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How Can Multi-Generational Families Live in Peace?

The Christian Perspective / Chris Hughes
The Truth Network Radio
June 24, 2022 5:30 am

How Can Multi-Generational Families Live in Peace?

The Christian Perspective / Chris Hughes

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June 24, 2022 5:30 am

Listen again! Connie Albers and Chris Hughes talk about the unique challenges that families face when adult children live at home and older parents move into your house.

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Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and choosing the Truth Podcast Network. Here is the founder and chairman of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes. Multigenerational living.

You ever thought about that? Well, we're going to talk about it today on Family Friday, and of course Connie Albert, my co-host. She's the expert on everything to do with family, and she's going to tell us a lot today about what multigenerational family living is like and what we can do within our own families.

Of course, we always want to find ways to bring our families closer to each other and closer to God, so you're going to want to be listening today, call your friends, and tell them it's Family Friday. Connie Albert is on today, not just boring Chris Hughes. We've got Connie, like every Friday. You want to mark your calendar every Friday to be here with Connie Albert. Well, welcome to The Christian Perspective.

I'm Chris Hughes, and my co-host Connie Albert is with us today. We're so excited to be coming to you from the beautiful campus of Mid-America College and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. If you are looking for a place to go to school, I want to highly recommend, I mean, you need to always bathe in prayer every decision, particularly where your children and grandchildren, or maybe even you if you're listening, are going to school. But if you want to develop a great biblical worldview and go to a school that understands the sufficiency of Scripture, the inerrancy of Scripture, you're not going to be learning CRT or any of this other nonsense that's even made its way into many seminaries around the country today. I want to encourage you to take a look at College of Mid-America, and if you're later in life or you finish college and you just want to learn more about God's Word with the blessing of online learning that we have today, Mid-America was way ahead of the curve before COVID hit, but now they're even better. And they have wonderful seminary programs online. You don't have to go to Memphis or some of their branch campuses around the country.

You can study right there, perhaps your own home on the internet. So I encourage you to take a look at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, and we want to thank our primary sponsor, the Citizens for America Foundation, for making this show possible. The Citizens for America Foundation is an organization that educates and trains Christians to understand what they believe and why they believe it, and encourage them to develop a biblical worldview, and then to take that knowledge specifically into the arena of public policy and politics, so we can elect godly men and women to public office, put an end to things like abortion and the destruction of family and so many other things that are going on, and to build a society based on the Word of God and impact the culture for Jesus. And I want to encourage you to go to their website,, and check out, there's an event listed on the very front page called the Culture Engagement Summit.

Y'all, you do not want to miss. This is the greatest event, the largest event of its kind, and really in the history of the country. It's going to be on April 30th in Memphis, Tennessee, just about 15 minutes from the airport, easy to get to, Uber, taxi, Lyft, however you want to get there.

You can drive to Mid-America. It's going to be on April 30th, it's just Saturday, and it's called the Culture Engagement Summit. Dr. Robert Jeffers, America's pastor, is going to be there. Great radio host and former Fox News host, Todd Starnes, firm believer and a conservative Christian. You're going to want to hear what Todd has to say about a culture today. President Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, will be there.

He is a strong man of God and has a unique insight of what's happening in the country and around the world today. Senator Jim DeMint, Senator Marsha Blackburn, more than 20 speakers, and my favorite speaker, Connie Albers, our co-host here on The Christian Perspective. I can't wait to hear what Connie's got to tell us today about God's word. Connie, I'm so glad you're here today. Boy, I'm excited to hear what you're going to say. I hope people will go to register today at just to come hear you speak at the Culture Engagement Summit. I'm excited. Oh, Chris, I'm excited too. It's going to be impactful for sure because as you and I both know, culture in America and around the world is rapidly changing.

It's been for the last couple of years, but definitely within the last year. We're facing the two-year mark since the world faced with a virus that radically changed families, livelihood, income, cost of living, churches, how we attended churches. All those speakers that you have lined up for the Culture Engagement are going to be bringing their latest information of what's going on and how families and how citizens can get involved, get engaged, and push back on the culture that's trying to break down families, change how we worship the Lord, and how we engage in politics in general. So, absolutely, listeners need to register, plan, get a hotel, bring a friend, get good girlfriends, make it a girlfriend or a family weekend, and come. You will not be disappointed.

So, I'm excited. I'm going to talk today about multi-generational living, and what a great topic to discuss. It is a topic that people have often asked me about, especially as a mom of five.

All my children lived at home, and I didn't think about multi-generational living. It wasn't titled this way. It was just something that our family chose to do, and so I'm looking forward to shining a light, a positive, as well as talking about the disadvantages that, you know, you've got to go into something with your eyes wide open so that you can address problems before they arise. But, you know, today as we kind of unpack what multi-generational living is, and if it could possibly work for you or your family, I think listeners today are going to walk away going, hmm, maybe this is for our family, or maybe it is something that we need to pray about. Well, Connie, it is a timely topic, and our family has actually participated in this, but for those who are listening, I mean, that's a term we hear a lot.

