Many people often invite their elderly grandparents to live with them in order to care for them. This arrangement allows many generations of family to live together under one roof, which creates some tight bonds between the family members. That being said, this arrangement also comes with challenges. If you’re considering bringing your grandparents into your home to live and you have young children, here are a few things to keep in mind to keep things running smoothly.
Give Them Space
It’s important that you give your grandparents space for a number of reasons. It allows them to maintain their sense of privacy and individuality. It also keeps younger kids safe. The elderly often rely on prescriptions to maintain their health. In order to prevent your young children from getting into their medications, it’s a good idea to store medicine in child-resistant containers and keep them locked up and out of sight. Additionally, it’s best to exercise caution in everything. Even leaving medications in a purse can be harmful if a child gets into it. It’s best to leave any type of medication locked up safely and out of reach of small hands.
Keep Rooms and Walkways Clean
While medications might be a hazard for young children, small toys left on the floor can be a hazard for the elderly. Before your grandparents move in, create a system for keeping toys and other objects at bay. First, if it’s possible, keep your children and their toys on an entirely different level than your grandparents will occupy. Next, try organizing the toys by activities. That will keep each of the toys isolated in their own corners, so to speak. If everything is sorted into labeled containers, then less of the floor is likely to get cluttered. Finally, create a clean-up system and teach your kids to use it. It’s easiest if they learn to clean as they go. Though teaching them to do that may take some time, it’s definitely worth it.
Create Boundaries Ahead of Time
While this arrangement will likely be a blessing to everyone, it’s important for harmony’s sake that you set up some boundaries so that your home life is harmonious, according to Family Matters. Some of these boundaries will be physical boundaries, like instructing your small children to stay away from their grandparents’ quarters unless they’re invited in. However, some of the boundaries will be more emotional. It will be natural for your grandparents to want to step in and even possibly discipline your kids at times. This can be problematic if not handled right. Talk with them ahead of time about discipline and other matters. That way all of the adults in the home present a united front to the kids, while still maintaining harmony with one another.
It can be a wonderful experience to have your grandparents come to live with you. Your young children will get the opportunity to get to know them and to be around their wisdom. However, this situation can present challenges if it’s not handled correctly. It’s important for personal safety as well as emotional well-being that issues like medications, toys and personal boundaries be worked out before grandma and grandpa come to live with you.
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