Re: Children in cohousing in Denmark (LATE)
From: Cohousing-L Listmgr (
Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 08:44:09 -0500
Nitsan Vardi <eminv [at]> is the author of the message
below from Fri, 3 May 1996 but due to a list admin problem it was
posted by the COHOUSING-L list manager: owner-cohousing-L [at]
********************  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS ***********************
>Trying to get a sense of the notion of "group parenting" within the
>context of cohousing. Clearly many folks seem to see that nuturing
>children is a group activity and responsibility. What about the other
>aspect of child rearing, discipline?

>So what sorts of community rules exist, or that you think should exist 
>for kids in the community?

None. We have no rules for kids other than those applying for all.
>Are parents the sole enforcers of rules,
>or do other adults enforce rules?
On a daily basis (e.g children playing in a dangerous place, or violating 
community rules), all members intervene - just as they are expected to do 
when a child needs help with a wounded knee.
More long-term upbringing issues are discussed with the parents (e.g 
children who repeatedly violate rules). 

 If a child is behaving inappropriately,
>who deals with it? 
Everybody - but the parents are still expected to befully responsible for 
their own kids.

>Playspace etiquette? Playing with other kids stuff? 

These problems are basically the same as in non-cohousing environments, 
aren't they? 

>Going over to other kids houses? 

This is a natural thing - and one of the best things about the way we 
live. The small children regard the rest of the community as their 
extended family (isn't this the major idea of cohousing?), going into 
other (kids' and adults') houses *nearly* as if they were their own. 

>What about friends of kids from outside the community?

We have no rules regulating visitors - whether old or young.
When our Sara (5 years) has 'outsider friends' visiting she sometimes
forgets that the friends are not as much at home in the whole community as
she is. This can result in her going into a neighbour's house not
realising that the friend stands outside, afraid of going into what for
HER is unknown territory. But generally 'our' kids accept outsiders in the

>What about neighboring kids that just come over?  

The older ones do, sometimes, because we have good playing grounds -
football, basketball, hockey. The general attitude is that it's allright
as long as they behave properly. The common house is out of limits for
unaccompanied guests. 

                                                ___ __
Nitsan Vardi                                  \   \   \ \   \   \/  \  \
Saettedammen, Denmark                              \   \ \   \  _\    __\
e-mail: eminv [at]                                 \

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