It's a buzzword in books and on different TV shows and maybe some of the Dr. Philon type shows, but what do you mean? Tell our listeners, what is multi-generational living? You know, at its core, it's basically two or more generations living together under the same roof, not necessarily a mother-in-law suite off the back, but literally in the same household, maybe sharing the same kitchen, living space. But that's really what it means, and it could be something as simple as your kids living at home beyond high school.

Maybe they're college kids or they're trying to get their finances built up so they're living at home, or it could be elderly parents moving in with their kids for various reasons that we'll discuss in a little bit. But at the essence, that's really what multi-generational family living is, and it's not uncommon. And other countries, Chris, this is commonplace. It's really an American Western tradition of, okay, 18 and out, but other cultures have been doing it successfully for centuries. It's Americans that have now caught on, and I would say even wisely wised up to the idea that this could be a really good, effective way of doing life together.

Connie, I'm so glad you wanted to talk about this today. I've traveled all over the world. For a while, we had pretty extensive ministries in India and built some orphanages there, but really since about 2011, we've done a lot of work in the Philippines, helped start 36 churches there.

And you're exactly right. Other ethnic groups and people in other countries, particularly the Filipinos, are very, very family-oriented. In the United States, like you said, you get 18 or 21, sometimes when you finish high school or later when you finish college, the kids are kind of booted out. And then they don't really ever reconnect in a strong way sometimes with their parents again, but that's not the way it is in many other countries. So that's one of the good things about legal immigration, where people have come into the United States, is one of the good things that many of these other cultures have brought, and it's not just in the Philippines, in Hispanic and Latin countries and others around the world, and particularly in South America and others, there's this strong connection that your parents always have a tremendous influence on your life. I'm not saying that arranged marriages, my daughter would cringe, Daddy, no, don't pick my husband. But in India, a lot of times when we were there, many of the pastors I knew, their parents, because they trusted their parents to find a godly spouse for them, many times, and again, I'm not suggesting, y'all don't get nervous, don't start emailing me, and certainly don't blame Connie. This is Chris talking, and we're not talking today about picking spouses, but I'm just saying the parents had a great influence.

Well, Connie, you didn't know this, I'll share a story, I'm eating into your time here, but we've lived this on both sides. I mean, my kids are like yours are now gone, they're in college, but during COVID, they both came back. So a family that didn't intend to necessarily, although I love having the kids back, didn't intend necessarily to be multi-generational living in that sense, both our kids had to come back, and many of the families listening, I know, and I don't know if that's part of what you'd tend to talk about today, but they faced that, but when we moved to North Carolina in 2014, we knew my parents and Vicki's parents were getting older, and so when we were looking for our final home, where we hopefully would never have to move again, we wanted a home that at some point, understanding that our parents might need to live with us, basically, so our house, we live in the mountains, and in the mountain area, a lot of places around the country don't have, like where you live in Florida, I don't think y'all really have basements that much where you live, you might, but anyway, where we are- Well, there's pretty waterlogged if you do.

Yeah, yeah. You know, it's good to be able to know why. But where we are, a lot of people have basements, so we found a home that we were really blessed where basically there's two houses on top of each other, you know, there's a separate kitchen and all that downstairs, and so eventually my parents moved in, but it created some challenges, because culturally, you know, the United States, that's not traditionally how it's done, so we had to learn some things. So I'm hoping today you can share with us where we can learn about other families. So sometimes there's cultural issues.

How do other cultures learn to live together? Because it's a challenge. Oh, you know, that's so true. And the fact that you were just mentioning how your home was set up in a certain way with a house on top of a house, that's a great example of how families that think in that mindset, hey, one day mom and dad are going to live with us, or I want to be able to have a space for when my kids become adults. Maybe we're trying to encourage debt-free living, and you know, you and I both know what our children are facing.

Just being able to afford a house, Chris, is really difficult, especially in this market. And the idea of designing a home with that in mind is actually wise if you're forward thinking in that, because you're setting yourself up for less conflict and greater ease and maybe not such a radical change in your lifestyle, because as you were saying, when your children go away, you know, they move out, then like you and Vicki, you adjust and you start this empty nest life, and it's a life that doesn't involve your kids and your kids' schedules and maybe even planning dinners or anything. It's, hey, what do we want to do? It becomes more us and not as a family unit. But when the children come back, which is many, many, many times the case, the boomerang kids and shortfalls and financial issues. But, you know, as we come back from the break, let's dive deeper into that, because I know we're up on a break right now. Yep, let's do so. Folks, we're talking today about multigenerational living.

It's something that's becoming more common in the United States. Connie, I was with me today like every Friday. We're talking about what it is and how we can adjust to the kids' family and not kill each other, but love each other because God intended that as a family. Stick around.

