Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Multi-generational family

How does the family look like at the beginning of XXI century?

The world has changed. According to these change appear new styles of life and new family models. Predominant pattern in nowadays world is a nuclear family consisting of only a father, mother and children. However the disadvantages of the modern nuclear family have prompted many of its critics to look for alternatives.

Extended and multi-generational families

In many cultures, such as in those of many of the Southern Europeans, Asians, Middle Easterners, Africans, Latin Americans, and Pacific Islanders, extended families are the basic family unit.

In the Polish tradition, maintaining close relationships within the family is well established.
Many families share housing with several generations because the persistent housing shortage, low incomes, and high rents leave them no choice. The transistion of Poland to democracy and capitalism improves quality of life and caused that young generation prefers living alone.

What about USA? The multi-generational American family household is staging a comeback, driven in part by the job losses and home foreclosures of recent years but more so by demographic changes that have been gathering steam for decades. Since 1990, the number of multigenerational families grew by approximately 60 percent. Today, there are almost four million American multigenerational households according to the new census data.

Advantages and disadvantages of living in multi-generational families

Experts, who provide clinical services to these families, states that advantages outweighed disadvantages, particularly for the oldest generation. Family closeness and increased tangible resources were the most frequent advantages given. Intrahousehold family relationship stress and issues of privacy were the most frequent disadvantages identified.

Multigeneral household structure allows families to come together to face the many trials of life, such as raising a child, caring for elders, single parenthood, and high cost of living and housing. Although the multigenerational family creates a safety network among its generations to face their obstacles as a whole, those obstacles still abound.

And what do you think about living in multi-generational family?



  1. I think that extended families have both advantages and disadvantages, just like almost everything in life. I would like to be independent in the future and I don't find living with parents after my eventual marriage a good idea ;) But of course I want to stay in a close relationship with them... Living together is often easier because we can pay less for the rent and use savings for something else... But it also can be quite irritating when parents or even grandparents try to mess with us and they don't understand that we have our own life and we can do things as we want to.

  2. Living under the same roof with parents and sometimes grandparents is comfortable i not expensive. You can always rely on your mother for help and advice. Every expenditures you with your parents, so you have more maney for you. Of course there is same disadventages. Many conflicts occur within family are coused by different outlook on life. Very often parents think that they has a right to decide about everything in her own house...They think that they know everything better than you...because you are only a child... In the future I would like to live without my parents.

  3. I think that living in multi-generational family has advantages and disadvantages. Adventages are for exemple that you can talk with many person about many things, many people smiling, you can learn a lot from older people. Disadventages are that you are never alone, you have a big house and you must clean a lot, many people want to control you.
    I don't want to live in multi-generational family. I live with my parents and really I want to move away and become independent.

  4. A large extended family is a really cool thing! I come alone from the family where is a lot of people and very much nicely he is when everyone together we are doing something. He isn't also times easily because need everyone understan and do this way everyone would be satisfied but how feels like that's all it is possible to do!

  5. I agree, that there are many advantages of living in a multi-generational family like receiving help and support in everyday life from the older members of the family. But still, despite the advantages I would prefer living on my own, only with my closest family. I feel strongly about privacy and I prefer a peaceful environment. I think the best idea would be to live nearby to the rest of the family, so that it is easy to stay in touch and visit relatives, but not necessarily in the same household.

  6. Well, I see comments are rather against living in multi-generational family ;) I think it's quiet obvious that people in our age want to move out and start an independent life :) We have enough of beeing controlled by over-protective parents and look forward to deciding ourself! We can't imagine living under one house with husband and... his parents. But I believe it depends on your character and kind of relationship with your parents. I think after some period of separated life, you can appreciate parent's presence in your house. And very often you have to- because you're obliged to take care of them.
    To sum up, I'd like to say that even if I understand an aversion to the multi-generational familly, one thing I'm sure- it's that a numerous familly is cool :D

  7. * living at one house with a husband
    ** parents' presence
    sorry ;)

  8. and famiLy! only one "l" :D

  9. Now living in a multi-generational family is unattainable. Firstly because of what you have said - almost all of young people take it for uncomfortable and out of date.
    It's an element of civilizational progress and we can't move back. I don't know if this kind of individualization will prove to human advantage.

