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Intergenerational Living with Teenagers


Charlotte has had more than she can take living with her daughter and two teenage grandchildren. She needs Mary’s help to get the house under control. Mary suggests a different living arrangement—one that doesn’t include teenagers.

Download a transcript of this Mary Maxwell video (PDF)

Home Instead's Too Close for Comfort® public education program will help adult children and their senior loved ones answer the question: Should we or shouldn't we live together?

Intergenerational Living with Teenagers

-Mary Maxwell, Posted March 05, 2012

Charlotte from Memphis writes, "Dear Mary, after my husband passed away 3 years ago, my daughter
offered to let me move into her home. Because I don't drive and have a few health issues that require
regular doctor appointments, I think she thought it was the best idea. I thought it would be nice, as well.
I would have the opportunity to spend more time with my two grandchildren who are now 15 and 17 and
always seem to find a reason not visit with their mother. My concern is that she's much too lenient with
the children. Neither of them have curfews and they come and go at all hours with their friends. They
are disrespectful to their mother when she does try to establish some boundaries and their grades aren't
what they should be. The home often sounds like a war-zone with all the yelling. When I try to talk to my
daughter about it and give her some guidance, she becomes defensive and doesn't want my help. I love
my daughter and her family but this isn't how i pictured living the rest of my life."

Well Charlotte, my advice is: get out of there! Two adults versus two teenagers? That's not a fair fight.
Teenagers need to be outnumbered by 5-to-1, at least. And you're not going to change your daughter or
her children, unless they want to change. No, you may need to find an assisted living facility that you can
afford. Most of them come with no yelling and no teenagers. Or better yet, maybe you could rent a small
apartment of your own and sign up for a caregiver from Home Instead. You might be surprised how safe
and secure a caregiver can make you feel and a Home Instead caregiver hardly ever yells.

Watch the video,

Visit to discover more wit and wisdom from Mary Maxwell, as well as expert advice from Dr. Amy D'Aprix and other videos, articles, and resources for family caregivers.

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