We'll be right back. Walk in the footsteps of Jesus and see the Bible come to life. This December, join nationally syndicated radio host and founder of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes, on a life-changing trip to Israel. It's one of the world's oldest and most fascinating travel destinations. Learn the faithful from all over the world for thousands of years, visit Jerusalem's religious quarters and explore Christianity's most treasured religious sites, like the Wailing Wall, the Dome of the Rock and the Via Dolorosa. Walk with Chris through the winding alleyways of Nazareth's Old City and visit ancient Bethlehem, the place of our Savior's birth. Float in the Dead Sea, visit the Sea of Galilee and the Jewish fortress of Masada. See firsthand where the events of the Bible took place. Touring Israel with Dr. Chris Hughes is a travel odyssey like no other.

Visit and get ready for an unforgettable trip and memories that will last a lifetime. Do you desire to build family relationships that stand the test of time? Does creating a Godly family seem like a daunting challenge?

You're not alone. I'm Connie Alpers, author of Parenting Beyond the Rules and host of Equipped to Be. As a mother of five, I understand your struggles. For 35 years I have been helping families just like yours build lasting relationships. I'd like to invite you to tune in to Equipped to Be and visit where I share useful tips and proven strategies to help you navigate the seasons of motherhood, faith and life with confidence and joy. History was made on today's date.

Stay tuned for an American Minute with Bill Federer. His travels were exceeded only by Lewis and Clark. He led expeditions up the Missouri River, discovered the South Pass through the Rockies and the first land route to California. He led settlers across the Santa Fe Trail, the Mojave Desert and up the Oregon Coast. His name was Jedediah Smith, born this day June 24, 1798. In a letter to his brother, Jedediah Smith wrote, Many hostile Indians inhabit this space. In August, ten men with me lost their lives by the Amuchabas Indians. I have needed your prayers to bear me up before the throne of grace. This has been an American Minute with Bill Federer.

For a free transcript, call American Minute at 1-888-USA-WORD. Welcome back to Christian Perspectives. Chris Hughes, Connie Ivers and I are here today talking about multi-generational living around the world. A lot of people plan to have their parents live with them and even their children live with them. But for some reason in the United States, that has not been something that's happened in our culture.

But we're starting to see more of it as homes are more expensive and COVID kids were sent back. And just before the break, Connie was talking to us about how other cultures learn to live together. It's a challenge, Connie, I can tell you for us. I mean, I love my parents and all, but you get used to your way of living and OK, so I'm going to be gross here.

You know, guys might be used to walking around in your underwear and you can't do that anymore, you know, or you're like, why did you even say that? I mean, that sounds like a simple thing, but the way you dress and the way you live at home, the food you eat. I tell you, that was a big challenge because we dietary changes, you know, sometimes not only older people, but other people eat differently than you eat. And we tried to have supper together and they were living with us. There are a lot of a lot of challenges, not just culturally, but, you know, food and diet and you know, how much time.

You know, that was another thing, Connie, where people wouldn't get their feelings hurt. How much time do you have to spend? Does your family unit get to spend time alone or does everything have to be done with them? Those are all important elements that we need to consider if that is the direction that we feel God's calling us to do. And frankly, I'll go out on a limb here and say, I think that's a biblical model of families doing life together. It doesn't mean your kids are always going to live with you because we certainly don't want our children, you know, like failure to launch or anything. But when we paint a picture for our kids, as we model what doing life looks like, it may mean your kids coming back. It might mean having your parents live with you temporarily, like I had. I moved my mom and her husband in with us when my mother got ill. And I viewed that, Chris, as an opportunity to teach my kids how to honor our elders and how to put them, you know, because in scripture God never tells us not to honor our father and mother.

It doesn't end just because of a numerical age. We always honor our parents. It doesn't mean we treat them like children. We honor them, the role that they place in our life and the value that God places on them. As far as our children, you know, we want to set them up to succeed in their endeavors or, you know, everybody has a position on that. But let's kind of dive into, you know, how do you even make this work?

And I will set the stage. As a mother of five, all of our children lived at home after high school. And I'm often interviewed about this because it seems so foreign and strange. It's like, why? Didn't you guys want to be alone and, you know, isn't it time to kick the kids out? I'm like, yes, that's your goal. And your goal is to get this life that you so desire. But our desire was for our kids to want to enjoy the new life with us, want to go on vacations together, which all ten of us just went on a vacation together with different personalities and attitudes and quirks and dietary needs.

So the things that you brought up. But here are some of the reasons why people are choosing. Especially, it came in big after World War II and then again in 2009 after the housing bubble and just prices increased again. Now we're back to that point where home ownership is difficult for young families. Getting into a home, maybe they don't have a large down payment, so they'll live at mom and dad, could be even a married couple, one of your married kids, so that they can bank money to be able to buy their own home.

