Everyone on earth had two parents. Should you be fortunate enough, your parents will still be around when you start raising a family yourself one day. Having your parents in the house when you have small children could unluckily also be a source of unhappiness and conflict.
Having your parents live on the same premises could be a huge blessing for a working family. The kids will not be alone. The house will not stand empty all day and be a magnet for burglars. There will be somebody to regularly water the garden and perhaps even prepare food for the family when they come home after a busy day at the office.
Many of the problems experienced by children with parents living with them can be traced back to two issues: the grandparents interfere with the way they raise their children and the lack of privacy. If you have someone living with you, it obviously means less privacy for you and your partner. This is just one more reason why you should seriously consider to make a good long term investment in this regard. I am talking about a separate apartment where your parents can live (called a granny flat in the UK).
One very important aspect to remember is that the granny flat should have its own kitchen, where your mother can cook for her and your father. Make sure it’s fully fitted with all the necessary conveniences. When choosing an oven, buy a good quality one that can last for the rest of their lives. A delonghi oven will always be a good choice.
You should ensure that the flat can be easily accessed. When you’re healthy and young, you sometimes forget how hard it is for a person suffering from leg arthritis to climb stairs. A wheelchair ramp is another good idea – even though it might not be necessary now it could become a huge asset later on.
Then allow them to spend some time with the grandchildren. You absolutely have to compromise here. It’s terrible for elderly people if their children cuts them off from their grandchildren. Once in a while take the baby bath to your parent’s flat and allow grandma to give a hand during the bathing ritual – it will remind her of the days when you were young and make her feel needed again.
You don’t have to take your parents with every time you go for a drive or visit friends. But never taking them with you anywhere is sure to harm your relationship and make them feel unwelcome. Make a point of going on a family trip once a week where grandpa and grandma are able to bond with their grandchildren.
Remember: you are also going to get old. The way you treat your parents now is carefully watched by your own children. If you treat your parents without respect, this will come back to haunt you one day, perhaps when you least expect it.