Re: Kids & work
From: Mmariner (
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 1996 11:24:59 -0600
Responding to Rob S., Anne V. and others on kids, teens and the work they
should be expected to do.  

Up front, my personal values include having my life be less fragmented and
conflicted -- more integrated and holistic.  I suspect many of us share this

Given where most of us have come from -- from a single household minimally
connected to other households, families, neighborhoods, subcultures, etc.,
it's not
surprising that we would see kids' roles being totally the responsibility of
their parents.

I'll bet as our communities mature that a balance of community and parental
expectations will evolve re kids.  (I just moved into Nyland Cohousing as a
rentor in an existing family household, so I'll be getting real-life
experience soon!) 

One of the many shortcomings of mainstream society is a dearth of rites of
passage that mark the changes in freedoms and responsibilities when we enter
a new life stage.  These stages don't have to be limited to birth, puberty,
marriage, death.  Most of us go through pretty major changes every 7 to 10
years.  If we start celebrating rites of passage, it will become clear for
all ages what expectations go with a stage.  As young folks are taking on
more of the hard labor, elders transition to being "wise elders."

Within a family, parents decide when kids have more rights, when bedtimes
change, chores change and increase, etc.  Obviously schools vary their
behavioral expectations as the child moves to each new grade.  Now we  if we
allow community to also provide guidelines about what's expected at different
ages - (guidelines that are consistent with home and school) then kids and
teens can live within a more secure structure and have clear guidelines to
help them transition to the next phase without a lot of rebellion and
inter-generation wear and tear.

A further evolution might be where schools are integrated into the
(cohousing) community in a web of learning that is not separate from family
and community except when young folks leave to pursue advanced education,
apprenticeships or otherwise go outside the community.

Can't stop trying to see down the road....

Michael M

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