  10. In my opinion living in multi-generation family has advantages and disadvantages.
    It is easier, when people live together, because parents can work and earn to living. Then grandparent care for grandchildren and they assume most duties of parents. But when grandchildren are teenagers, they have problems to understand each other. Also grandparents aren’t so consistent and they allow to do everything.
    In the future I would like to live near my parents, but not in the same house. My brother lives close to me and I often care for his children. I think that is the best idea, because we help each other, but we don’t spend together the whole time.

  11. Living in multi-generational nowadays may not be possible due lots of reasons. First and most important thing is reson menioned in the text: young people feel uncomfortable. Grandparents want the best for us but they mostly don't understand the changes which have taken the place. As a result they are to strict or to liberal. Plus they may have different view on up-bringing than our parents and there you have another conflict. So no - this is now impossible

  12. Multigenerational family is quite a great thing. Personally I am convinced that being a member of such brings many advantages: it lowers the cost of maintenance, you never fell alone, never lacking the company, you are trained from the beginning how to cope with people and give them respect, you can take precious history and life lessons from the members, you’re more confident, talkative and communicate feely. Such a family although can not be overcrowded- living on small place because it only leads to stress, argument and pathology. I also see the problem of society members getting more and more isolated- spending most time on their own, with electronic equipment only. The result is lack of feeling the community and others interpersonal values, getting depressed.

  13. Personally, I'd rather not to live in multi-generational family. It seems to be difficult to avoid conflicts when in one house many persons in different ages, with differents habits and needs are living together. I love my family, but I think that it could be quite stressful to live with all of them. But I always affirm that we should spend more time togehter!

  14. I also agree that living in multigenerational family has both advantages and disadvantages. Personally I wouldn't want to live with my parents in one flat after marridge for example, but I want to live close to them, in the same city. Living together for the whole time is difficult, but I don't mind eating Sunday dinners together. The problem in Polish society is that people migrate much and their relations become weaker and weaker. All my great-grandparents spent their whole life in small villages, grandparents borned there migrated to small cities, parents borned there migrated to big city and me, despite my dreamings, maybe will stay in Warsaw, 160 kilometers from my family.

  15. Like everthing nuclear families have good and bad sides. Probably when you live in one home with a lot of people you don't have too much privacy. In second hand all family events like Christmas or sb birtday are very cheerful. For me the most facinating and magnificent fthing in those families is connection between generations. Old people teach children respect for others, virtue of patience and many other values. This is a power of nuclear family.

  16. In my opinion living in multi-generation family have both, advantages and disadvantages. I live only with my parents and sometimes when I'm sitting at home alone I'm thinking that it could be niece to live with grandparents but in the other side live in multi-generation family could restrict too much privacy of members of this. I think that it also may provide to some conflicts but also a lot of funy and nice moments. It's difficult to say what is better, maybe it is only question of custom.

  17. I think living in multi-generation family could be like a good adventure and a kind of school of life. The history is source of our indetity, so the history of our family is the most important part of our individual history.
    Moreover in multi-generation family we could learn make a good relationships.

  18. I am suprise to see this diagram...because only what i heard is that less family wants children, so multi-generational family is in danger.
    I don't know how to is living in multi-generational family.

  19. I think that be close with our family should be very important for everyone, but we don't have to live with all family to have good contact with them. Of course for many people multi-generation family is cool but there are people who love to be alone sometime and when they are live with too many others they feel awful. Multi-generation family have advantages and disadvantages but everything have it, it's normal that you can find good and bad point. People are different and everyone should decide about himself.