|Re: Built Spaces for Children||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Joani Blank (jeblankic.org)|
|Date: Mon, 29 Sep 1997 16:41:35 -0500|
Leni, While I do appreciate your suggestions, here's a place where I must respond that cohousing is really different from any single house. An area adjacent to the dining area that is not acoustically separate from the dining area would be a disaster in any but the most tiny of communities, i.e. 5-6 adults and 3-4 kids. Doyle St. is almost the smallest cohousing community in N. America (12 households) and because we are so urban, we have only four little kids with one more on the way. Berkeley with 14 households has 10 children. And the communities with 25-40 households have between 25-40 children. It is a good idea, if feasible to have the playroom for young kids be adjacent to the dining area preferably with a glass door and even one or two windows so that parents who want to keep their very little ones in sight can do so while enjoying their dinner. However, the way things go in most cohousing communities is that there is always at least one slightly or significantly older child or an adult --sometimes a whole bunch of kids--who will be delighted to hang out with your kid,(s), and even the most alert parent usually gets comfortable pretty quickly with considerably less direct supervision of his or her kid than he/she was accustomed to before living in cohousing. An example. A prospective family for Old Oakland was having dinner here at Doyle Street. Several times during dinner when their 5 year old was off playing with "our" kids, one or the other parent started to turn their attention to their kid, and after the fifth or sixth time realized that they didn't have to do that, It wasn't just that Seth was hanging out with our kids, but that many other adults were paying some degree of attention to all of the kids as they came and went. They were also impressed when "our" five year old approached the visiting mom to ask if it was okay for Seth to have a popsicle before getting one for each of them from the freezer. Joani Blank Doyle St and Old Oakland (Swan's Market) CoHousings. (SF Bay Area, CA)
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