That's one reason. Another reason is then you can share the cost. It's the burden of home ownership, bills, maintenance, upkeep, all of that can be shared. And if you have elderly parents living with you, they're not going to go out and do yard work.

But, Chris, what they will do is maybe do some grocery shopping or maybe they'll prepare the food or they'll take care of the kids while the younger couple has to work. And so they provide the child care because child care has gone through the roof. Another thing is to help the older generation not have to pay for assisted living care, which can eat into an elder, our parents' resources. They can blow through money quickly, but if you can make it work where they live together, it saves their resources or at least extends them for a greater number of years. The other thing is their shared responsibility, and that's not a bad thing. Learning to share the responsibilities of laundry and upkeep and maintenance, it's really serving each other and looking for ways to serve each other. And, again, it pulls the family in closer because, one, it curtails the loneliness that has happened over the last couple years of isolation, anxiety, depression, which can come from being alone in a single place.

But if you have a home that's bustling with people, you can share even the emotional, the physical, the spiritual upheavals that we have gone through. So, as I was saying to you, all five of the kids stayed at home after they graduated and attended college. I'm not saying that's for everyone, but we wanted our children to get through college debt-free.

And if you put those costs on a spreadsheet, numbers don't lie. And it afforded my children, even though all of them had academic scholarships, it afforded them the ability to graduate college debt-free with money in the bank. And then that lent itself toward purchasing a home or buying a better car than the beater car that they had going into college. And it also gave us opportunity for conversation. So, there's a slew of blessings that come when you choose to embrace that kind of lifestyle. But it's a mindset, Chris. It's a mindset of, hey, we know there's going to be a lot of give and take. So, I would say, as we come back from the break, because I know you're coming up on a break here in just a few minutes, and I want you to interject, but when we come back, we'll talk about, there are disadvantages. There are some things you have to work through in order for it to work.

Before we do that, Connie, I want to jump in. I want to dig in, because some of those issues, I don't want us to just pass those, because people are living with this. It's becoming more common, and you've had experience.

I've had experience. Maybe they can learn from some of the things that we learn from so they don't make maybe the same mistakes there. But it's so important, as you said, incurring debt. With older parents, they don't want to go to a nursing home. They would rather be with family, and I know that's not always possible. But there are challenges, so maybe, like with Vicki and I, we were a military family coming off of our last assignment, so we were looking for home. Not everybody is going to be looking for home, but if you are, you need to be thinking about it. Even younger people that think that they're moving to their forever home, one day you're probably going to have kids.

Like you said, when they go to college, they don't want to be sharing bedrooms anymore if they don't have to, and they want a certain level of privacy. You might be faced, and I'm thankful that more American families are starting to begin to take care of their parents. You might think, well, I'd rather stick with my nursing home. Well, like Connie said, it's expensive to send somebody, and your parents may not be able to pay for it, so that means you might have to pay for it. Well, it might be much cheaper just to bite the bullet. Maybe add $200 or $300. I'm not trying to encourage you to add debt, but $200 or $300 a month now is a lot cheaper than paying $7,000 or $8,000, which really can be that much or more sometimes for nursing home care down the line if you plan ahead and get a home that is ready for that. I love what you said about helping your kids as they incur debt.

It was something I was thinking a while ago, and I'm trying to remember what I wanted to talk to you. You talked about shared responsibilities and shared costs, and I don't know if we can cover that real quickly, but I know particularly when my parents came, people warned me, you need to have, and not in a bad way, so if my mom's listening, don't get mad. It's not in a bad way, but just y'all need to have understandings because they've lived by themselves for years, and the same with kids. I mean, there was a transition. I don't know if this was your case. My expectations were different for my adult kids than they were for a 10- or 11-year-old.

Absolutely. Now you're in college, and some of your friends are living on their own. They're paying their bills. I mean, I expect you to wash your clothes. I expect you to wash your dishes. You need to help clean the house. This is your house.

You might need to mow the grass. The expectation level, and I don't know how you feel about that, Connie, but I felt like if you're going to be an adult, you need to act like an adult. I love having you here, but I'm trying to... And it wasn't about being mean or that I didn't want to do those duties, but they need to learn the responsibility as an adult because at some point they are going to launch to start doing more. How do you feel about that?

Absolutely. I mean, when your children get married, or even if they have a roommate, they're not going to want to live with a slob. They're not going to want to have to get up in the morning and go to the kitchen and wash their roommate or their spouse's dirty dishes before they even start getting their morning coffee. It's really, Chris, just a matter of considering others is more important than yourself. Our college kids or our young adults that are trying to get their feet on the ground, maybe they've had some financial woes and setbacks, but living with others is really just the act of serving one another.

