How to Set Boundaries With Live-In Parents

The number of Americans aged 65 and over is expected to more than double over the next 40 years. This shift in American demographics is causing a rapid shift in family dynamics. We suddenly become our parents’ guardians and try to find the best life situation for them.

When considering their options, people are starting to look to the new trend of having grandma’s pods or apartments for in-laws instead of going the traditional route of care and residences for people. elderly. This decision allows aging adults to maintain their independence, stay close to their families and have a better overall quality of life.

However, this change in life situations can come with its own challenges. When you were growing up, your parents made the rules, routines, and responsibilities. However, problems can arise when parents and children find themselves on an equal footing later in life.

Statistics on how 1.4 million Americans have grandma pods on their property

Should you consider accommodation for a grandmother or for the in-laws?

Granny Pods are tiny guesthouses on or near a family’s property and are designed with special accommodations for older occupants. These special features can include everything from wheelchair accessibility and safety technology to medical features and rails to prevent falls.

Grandma’s pods and in-laws’ apartments are beneficial for creating boundaries when your parents live with you as they have their own space detached from the main house. This little moment of separation can help both parties stay independent and maintain a healthy relationship.

At the same time, parents are close enough to spend time with loved ones, which can help avoid loneliness, improve overall health, and maintain companionship.

Benefits of grandma’s pods

  • Profitable: Many of these mini-homes are cheaper than assisted living or retirement homes.
  • Continuous independence: This is a great solution to help older family members maintain a sense of privacy and self-sufficiency.
  • Stay close to family members: Grandma’s pods can help older family members stay close to loved ones and feel a sense of camaraderie.
  • Safety devices: Additional smart home technology can give you the peace of mind that they are in a safe environment.

Before investing in a home for a grandmother or for the in-laws, it is important to make sure that it is profitable and legal in your state.

Statistics that 3.4 million elderly people live with their children

Why setting boundaries with resident parents is important

Setting boundaries with aging parents can be uncomfortable, but having these conversations is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship. Without these discussions, your parents might think they have the same control over your life as they did when you were growing up. This can cause you to feel like they are becoming bossy and interfering with your personal life.

Creating these barriers can lead to less anxiety, decreased resentment, and increased self-esteem. The end goal is to leave the conversation leaving both parties feeling respected and satisfied with the outcome.

Diagram showing healthy and unhealthy boundaries with resident parents

What are bad boundaries like with aging parents?

Healthy boundaries involve mutual respect for each other’s time, beliefs, space, and experiences.

Examples of poor boundaries with parents:

  • Making unsolicited reviews
  • Intervene in your personal life
  • To be authoritarian
  • Throwing unnecessary arguments
  • Create unhealthy expectations

Establishing healthy boundaries involves identifying your needs, expressing those wants clearly, and creating rules for how you want to be treated. Consistency is the key to establishing good boundaries with your parents.

How to set boundaries with resident parents

You have found that your standards are being ignored, but now you are wondering how to approach these issues with your parents without causing an argument. Don’t worry: we’ve got you covered all the steps to setting limits calmly and effectively.

Diagrams with starting points for defining limits

1. Be clear and concise

Start by identifying the behavior you want to change. Next, explore why this behavior bothers you and how it should be changed.

Understanding what is causing the negativity in your relationship and taking measurable steps to address the issue will help you feel more confident and calm at the start of the conversation.

Be clear and concise when saying what you want to change. Tell your parents exactly what you want from them and give them concrete ways to improve the situation without apologizing.

2. Choose a mediator

Before you confront a parent about the boundaries you want to discuss, it may be best to have a mediator to guide this conversation. It is important to choose the person who will provide the information in the most balanced way.

Focus on who the discussion will be best received. If you are dealing with the parents of a partner, it might be best to let them play the role of mediator.

3. Create a schedule

Be proactive in scheduling with your elderly parents. Establishing a routine can be extremely helpful when trying to set limits because everyone knows what to expect throughout the day.

A schedule will work best if you are meticulous and include every detail of your day. Excessive communication about your schedule can help keep your parents from coming during meetings throughout the day or from disturbing you when you need time alone.

Setting aside personal time for walking, enjoying a leisure activity or simply relaxing will allow you to be more available to those around you after taking time for yourself.

4. Have dedicated spaces

Creating dedicated no-go zones at certain times of the day can be a great solution to establishing boundaries with resident parents.

Combining this tactic with creating a schedule is a fantastic plus, especially if you work from home. An example of this would be to have the office booked from 8am to 5pm on working days.

5. Stay positive

Getting into an angry conversation can cause both parties to disrespect each other’s boundaries. If you approach the conversation defensively or argumentatively, they might think you didn’t mean it because you were emotional at the time.

Try to keep the tone of the conversation positive and upbeat. Don’t give the impression that you are punishing them. Instead, hold that it will only improve your relationship.

Diagram showing starting points for establishing healthy boundaries

6. Clearly explain what is prohibited

Make your limits as precise as possible. A detail-oriented approach will help reduce the chances of misunderstanding the new rules.

For example, instead of vaguely telling your parents not to go all the time without asking, take a more specific approach. Instead, explain that they can now visit from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and must call before arriving.

7. Be assertive but compassionate

As you begin the boundary conversation with your living parents, be assertive when asking for what you need. At the same time, remember to maintain compassion throughout the interaction.

Being assertive is about maintaining eye contact, watching your tone of voice, being an active listener, and being direct.

Including compassion in the conversation means having sympathy for your parents and understanding life experiences that might influence them to display a particular behavior. Coming from a kind, loving place can help keep your feet on the ground during the conversation instead of appearing defensive.

8. Say no politely

If you like people, then saying no can seem like the hardest thing on the planet. However, it is important to get used to it when your parents move in with you, otherwise you could be meeting all of their needs which can start to get overwhelming.

Politely saying no to your parents when you don’t want to do something is the best way to avoid creating resentment over time. Leading the conversation kindly will help her understand when you can’t meet all of her needs.

9. Stick to your limits

Being consistent with the boundaries will help make it clear that you are serious about the rules you set. Whenever a limit is broken, you must reiterate your limits.

Sticking to your limits can mean refusing to continue a conversation on a topic you feel is off limits, leaving the house, or even hanging up.

If you stick to your limits, even resilient parents will eventually realize that you hold on tight to your decisions and settle down.

Boundaries create a more peaceful home

Creating boundaries with your aging parents will improve your relationship and create a calm and happy home environment. To find the best apartments suitable for seniors, use the apartment guide search tool.

Infographic on How to Start Boundaries With Living Parents



Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button