Eight steps to living in family harmony

Living with the extended family may not be a golden ticket for everyone involved – just look at the dysfunctional fictitious families in soaps such as Dallas or EastEnders. But with care and some luck you could end up living like the Waltons.

Follow agony aunt Denise Robertson’s tips, compiled in partnership with Lloyds TSB Insurance, to make living in a multi-generational household as smooth as possible:

1 Privacy

Check that each generation has their own territory with their own possessions and privacy.

2 Disputes

Try to have a television or radio for each group to avoid petty disputes.

3 Freedom

Let everyone eat when they want to.

4 Finances

Agree the finances beforehand to avoid falling out.

5 Responsibilities

Distribute the household workload, from food shopping to laundry – most people can do something to help.

6 Democracy

Try to settle rows democratically for the good of all those in the property whether they are involved or not.

7 Get real

Be realistic. It won’t always be a happy ship as frustrations will occasionally boil over. Accept the situation and move on.

8 Seek help

If things get tough, seek outside help and advice from organisations such as Age UK (0800 166565), Grandparents Plus (0300 1237015) or ChildLine (0800 1111).


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