Streams

Your Intergenerational Household

Friday, July 18, 2014

A new Pew study shows there are more intergenerational households in America than ever before, with almost 25% of Americans between the ages of 25 to 34 sharing a home with older family members. What does this say about Americans' famously autonomous lifestyles? Call in and tell us about your intergenerational living arrangement – the number is 212-433-9692. Is your arrangement driven by economic convenience or by a desire to regain something lost in the time of the nuclear family?

Comments [9]

Eugenia Renskoff from NYC

Hi, I know what it is like to be technically grown up and to still live with the family of origin. It is a very hard situation and there is nothing easy about it. The protagonist of Different Flags, a novel I wrote and published, felt the pressures of living at home so much that she left to go to a faraway land. She wanted to feel life as it was and experience something different. Her story was a bittersweet one.

Jul. 18 2014 01:27 PM

Most of the world lives like this, esp. India, China.

In our well off neighborhood (along w the rest of the USA/Canada, no doubt),well off, multi generational Chinese and Indians fleeing the pollution and corruption of their home countries are the explanation of larger home sizes builders are reporting. Like so much else "in the news" and especially relating to housing, unreported but obvious.

Jul. 18 2014 11:30 AM
RosieNY from NYC

I am originally from South America where multi-generational households are the norm, but mostly out of necessity or culture pressure or guilt than choice. Most of such households I have known, including the one where I grew up, were not the "fairy tale" type of situation most people who have not experienced it seem to think. There were inter-generational conflicts as well as power struggles regarding family roles. Role transitions are not easy unless there are very clear guidelines and expectations drawn which is not the easiest thing to bring up with loved ones. Having been there, having done that, I would rather help my mother pay for her own place, nearby, than to have her living with me unless there is no other choice. Living with another adult is never easy, including marriage.

Jul. 18 2014 11:27 AM
M. L. from Westchester Co., NY

My boyfriend and I are in our mid-30s and live with his parents. We needed a place to rent, they needed to rent out a place, so the arrangement worked out. I also like being able to help his parents with small errands (loading the dryer, mowing the lawn, etc.); they're in their early 70s and are having increasing trouble maintaining the house.

Jul. 18 2014 11:19 AM
suzinne from Bronx

I'm just glad my parents are dead, because living with them at any age was HELL.

Jul. 18 2014 11:18 AM
M. L. from Westchester Co., NY

My boyfriend and I are in our mid-30s and live with his parents. We needed a place to rent, they needed to rent out a place, so the arrangement worked out. I also like being able to help his parents with small errands (loading the dryer, mowing the lawn, etc.); they're in their early 70s and are having increasing trouble maintaining the house.

Jul. 18 2014 11:17 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I personally don't see anything wrong with it. It was pretty normal for children to live and help out in the home until they married and established their own households. This idea of kids moving out at age 18 is really a very American idea, probably promoted by real estate and other interests who want to get at the wallets of young people ASAP. As when they pushed credit cards onto young naive people on college campuses, to enslave them to debt as quickly as possible.
After WWII, when millions of GIs came back, got married and often had to live in cramped apartments with their parents, the answer was suburbia. Put up those tacky row houses and fill them up. And when all the GIs were settled into suburbia, they started on working on getting kids to leave so that they would need housing, appliances and furniture and the like as well.

Jul. 18 2014 11:17 AM
Susan from Upper West Side

So true Paulb. I spent many years working in developing areas of the world and it is totally normal to live together in multigenerational households. And in my generation in my family we are going back to the multigenerational model. My siblings have adult children living with them as well as the first grandchild. My parents generation benefited from good GI loans and grants for education, good pensions, and solid medical benefits. Sadly, that all has been slipping away.

Jul. 18 2014 11:00 AM
paulb from Prospect Heights

You know, among people who are working class this is positively normal and has been going on forever. If it's suddenly worth chattering about I'm sure it's just because suddenly it's facing the college educated.

Jul. 18 2014 10:05 AM

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