Contemporary existence is rife with modern technological marvels that just makes everything easier. Our lifestyles are dictated by daily events that keep us busy.
Even when we share space in an extended family household, we tend to pass each other as ships in the night. Even our children have become busier than us, the parents.
When did that happen?
Today when we think about what is extended family, we can consider this a single parent or dual parent household, with biological or stepparents, having a family that includes children and relatives. Those relatives most often are the grandparents.
While privacy is a concern for young people, there are benefits to having your relatives living with you in a mixed family situation.
Especially when it comes to the children and young people under our care, no matter their complaints.
Living In an Aging World
Things are not as they used to be a generation ago. Now we live in a world that is predominantly aging.
Technological advancement, the internet and people living a more diverse and healthy lifestyle has led to a growing population of older people.
How we live, how we eat, how we work and where we do these things have changed.
In China, by law children are charged with taking care of their aging parents. Eventually, this means less pressure on the state to care for them.
It ought to be an honor to take care of one’s parents.
Many see this as a rightful reversal of roles.
After all, parents spend 18 years or more taking care of their children.
Even though still, many young people protect their privacy and seek to live separate from their parents, staying in an extended family household has its benefits.
We have also developed into a society that prefers to cart off our senior citizens into senior homes or “old people homes” as they are sometimes referred to. And then some children rarely or never visit.
How can you forget about your parents?
While some senior homes can seem lavish with on-call caregivers, for others it can be a nightmare.
They consider it a robbery of their independence. And this may be rightly so.
It is understandable that some senior citizens require specialized care, especially if they are living with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.
But having an extended family might be what is needed to teach the young people today about love, tradition, fostering family relationships and family values.
The Benefits of Living in an Extended Family Household
There are numerous benefits to sharing one house and its various responsibilities among several people. But it is better if those people are your family or relatives. Yes, we understand that family can argue and fight. But it is still better to do so with a family member than a stranger.
After all, blood is thicker than water.
And you will just retreat to your different spaces and still love each other tomorrow.
Fostering Strong Family Connections
There is something about sharing a roof that brings a family closer.
You see each other a lot. You are there to support each other and you spend quality time with each other. It is after all the ideal way to get to know someone that of living with them.
Free and Responsible Childcare
Childcare is expensive, but with an extended family of adults, you never have to worry about it.
It is even better when your grandparents are the ones who will take care of the children when you are not there. Because they looked after you fine, so you can trust their parental skills.
Also, many grandparents try to keep busy by doing housework.
This means you get free help with making dinner, washing laundry and general housekeeping.
Not that you are trying to slave or work them hard all day, but some of us have given up on trying to get our parents to relax more.
Plus doctors do recommend that they keep busy.
In addition, parents tend to dote over their grandkids. So this means extra loving care and attention for your kids.
You will see that your children are more well adjusted and caring towards others as well. Children who have their grandparents around have another set of persons to learn from, to take to about their growing pains and to be a watchdog over them.
The children truly learn what does family mean and how they stick together through rough times.
Who doesn’t need extra cash?
Ok, so it is not that you are charging your parents rent and living expenses. However, you will naturally see savings when they are around.
On the flip side, when adult children go back home and stay with their parents, they usually take over some if not all the bills.
As parents get older, they retire and might not have the extra income to meet their needs. So having family members, adult children and other relatives living with them work out great.