So I had a thing. I did not like coming down the stairs in the morning to see 15 cups on my counter. It just really bothered me because it's like, okay, I can live with some mess, but let me at least start my day with a clean kitchen. That may not be other people's issue, but it was certainly mine, and it was an issue I truly had to continually wrestle with because other people, other of my kids, didn't have the same level or care if the sink was clean in the morning. They could care less, and they would come in late at night. But what you said was so true, Chris. As our kids grow, we have to change and adjust, and that does not mean that they walk all over us or they set the rules of the house or they have the mandate and it's their way or else there's chaos.

No. I would always tell our kids, hey, the door locks from the inside, and that's to keep people out, not to keep you in. And so learning to live together just means, hey, listen, this is how we are going to do it, and we established those early on. Hey, as you're getting older, and this happens in the teen years, not just in college, but we should be transferring responsibility of laundry, keeping the house clean, maintaining the yard, even doing repairs and a home.

That is something that we should all partake in. It shouldn't fall to just dad. It shouldn't fall to just mom. And just because you're a college kid and you're so busy, so is mom and dad. The expectation shouldn't be we're living as we were kids with complete and total autonomy and freedom. That's not real life.

Well, Connie, that's a great place to take a break. Y'all, we're talking about multigenerational living, which is a real issue in America today. Stick around, we'll be right back with more on the Christian perspective. Your tour will include an up-close and personal look at the nation's establishment and how it's evolved over the centuries. Learn about the government and the men who helped forge this new kind of republic, one that acknowledged the creator from its very inception. Know the truth about the creation of the United States of America, about the faith of the founding fathers, and how Christian principles were used to establish this form of government. Visit today and secure your spot to join Chris Hughes in Washington, D.C. this June.

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Welcome back to Christian Perspective. Connie and I are talking today about multi-generational living, really on both ends. You might have children who are out of high school or in college, maybe out of college living with you for a period of time or maybe your parents have moved back in with you and you're trying to decide what that next step will be and how do you set boundaries for your college kids living with you again or your parents. Well, we've talked about some of the advantages and really, Connie, we probably should do another show about this somewhere down the line and really kind of dig in because I think there's some great advice, particularly since you've been through it, that you can share with people out there. Even though there are advantages, there's a lot of disadvantages of having your kids come back or your parents live with you. Let's talk about, one is a lack of privacy.

Let's talk about that a little bit. Yeah, you touched on that and obviously with me having five, you even talked about when your kids came back. Our kids were here and as you adjust, their curfew gets later, but that doesn't mean, and I'm going to come back to the privacy, but that curfew getting later and all those adjustments they go through, just because you're in college doesn't mean you can come home at three, four, five in the morning or not come home at all without letting other people know.

And here's why. We live together with other people and other people, if something were to happen to you, they wouldn't even begin to know where you are. It keeps them up at night and in my case, as my kids were in college, I still had younger children at home.

So again, you have to live with one another with thoughtfulness, kindness, consideration, courtesy. You know, dad and I still had to get up and go to work in the morning. So if you come in at four in the morning and wake us up because you decide you're hungry and you bang around in the kitchen, then maybe the little ones are going to wake up and they're not going to fall back asleep, or maybe you're going to wake up mom and dad and then they're not going to fall asleep.

And as you get older, it gets harder to sleep anyway, as you know, I'm just saying. So that's an important aspect. But the privacy issue is you need to establish some boundaries of who's controlling the remote, who's going to be in the kitchen. Is the kitchen like a 24-7 kitchen and there's always something happening with dirty dishes? Is there times where, you know, mom and dad, if you're married, if you're single, even if you're single, there's times where you just need your own space. And so that privacy has to be discussed and worked through, and a common agreement needs to be made. Your college kids, your adult children, or your married children that might be living with you, they need time, just them. And you know, Chris, it's just being aware that other people have certain needs for space, for privacy, for quietness, so that there's not constant noise and chaos in your home.

It is something that can be a big disadvantage if you have people that are being inconsiderate living with you. And that has to be addressed, because what can happen, Chris, is you hurt and harm the very relationship you were trying to build and protect. Well, that was something. You're like stepping all over my toes today. This is all hot and fresh with me. You know, my kids were going away from college.

They come back home. Neither of my kids are really big partiers or go out a whole lot anyway, but particularly with one of my children, and I won't tell you her name. Now I'm in trouble. But she's like, well, Dad, you know, you didn't know, and I'm addressing the issue you said of just letting us know when you're coming home. You know, she's like, well, you know, when I was away for college and I lived 1,000 miles away, you weren't keeping track of where I was every minute.

Well, I actually had a tracker on her phone. But... That's a whole other show. But she's like, you know, I'm an adult. And, you know, sometimes that's hard as parents. You know, yes, you're an adult, but I would encourage our college students or, you know, children who come back. It's not about, well, I mean, I guess it could be, but in the case of most parents, it's not about controlling you. Like you said, Connie, you know, this is our... One, you know, it's our house, if someone opens the door in the middle of the night and you hear it close, you know, if you're in a dead sleep and you've been used to living alone for a while, you don't know if a robber or whatever's come in the house, but you still worry about your kids, you know, and that's something a child doesn't understand.

