is because they will often sit by themselves at home during the day when the other members of the family are at school or work. In any case, living with a large family brings lots of benefits for the elders. They will feel more confident and safer in a multigenerational household.

Cons of Multigenerational Households

1. Reduced Privacy

It goes without saying that more people in a house will reduce the amount of personal space for each individual. Less privacy affects young and old adults in similar ways. This is because both generations can get into the habit of living alone. While this is a major disadvantage of a multigenerational household, there are some methods you can try to organize the space more effectively so that everyone is happy with their own private area.

Household rules can help with the transition to living in a multigenerational home. If you wish to unwind after work, the loss of some privacy can be challenging to deal with. It will be more difficult to enjoy your favorite activities or hobbies that require more personal space. Establishing basic rules such as knocking on the door to each member’s room can ease the detrimental effects.

2. Extra Housework

Although more people in the house can make it more efficient to take care of daily chores and overall home maintenance jobs, the opposite is true as well. Messes happen more often in multigenerational households. Homes planned in this type of living arrangement tend to require more housework such as cleaning and decluttering. For some people, this can become a significant problem, especially if they’re used to maintaining their homes immaculate.

Larger laundry loads and extra dishes to clean may not sound that bad, however. More stressful issues can appear when the members of the household don’t have the same housekeeping standards. This can contribute to another big problem that you can experience in a multigenerational household – strained relationships between family members. This is another drawback that we’ll explore next.

3. Family Tensions

Although bonds between family members can become stronger in a multigenerational household, relationships can also deteriorate. It’s important to consider potential animosities before deciding on living together. Even small disagreements can accumulate and cause family tensions that will create an unpleasant atmosphere in the household.

Due to the nature of a multigenerational household, the likelihood of relationship issues between family members can increase significantly. Some of the aspects that you need to take into account to ease tensions include household responsibilities and financial conflicts. Make a good plan before moving into a multigenerational household to figure out any potential problem arising along the way. Discuss with the other adult family members to agree on the right rules and procedures to maintain the harmony of the household.

By Stefan Bucur

Stefan is the founder and owner of Rhythm of the Home. He has 6 years of experience in home improvement, interior design, cleaning and organizing.

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