Sharing lives and homes across generations

It's not uncommon for families to live together.

When a baby comes home from the hospital, he may move into a home with two parents and older siblings. Aunts and uncles, grandparents -- relatives and family friends -- all welcome him. They hold him and cherish him, when they can, if only during short visits from across town or from across the country.

Babies around the world grow up in a multi-generational home.

In recent decades in our country, boot-camp or college dorm-life may be a young adult's first immersion in a predominately single-generation living experience. It's become part of the American Dream for many young people to grow up and become separate financially and socially from their parents and grandparents. They move out and on to set up their own apartments or homes. And many may someday embrace a new generation in their lives and homes.

This wasn't always how families expected to live. In many eras and locations, generations shared lives and homes. And they still do, in one way or another. But economics are changing realities again in big and little ways.

In recent years, the economy, staggering student debt, and limited job prospects have changed the affordability of independent living for millions of young adults, if only temporarily.

American families have responded to new economic realities by opening hearts, lives and homes.

How are we doing it? I'd like to exchange tips and stories.

Perhaps you know someone who lives with parents or with adult children. I do. We do.

I'm interested in getting a dialog going on how we manage to share lives, fortunes and homes across generations. We can learn a lot from one another.

How do you share living situations across generations with love and respect?


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