It never goes away. And, you know, like I told her, yeah, well, you didn't know that every Friday and Saturday night, even though I didn't know where you were, I spent hours with my niece praying, you know, that you were safe. And so, you know, just... So for a college kid, your parents aren't trying to control, but just out of courtesy, you know, hey, Mom, I think I'm probably going to be out till 1 in the morning, just want to let you know, you know, I'll be coming in around 1. That's not a control thing, guys.

Just let your parents know. It just... We worry about you because we love you. It's not about control. We love you and we just want to know you're safe. And so you could remove a lot of tension. I think a lot of tension, Connie, comes, at least, you know, and our house did. And, you know, mine weren't going out all the time, but, you know, they've been away for a while, you know, in the case of mine in college and then came back after COVID. We're even...

So I'm living this right now. As we record this show, I just drove up to visit my daughter last night, and she's in the middle of finals right now. And she has been harassing me all week. When are you coming?

When are you coming? I'm like, you know, don't worry about it. I'm not going to bother you. She's like, well, I need to know because, you know, she feels like she needs to spend time with me, and then she also needs privacy because she needs to study for her finals. And, you know, once she explained that, you know, I'm like, you know, why are you so worried about it? And then I understand, okay, you're in finals, and I was bringing two dogs with me, and she's like, you know, I can't have the dogs bark and I really need to study.

Well, just that little bit of communication, I now know to give her privacy, and I understand why it's not a personal side against me, you know. So a lot of that goes on. You know, probably nobody out there will listen or cares, but there are issues when your kids come back and live with you, and there are disadvantages.

That's exactly right. You know, mine didn't go away to college, but you've got to get, as a parent, you've got to remember how you were, and maybe that's what makes parents so afraid. Boy, that scares me to death. They do remember what they were like in college, and they want to, you know, keep their kids from some of the same woes or consequences that they face, that we face. But you want to remember your children are going towards something. Their future is ahead of them, and we want them to be excited. We want them to somewhat be fearless, and they're naturally going to be excited. We're kind of saying goodbye to something that was very familiar to us, and that was the sweetness of those younger children or the deep conversations or knowing their every move. There's a real transition happening between mom and dad and those kids, and if we stop to consider their need and just say, hey, you know, like you said, I'm not trying to cramp your style. I'm not trying to invade your space. I just need a few moments of connectedness, and then, you know, you can have like the whole week. But even though ours didn't do that, your kids, especially your adult children, they're very, very social.

I will say this. We implemented curfews. It wasn't that they had a 9 o'clock curfew. That would be unrealistic, or even an 11 o'clock curfew. Your kids should be taking responsibility. For example, if they have a 7 a.m. class, then it's not going to take too many late nights for them to realize, man, if I don't show up for class, I'm going to miss something and probably bomb the test.

There is some natural consequence to life, but ours had a curfew, and it was a reasonable curfew for a college-age student. And again, it's because we're not forcing you to live here. We're helping you. You're an invited, valuable part to our family.

But Dad and I don't stay up all night long, nor do we get up, well, I actually do get up at 5 in the morning, but I don't get up at 5 in the morning and wander around down the hall with a pot and a spoon banging it so that I can wake everybody up. We're considerate. So we want to be mindful of what their needs are.

Like your sweet daughter was like, she was nervous. What are Dad's expectations? And Chris, I think that's something we want to talk about, is how do we set and manage those expectations, establish the rules for the most part. Like what are the rules and the boundaries we're going to set so that when that child does move out or when our situation changes, our relationships are stronger and not fractured. Boy, that's so important, because we do want to have that continuing, even a closer relationship, but that relationship looks completely different as you become hopefully friends with your kids, and you and Tom have been very successful at making that happen. Well, it's fun.

I love being able to share. Ours wasn't the only way or maybe even the right way, but I want to invite parents to consider the option, consider the possibilities of what your family can look like. Now obviously, Chris, your kids had a specific degree they were seeking, and as is a lot of families, and that's going to require their children going away to a college that takes them from your city, from your house.

Some kids, especially firstborns or those children that are just wanting to embrace the world, they want their space and they want to get out of Mom and Dad's house, not because they don't like Mom and Dad, but they're ready to take on the world. Now, that's okay, too. There's not one right way, but there may be times when you all are all back together again. You can make it work, and it can be a beautiful experience.

It doesn't mean it's easy, but as you know, as a married couple, you have to learn to die to yourself. You can't live a selfish life, and we're not supposed to. We are really supposed to serve others, but that doesn't mean be doormats, and that doesn't mean to be taken advantage of. Our adult kids living at home doesn't mean they should do all the work and we just sit around.

