Re: Children: Letting them work it out or micromanaging
From: Robert (
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 09:49:40 -0800 (PST)
Boys with lightsabers. Adults who have diverse parenting styles. Shelly, I believe you and I are in same neighborhood.

Unfortunately, boys with lightsabers are too young to be in Common House alone and too old for the play structure.

At Eno Commons we are blessed with 24 on-site kids for 22 households. (Add a few more off-site kids of neighbors who moved off-site to get a larger house but remain close-by and active in the community.) For the most part, the kids worked it themselves and although occasionally we need to tell the older kids to take more care around the younger kids who want to scrap with the older kids.

We do have a few rules like no hitting (or hitting back) and include all kids in play. It is not perfect but seems to work good enough.

-Robert Heinich
Eno Commons Cohousing Neighborhood
Durham, NC
whose 4 kids (Simon, Larry, Sidney and Big Boy) are fuzzy-faced, neutered and indoors

----- Original Message ----- From: "Shelly" <shelldemeo [at]>
To: "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 9:17 AM
Subject: [C-L]_ Children: Letting them work it out or micromanaging


Here at Rocky Hill Cohousing, 24 of the 28 households have moved in. Along with those houses came many active children.....heavy on the boy side and no playscape in sight as of yet. Common house under construction..

It seems that many issues have been popping up from incidents with children that vary from day to day. One day, one child feels excluded....another day someone got hit with a lightsaber too hard, one...a snowball, etc.

The ages of the kids paying ranges from around 5 to 11 and the attitudes about how much supervision the children need outside vary from "let them work it out" to "somebody needs to be supervising at all times."

As one who has a ten-year-old boy who runs out to play and a one-year-old daughter who needs my attention inside the home, I really don't have the energy or desire to pack her into a backpack carrier in a snowsuit and stand outside on the path monitoring the children every moment.

How have other communities handled this? The child care committee wants to have monthly parenting meetings where we discuss how each child is feeling and what issues have happened etc. While that sounds like a good idea, I guess, I feel a little exhausted just thinking about yet another meeting. I thought this was going to SIMPLIFY my life!

Shelly DeMeo
Rocky Hill Cohousing
Northampton, MA

Ne thing I am enjoying about cohousing is that there always seems to be somebody outside wanting to play and my boy runs out to join the action.
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