Creating a Healthy Environment in an Extended Household
We all have extended family members whom we love very much. With them, holidays are more fun, and family vacations are more fulfilling. But there may be a time when some of them may move into your own home.
It can be grandparents who want to spend the rest of their lives with their children or relatives facing financial difficulties. Whatever the case may be, living with them is never impossible.
But note that being with them for a defined period can be different from actually living with them indefinitely. There will be instances where it can become suffocating to have other people living with you. With that, you should know how to deal with extended family members when they come to live with you and your family.
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What Can Happen When You Live With Extended Family?
On a global scale, an extended family household is the most common living arrangement. Around 38% of the entire global population lives with extended family. While many have adjusted to this particular lifestyle, knowing its effects on the nuclear family will help create a healthy household for everyone.
Every family has a unique dynamic. Family dynamics are essentially the patterns of interactions between the members of the family. Time and consistent repetition can help create these patterns. Abruptly adding an extended family member to the household can disrupt this existing dynamic.
Expect that there will be changes in the interaction of nuclear family members around extended family members. Although the nuclear family will learn to adjust, it may take time for them to do so. These aren’t necessarily bad changes, but they will make a difference in the nuclear family’s way of life.
With more people in the house, the family’s consumption of resources will also change. Power bills might swell, and you may need to buy more groceries to accommodate everyone’s appetite. This is a subtle change that directly affects the family’s expenses.
With more people in the house, it is expected that the livable space will shrink. This may even cause a few changes in your sleeping arrangements. With less space, the nuclear family may have to adjust room arrangements to accommodate the additional extended members.
It is best to prepare for these situations before choosing to live in houses with larger spaces. If your budget allows, you can invest in a house with a guest room. You might have to consult with mortgage dealers to know the best way to obtain a house with adequate space.
With the different changes that this situation brings, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed. But you are not entirely helpless in these situations. There are things you can do to mitigate tensions that may arise in the future.
What You Can Do To Create a Healthy Household
Your ability to communicate to your nuclear family members, as well as your extended family members, will be key to creating a healthy extended household.
Let the members of your nuclear family know about the entirety of the situation. Orient them regarding why the extended family members are moving in. Let them know the possible changes that may happen around the house. Also, let them know for how long this arrangement will last.
Their expectations will be set regarding this change, and they could prepare better for the impending situation.
Establishing House Rules
Before your extended family moves into your house, make sure you have told them about the things they can and can’t do. Let them know about the house rules you have set up for them. House rules ensure that the harmony inside the house remains intact. This is just a measure to make sure that your new housemates will be good and respectful.
Establishing Personal Boundaries
Sharing your home with your extended relatives may require you to establish personal boundaries. These boundaries are the guidelines you set for your relationships. In this case, you must establish personal boundaries with your extended family members.
With personal boundaries, you ensure that you are treated the way you want to be treated and that the people you have set your boundaries with will act accordingly. Personal boundaries preserve the respect between you and your extended family members.
Note that at the end of the day, they are still family. Even when it becomes a bit stressful, make sure that you treat each other with respect.
It takes courage and a good heart to let them in your home. Even though this situation brings massive changes around your household, it also brings good change. Change that is built on caring for one’s own. Change that is built on love for family.