Tim and Julie are in their late 50s and are finally starting to enjoy life. They started a family and business when they were 20 years old and now are living a semi-retired life looking forward to doing some traveling around the world that they had to put off while raising their children and building a successful business.
Their oldest son Bill is married without children and lives a couple days away in another state. Marie finished college several years ago and has a four year old child who never knew her father. Marie has an administrative position that doesn’t pay well and has run into financial difficulty. She was recently evicted from her apartment and requested to move back in with her parents for a few months until she can get back on her feet financially. A few months has turned into almost two years, and now Marie wants to remain at her parents for another two years while she goes back to college to complete her graduate degree.
Marie’s brother has told his parents that Marie needs to move back out on her own and stop being a burden on the parents. In addition to providing financial assistance to Marie and their grandchild, Tim and Julie have provided daycare for their grandchild while Marie worked or when she went out with her friends. They have become an important part of their grandchild's daily life and witnessed milestones of her growing up years (like learning to ride a bike). However, they haven’t been able to travel in the past two years, and now given a tough economy their business isn’t providing enough income to continue supporting Marie and the grandchild without them going back to work. On the one hand they are torn to ask Marie to leave, but on the other hand if they don’t then they will have to postpone their retirement plans and dreams.
Do you think Julie and Tim are obligated to continue assisting their daughter and grandchild? What if it meant they would have to live in an apartment in a run-down or crime ridden area? Do you know anyone who lives or had moved back in with their parents? What was the quality of the relationship and some of the challenges they faced? Do you know anyone who is using their parents (grandparents) to help raise their children? What do you think about it?