No, we're now transferring that responsibility because we are all adults, and we do have different habits and routines and preferences. Your daughter, she needs quiet when she's got to study, and if she were to be living at home, as ours were, I had some that they had to have music on. They couldn't study without it. I had some that they just had to have space.

They could not deal with a lot of people. They had to have space, and they were given that space, and it was something that we had to intentionally, and I think that's the thing as we discuss this in the next segment. What does that look like when you have to give space and defer to your own wants and preferences, and when do you need to insist on your wants and preferences because either or is not totally right or totally wrong. It's not wrong to voice your needs, and it's not wrong for your adult children or even your parents to voice their needs. Well, Connie, let's take a quick break, and we'll come back in the final segment. Let's talk about that because that is something you need to consider as you merge together as a family. Stick around, folks.

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This is Chris Hughes. Connie and I are talking about multi-generational living. What does it look like when your kids come back home to live with you or they're just adults and living with you? Or maybe you bring your parents back to live under your roof. How do you negotiate some of these things? Connie, you were talking about figuring out how to make it work.

What are some of the things you suggest? Okay, the first thing I suggest is discuss the scenarios. If something happens, if you get your feelings hurt, you brought that up earlier, if someone gets their feelings hurt, because let's say you, I am an extrovert, and I live in a home of introverts. So my desire to wake up in the morning is genuinely, I want to see everybody and say, good morning, how did you sleep, what's your day going to look like? But I live with a house of, I lived, like all my kids but one, and even my husband, they wake up in the morning and they don't want to talk. They certainly don't want to discuss their day.

They need time. So you have to be aware of that. You've got to discuss each person's needs, like a true need, and then where can we give? Some mornings, just go with it.

Just say, good morning, mom, what are you doing today? Humor me. All that takes is a little bit of awareness and conversation. So you want to discuss those scenarios, Chris, and then how are we going to resolve them?

I don't advise brushing it under the rug. I mean, we don't want to stuff, but we also don't want to verbalize everything that comes into our mind and let it come out our mouth because that's not always wise either. We want to pray. We want to pray and ask the Lord to help us find areas of unity, find areas of togetherness, find areas where we need to be sensitive to the needs of others. Those are all biblical principles, Chris.

Those are not something new. It's laid out in scripture. We want to define and discuss what the expectations are. And if you've got elderly parents, what are those expectations? Well, that your elderly parents, as I and you have probably experienced, they can be very demanding and extremely time-consuming. They could require you to be with them and talk with them and sit with them. Meanwhile, you've got work to do.

My husband and I both worked out of our home. Have those conversations. I had to have them with my mom that I wasn't always available, that I had to have time blocks where I had to get work done. And I would let them know ahead of time, this is the plans for my week. I won't be able to be with you on this day because I will be traveling or I have this happening.

But I will be back here and I will take you to the doctor or I will do those things. So you're probably hearing me say we have to set those expectations and lay them out and then constantly work on tweaking them, which takes intentionality. And then you have to decide who's going to do what. You all only do your laundry, like your bed sheets or your laundry. Okay, who's going to take care of the laundry that happens just from doing life together in one home, the kitchen towels or the tablecloth? Yeah, who's going to do that?

Who's it going to fall on? All of that's shared and we discuss it and we realize, no, it's a community. And we're going to pitch in. Sometimes if mom and dad are super stressed, they're going to need whoever's living there to kind of pitch in. Maybe if it's your elderly parents, they're doing those things as their contribution and vice versa. And there are times when your kids, like your daughter is under the gun with college, like if it's finals week, I would intentionally have food available.

It didn't mean I made breakfast, lunch and dinner, but if I knew they were specifically stressed, well, food is extremely important to good test-taking skills, general health, clear brain function. So I would make sure I would build that into my day. And you want to exercise grace, a lot of grace and patience. That goes a long way and just remembering your way. Some people have family members that, you know, they're right. They've thought it through and this is the right way and they're living with people that, well, that's your way.

That's not mine. And that doesn't mean we're talking about relativity. It just means we have to be flexible and realizing that that is probably the right way to change a tire, but other people might do it a little differently and the tire will still get changed or the yard will still get mowed or, you know, all the different things that we have to do. And some kids want to make it fun and others want to just get it done. So we have to remind each other that God made us different with unique gifts, strengths and talents and that each of us contributes something to the overall health and well-being of our family. Connie, you've covered so many things that run through my mind as you're giving these great gifts.

I should just take one at a time. It's okay, Chris, this is what I think. What do you think? I'm so dumb, I can't remember everything that's coming. But I want to cover some of the things you touched on just because, folks, it's something you do have to think about before you go in. I mean, the simple thing like Connie was talking about sharing responsibilities and I'm going to be so much in trouble in my family, Connie, over the show because I share some stories here.

I seem to do that to you every week. Yeah, I'm going to really get in trouble today. Usually it's just my kids.

