America’s economic downturn is disturbing our home landscape significantly, and not just by foreclosures.
Today lack of full-time work or a job loss can force anyone out of a private living space back into a shared one.
Not least affected by this nationwide pressure are millions of young adults who left the nest after high school or college but now have been forced to live again with their parents because they cannot support themselves fully.
As settled ways of living bump into more exploratory ones power struggles naturally arise. The need for rules and boundaries in sharing a home responsibly will raise its head. Issues like schedules, visitors, energy use, diet, chores,
transportation, romances, privacy, entertainment, finances, education, career choices, use of property, safety, – all are on the table.
To make this a happy merger, not an acidic estrangement, parent-child prerogatives and responsibilities of the past need updating in what may be considered a crisis situation. The landscape need not become one of conflict. But the obvious task is not easily accomplished.
Some steps toward resolution we might think about in a coaching session are:
Acknowledgement: children are no longer merely dependents; parents are no longer the sole authority.
Co-consideration: arrange to meet to open up the discussion.
Respect: share the conversation lead by asking open-ended questions.
Communicate: give feedback, recite what is heard for clarity.
Mutuality: meet challenges in sharing, not blaming.
Patience: plan to meet regularly, after new behaviors are practiced.
Gratitude: don’t forget to celebrate success.
Goals: save and contribute toward independence as the eventual desired outcome.
An opportunity for maturing relationships among families IS here. This is a beginning outline of how a War of the Roses can be avoided and new ways of honoring and loving among generations can become smooth and affirming, all under the same roof.
Travel on, good people, travel on.
Charles Benz, CPC