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Intergenerational relationship

January 9th, 2009 / 8 Comments

I mentioned here before, my mother-in-law lives with us.

While there are certainly many adjustments, there has also been many benefits.

One of the most important advantage is that my children get to have an intergenerational relationship. Yes, grandma makes them whatever they want to eat. Grandma buys them stuff when we go shopping. Grandma does not yell at them like mom does.

As I am writing this, my 20-year-old son (soon to be 21!!) is taking grandma to the market. She will probably get him some groceries to take back to his apartment.

Besides those benefits, my kids also learn to understand older people. They learn patience, compassion, and kindness. I think it also makes them value their own lives while they’re young.

There are many lessons that my children learn with grandma living with us that I could not have taught them with mere words.

And to tell you the truth, I’ve learned a lot from my children in the way they interact with grandma. Their innocence and acceptance helps me to get over the “mother-in-law” issues that I have.

Now do you envy me for having a mother-in-law live with us??

In case you don’t have an in-law living with you, you can “adopt” a grandparent by visiting a senior home on a regular basis. It’s a win-win-win situation for you, your kids, and the elderly.

Photo by ezioman

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  1. Hi Katy, actually I do envy you but not for having your MIL living with you. I envy you for your attitude. I only lived with my MIL a month and that wasn’t a good experience and although I do understand that kids need relationship with the grandparents, I am glad my MIL is living far away.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  2. Emma: The MIL also has to be cooperative and have a good attitude. I have to give credit to my MIL for being that way.

  3. Funny you write about this, Katy. That era of mother-in-law living with us has just ended over the last weekend after a decade. It was just time for her to move into her own unit for a variety of reasons, but part of the legacy is that both our boys have a strong and comfortable relationship with my wife’s mom while they usually sit around my parents wondering what they’re talking about. They spent the day at their Grandma’s new apartment yesterday, helped her with some odd jobs. I hope they’ll be shopping with her in a few years too.

    I think if the personalities mix well, such an arrangment is worthwhile. But I am aware of another couple who did it with the wife’s mom and step-dad. The tensions resulted in worse relatoinships and a breakup of the in-law’s marriage. Needs to be thoughtout carefully, communicated about clearly and openly, and arranged prayerfully.


  4. Pete: True, and so sad when relationships end up severed. Living with a MIL doesn’t have to be forever. I give you kudos for having lived with yours for a while. 🙂

  5. I’m a great believer in intergenerational relationships, too. We lived next door to my mother-in-law from the time our oldest child was ten. One of the reasons we moved back to the area, was so that the children would know their grandparents.

    We installed an intercom between our houses, which allowed Grandma to maintain her independence longer. Later as dementia progressed, our daughters and we took turns being with her. There were also great-grandchildren that came to visit, and they had great fun together.

    You can see us doing a puzzle together on my website.

  6. Millie: How fortunate to find a house available next door! That would be a good arrangement.

  7. I feel lucky that i have my grandparents with me.In this you have mentioned that one can adopt grandparents if they don’t have but you didn’t mention from whre you can

  8. Rajwinder, you can “adopt” grandparents by visiting nursing homes and build relationships with the elderly, and treat them as if they are your grandparents. They would love that.


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