Re: off limits to kids?
From: Dahako (
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2006 06:46:35 -0700 (PDT)
We're a large condominium cohousing with a roof playground, elevators, a  
workshop with lots of power tools, mechanical rooms, a common kitchen, and an  
exercise room.
We've never actually adopted our kid rules (welcome to cohousing), but we  
discussed them a lot and enforce most of the safety rules.  We  set age limits 
for kids to be in certain spaces unsupervised (under 10 in the  kitchen, under 
17 in the workshop, under 12 on the roof), and flat prohibitions  on playing 
in the elevators and mechanical rooms.  The kids got a tour of  the exercise 
room and pretty much lost interest.  Also, kids under 12 are  not allowed to 
have friends over in their unit without an adult present or  nearby.  
The workshop is the deadliest room because of the power tools, so the tool  
users reinforced the ban with a big ol' padlock on the front door.
Any parent can adjust the rule for their own kid(s) and let the community  
know.    If anyone in the community has a problem with a child's  behavior, we 
have a mediation process.
Examples of adjustments include my kids, who know the workshop combination  
and can fetch tools for their dad. They were raised with power tools on our  
porch and in the living room, and can probably recite the safety procedures 
 memory while hanging blindfolded upside down over a 5-mile drop.  Another  
child had unsupervised access to the roof a little younger.
I think the combination of a clear expectation and some parental discretion  
is working pretty well for us.  (Not perfect - there is still the matter of  
noise in the courtyard.  Sigh.)
Jessie Handforth Kome
Eastern Village Cohousing
Silver Spring, Maryland
"Where we're going to solve the old "commercial versus residential"  
dishwasher debate by having one of each."

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