With the cost of living getting higher and people living longer, having multiple generations all living together is a reality for some Perth families.
That is one reason why more people are turning to granny flats as the best way to create a multi-generational household. However there can still be issues even being 10 metres away from each other!
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO MAKE MULTI-GENERATIONAL LIVING A HAPPIER EXPERIENCE FOR EVERYONE…
1. Know WHY this arrangement is in place. Every living arrangement has its benefits and drawbacks, and in order for it to work, the benefits must be recognized and outweigh the drawbacks. Discuss the the different circumstances with your family so that everyone is on the same page as to why you are living so close to each other.
2. Define the responsibilities surrounding those who need to be cared for. Does anyone in the family have health issues that need to be addressed, such as an elderly parent needing special care, or a child with learning disabilities? If their care is home based, which of the other family members are primarily responsible for this care?
3. Discuss boundaries as a group, as they must be respected by each household member, from the youngest to the eldest. Address your concerns about privacy. It can be hard to have privacy in this living situation. Make sure everyone understands the importance of privacy, and have consequences for anyone who invades anyone’s privacy in any way, whether it’s the Internet, your diary, going through personal belongings, and even listening in on phone calls.
4. Set acoustic boundaries. It’s likely that at least one person will enjoy hearing loud music or even television. Tell those who want loud music or television to use headphones.
5. Let parents raise their own children. If the adults do not remain mindful of each other’s rights and responsibilities, homework can sometimes be a source of discord in the house. What causes problems is a non-parent adult’s sense of how far they should be allowed to go in deciding what is best for children. It’s especially important for grandparents, not to counteract the rules you’ve set for your own children.
6. Call a family meeting if there is a problem you think needs discussing. If it is a more personal problem, take the other family member aside and discuss it quietly. As mentioned earlier, there should be a time and a place where any family member can have privacy. It is under those circumstances that many personal problems can be addressed and resolved before they erupt into a major conflict.
7. Spend quality time together as a family. Have one day and/or night a week of fun for everyone!
Follow these tips and that will hopefully ensure a happy living situation for those in both the primary house and the granny flat!
Remember, it is fantastic to have family living close by, especially for children and grandparents – but there still needs to be boundaries!