Moving In

My son just lost his job and his wife is pregnant she so is unable to work.  They also have a 4 year old.  They do not want to relocate so have asked if they can move in with me until he can find a job.  I have the room and I want to help them, but I have concerns about living in the same house with them.  Do you have any suggestions that might help to make this possible? 

Marilyn, Paradise

Dear Marilyn,

Boy, you are not alone in this new situation for our generation.  I turned to an article by Dennie Hughes and one by Martha Beck for some guidelines.  Here is their advice.  (1)  have a plan in place before they move in.  Discuss expectations and assumptions.  As Martha Beck points out there are four options when there is a conflict in the way we do things (a) your way (b) their way (c) our way (compromise) (d) both ways.  (2)  negotiate needs from a “why” position rather than a “want” position (3)  discuss chore responsibilities –are you going to babysit, for example (4) don’t interfere with their parenting style (5)  don’t parent your son and daughter-in-law  (6)  allow each other plenty of personal space and time.  If all goes well, this could be a memorable bonding time for all. 

Sincerely,  Lyn