Re: Children: Letting them work it out or micromanaging
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 06:48:02 -0800 (PST)

On Dec 14, 2005, at 7:57 AM, Rachael Shapiro wrote:

I am interested in the possibility of writing a book about raising children in cohousing and hope to share some of my thoughts about it in an upcoming email.

I do hope you will do this and that you include a review of the expectations of child development "experts" over the years. My children (now 36 and 34) were in the first generation of "daycare kids." The teachers we hired had come from conventional backgrounds and were amazed at how often our children ignored the accepted norms. An 18 month old and a two year old doing their own finger puppet show and "interacting" as the teacher said. They interacted! Many of the things kids do in schools now and are expected to do in cohousing (like have meetings, much less run them) was unheard of then.

While I grew up in neighborhoods with lots of kids playing outside in front and back yards from the age of 2, there were no adults involved in our play. More structured or focused environments like good daycare and cohousing provide a different experience. While I lament the loss of freedom and the prohibitions about things like climbing the tallest tree on the block and jumping off garages and going through the neighbor's trash for lost treasure, the sophistication about social situations and the far wider knowledge base is astounding.

Sharon Villines
Building Community: A Newsletter on Coops, Condos, Cohousing, and Other New Neighborhoods

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