I can get by it with them. My mom's going to get mad at me today. But with the kids and laundry, for example, like you said, sometimes college kids don't think, well, other people in the house have dirty laundry, but I don't have something to wear to go out Friday night, so I'm going to wash my clothes. In my opinion, as I've told the kids, if you're going to fill up the washing machine with water, ask. Other people might have something that needs to be washed too. So it's simple little communication things, but laundry can become an issue.

Sometimes it backs up because somebody might have an emergency and they need something for work or class or school or whatever. And the same with dishes and cooking with my parents. My mom is a great cook, and I wanted my kids to have the chance to experience, okay, I'm not saying if Icky's listening, I'm not saying she can't cook, and I certainly cook, but my mom's a great cook. And so when they moved in, that was a way that I felt like my mother could contribute, but would be a blessing to my kids because they'd get to see, because I think about food all the time. I love to eat. I love to cook. To me, cooking and food is a social thing. I love having 70 people from church come over, which scares Vicky to death.

It's a social thing for me. But I also, we're from the south, and a lot of southern traditions and foods are being lost, and so I wanted my kids to know what a real homemade biscuit tastes like, not a frozen one or one out of a can. I'm not saying Vicky did that, but we did do that. My mom makes a mean biscuit.

She makes great gravy. Those are things you need to learn that are not difficult, but this is a skill. So I wanted my kids to learn how to cook some food and stuff, so when my parents came, that's one of the things I asked is, Mom, could you cook supper every night? So that was, like you said, kind of preset expectations. But, Connie, what happened was there came a point where that was really beginning to be too much for her. And we didn't necessarily, I mean, cooking for six people, she had some health issues.

So you've got to be sensitive to those things, even if you set expectations. My mom loves to have flowers, so before they ever came, we designated this is, you do anything you want. This section of the yard is yours. And certainly you can do other things, but we're not going to mess with this. You can dig it up, put flower beds, build a waterfall.

I don't care. This is yours, and you can do anything you want there. So a lot of men and women like to garden.

My dad likes to grow tomatoes and stuff, so we preset that. And it was difficult, because I don't know that they ever, we wanted them to feel at home, but I don't know, in their mind sometimes they didn't feel like they could do certain things. So you need to try to make, and I didn't do as good a job as I could, I think, but sometimes I explain, this is your home forever. I want you to be able to, you want to put what furniture you want in here, remodel what you want to remodel.

I don't care. You can do anything you want. Another adjustment from my experience is where people can learn. You were talking about how you like to get up early and chit-chat and all that. I think I'd shoot anybody who came down the hall beating a pot pan. You know, Chris, as we kind of wind down this episode, there's so many areas we could have gone deeper in, and I know parents and your listeners probably are having more questions than answers, and they'd love to know more.

And I'd encourage them to reach out to the show, and we can maybe go deeper another time. But let's just wrap it up with this. You need to respect and honor others and their differences.

I mean, that's a biblical mandate anyway. But to make multigenerational living work, that's a key element. Another is ask each other, how's it going? How am I doing?

Is there anything that you would like to see me change or adjust? We're flexible. We can be flexible. That's just common courtesy to other people. We would do it for the neighbor, so we can do it with each other. And then lastly, got to decide on an exit strategy, Chris, because sometimes it doesn't work. And always, if you have younger kids like college or young marrieds that are living with you, we want to always remind each other that this isn't a permanent situation, and if it stops working, we'll make a change. You can move out, or we'll move mom and dad somewhere else. But for now, for this period, for this season, this is what God has called us to do, and this is how we're going to live life.

And if it doesn't work, well, we'll change. That's the beauty of choosing to embrace multigenerational living. All of ours lived here for a while, so they were like 24, 25 years old. But then, Chris, they all did move out, and life changed. Mother lived here, and then mother lived out. That's the same for your family.

We are fluid. Our families are fluid, and we want to ebb and flow as the needs and our families grow and mature. And, Connie, that third point you made, I just want to stress, that exit strategy needs to be handled carefully, because feelings can get hurt when people move out, and you're going to probably end up back together again, and you're still a family. So you need to be careful and have lots of communication, and always love each other and love God.

You put God first in the center of your family, it's never going to be an issue. Well, Connie, what a great show. As always, you just know so much. Folks, you can go to Connie has so much great advice. Listen to her podcast. Every Wednesday, there's a new one released, Equipped to Be.

She's working on another book, but you can get her books already. And just be praying for as God's using her around the country to touch the lives of families. Thanks for joining us today. Listen every day on your favorite radio station, same time, and then the shows are released to podcast. Share with your friends and family on social media. Now let's go impact the culture for Jesus. Thank you for listening. The Christian Perspective with Chris Hughes. Learn more about impacting the culture for Jesus. Visit
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-29 22:54:50 / 2023-03-29 23:18:32 / 24

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