|Things to talk about before moving in||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Ann Barbarow (abarbarowheel.dcn.davis.ca.us)|
|Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 16:34:07 -0600|
At 06:52 PM 12/14/96 -0600, Anne R Tyler wrote: >When you get/got together for cohousing, do/did any of you talk about > >- what parenting meant to you >- what goals you had for children and how you thought they could be achieved >- different philosophies of parenting and why they worked/didn't work >- ideas about working out differences as far parenting issues were concerned > >Sometimes I think that difficulties in childrearing come from not having >had to be clear about what's going on and why problems are occurring. > >Does this resonate with any of you? It is interesting that you should mention this. After living at Muir Commons for several years, a few of us were talking about things we did/didn't expect before moving, and lots of the unexpected revolved around kids. And it's not surprising... Before move-in, there was always organized childcare for meetings, so we just didn't have much experience dealing with children in the context of community. I imagine that parents were able to intermix their experiences as parents with their coho expectations, but we non-parents just saw a group of adults getting together and working on this huge project together. After moving in, it became clear that most events and community areas would become child-dominated, unless a concerted effort was made. We had/have a lot of areas that are loosly programed, eg, without really clear uses. Adults tend to stand back and see what developes, kids tend to fill every vaccuum. So my advice to pre-move in communities is to talk about these children's issues a lot. What will it mean to parents to have their children with so much freedom - what responsibilities can you reasonably expect from them - who will be responsibility for cleaning up things that "Mr. Nobody" messes - what houses will have the tv on a lot and how will you handle it if some parents don't want their kids watching tv - how much do you want other adults correcting your child's behavior - how much do other adults want to correct your child's behavior - how can adults have "adult only" times and spaces without offending parents and children - if you don't want your children eating certin foods, how will that be regulated etc, etc, etc. This is not to suggest that you can solve these potential problems before move-in (or ever) but the sooner you start talking about them, the more realistic everyone's expectations can evolve. To answer your question - yes, this does resonate with me. Ann, who really likes kids but feels that all her postings revolve around children "problems". Maybe my next posting will include all the special relationships I have with my shorter neighbors.
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