Yesterday, we discussed the importance of talking to your spouse before having a parent move in.
Today we’re looking at talking to your kids.
Kids are smarter than most people give them credit for! They’ll pick up on any tension that’s going on (if there is any) while you and your spouse are talking this over.
Let the kids know what is going on. Give them age appropriate insight, and ask them to pray about the situation with you.
Here are some age appropriate ideas to get the conversation rolling. I’m only including age groups that are currently represented here at the Tanner house, as that’s what I know best! Don’t worry–we have most age groups covered!
Toddlers–very simplified information. You’ll see these are mainly based on actions–things that the child can do to help prepare. Toddlers need to be involved, to feel useful.
-Grandpa might come and live with us.
-Can you help us pick up the toys in this room to make room for Grandpa?
-Let’s make a shelf to keep Grandpa’s things on. Can you hand me nails?
Preschoolers–a little more information, reassurance about family stability
-Grandpa needs a new home. Mommy and Daddy are talking about having him come and live with us.
-If Grandpa came to live here, could you help us make a playroom upstairs for your toys?
-Mommy and Daddy love you so much, and we want to show love to Grandpa. He needs a place to stay, and we’ll be turning this room into a room for him.
Early Elementary – Age appropriate information, asking their opinion (though they know they don’t have the final say..), pointing out benefits
-Something happened, and Grandpa is going to need a new home. What would you think about him moving in with us?
-Grandpa might be moving in. What do you think we could do with the things in this room to clean it out for him?
-Grandpa has lots of movies you like to watch. If he moves in, should we snuggle on the couch and watch some?
Middle Schoolers – Definitely old enough for more in-depth conversations, and can be a great source of ideas for how to make multi-generational living work.
-(Situation explained in detail), and Grandpa needs a new home. What do you think would be good parts about him moving in with us?
-What would be a challenge?
-How can we overcome the challenges as a family?
-Which room do you think would be best for Grandpa?
-What can we do to help Grandpa feel more at home?
No matter their age, your kids need you to talk to them about becoming a multi-generational house. It’s a big change for everyone, and having these conversations will help everyone transition more smoothly!
Did you talk with your kids before becoming a multi-generational house? What points can you add to the ones above?