Jun 18, 2019
Freedom to love includes the extended family. Inclusion of older family members or community elders in daily life is traditional in many cultures. Sharing housing with grandparents, adult married or single children and the younger generation is also typical in many cultures. It has become less common in Western society, however it can be beneficial for the whole family. Children may receive more quality interactions with more adults available for caregiving or educational activities, or even sharing in the household chores with the necessary oversite of an adult. Children love to help and learn best by imitating and doing the chores - but when life is too busy it can be quicker for an adult to just get the task done without little hands practicing the task. In the long run it is the goal to raise children who have the abilities to cope with daily chores and self care habits on their own. Developmentally children are ready for parents to add different types of responsibilities in stages and they want and need to have more responsibility. A List of Age Appropriate Chores for Kids 2-18 with typical development skills, by Sarah Agirre, ( thespruce ). Parents can benefit from having less stress about childcare if extra adults are available for childcare or maybe help with household bills or emergency expenses. Wisdom from having lived through tough times, or sickness, or difficult business relationships can be a bonus for young adults who might not call their parent to ask a question that might get asked if the parent is present to see the stress their adult child is experiencing. Grandparents or other older family members may benefit from having more social interaction and a sense of purpose living with their extended family. They may also feel safer knowing they aren't living alone in case there is an illness or accident. Caregiving needs with more serious health issues might be a benefit of a shared household, saving time driving between households and not having two households to keep clean and stocked with supplies. Sharing responsibilities can reduce stress levels for everyone involved. Good communication about expectations and privacy needs is important in any type of relationship. Asking for help if caregiving needs become to demanding is also important. Elder abuse can be a risk if stress levels get severe. Physical abuse, financial or emotional abuse may be concerns, occasionally sexual abuse is even a risk. More information about elder abuse and a discussion of the value of intergenerational community from a Christian perspective is available in the article: Elder Abuse: Chipping the Old Block, by Mark Cheesman, Nucleus , Autumn 2001 pages 21-26, ( cmf ). Disclaimer: Information provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use.