By: Mozelle Forman
When our adult children return to nest during the glorious summer months, we look forward to the days ahead when the cousins will play together, meals will be shared and parents have at least a few of their children under the same roof.
As the summer wearson, though, the cousins have started to squabble, the sisters and brothers (in-law) are in need of more space, and Grandma is exhausted. Feathers are getting ruffled and sparks have begun to fly. As for Grandpa, he wonders why everyone can’t just
The challenges stem from a few factors involving different families moving in together. Each family has their own set of rules and ways of doing things, especially in regard to schedules, cleanliness and child rearing. Privacy is going to be compromised to some degree and the combination of siblings,
in-laws and grandchildren create a veritable laboratory of personalities. As the parents reuniting your adult children under your roof, you can set the tone for a more pleasant experience by following
Refrain from giving your children unsolicited advice or critiquing their parenting styles. While it may be tempting to tell your daughter-in-law
that her children eat too much candy, the ill will it may cause is not worth saving on the dentist bill.
Clearly state your expectations regarding meals, housekeeping, and schedules from the get go. Although you want the children and grandchildren to be comfortable, cleaning up after everyone gets tiresome after a few weeks (or even sooner than that).
If you have a complaint, address it to the person you are upset with, not their spouse or sibling. This will keep their relationships more genuine.
Establish early on how much child care you are willing to offer, lest you become the permanent baby sitter.
Enjoy your grandchildren without their parents around. You’ll be amazed at how well-behaved and good-natured they can be.
Plan to spend some alone time with your spouse. If possible take a short vacation or just spend a Sunday alone at the beach.
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Mozelle Forman is a clinical social worker
in private practice for 20 years.
She welcomes your comments at