Re: creating cohesive cohousing kids' culture
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2008 13:54:55 -0700 (PDT)
We have a children's team who over the years has involved kids in all sorts
of things. When there are problems kids and parents sit down and talk them
over, and often at some point, the "Lets sit down and talk it over" model
gets ingrained in the kids and they do this themselves, and surprisingly at
ages as young as 6.  When my kids were young and working out their
relationships we held parent and child conversations sometimes a couple
times a month until the kids figured out that if they did not take care of
hurt feelings themselves, they had to process it with a bunch of boring
adults who took FOREVER to get through it.  So mostly they worked out issues
among themselves and the parents then were not needed in the loop, but were
always there in case their efforts failed.  

We have something like 35 kids here and summer is coming up and so soon the
neighborhood will resound with the sounds of kids. There is a natural
grouping of kids mostly by age but the boundaries are fluid sometimes
depending upon what it happening. I am always amazed at the complexity of
the rules that the kids make up for their games. You can't be a green
warrior unless the pink fairy touches the tree and then says the magic word
and you eat three magic berries.  They invent this stuff on the spot and
play it for hours and hours, turning into Indians, fairies, rangers, batman
at the blink of an eye. And they argue over the rules sometimes to the point
the game ends and they all do something else.  

It is surprising to me that only a couple of the kids who have grown up here
are now involved in theatre, one is the development director of a local
theatre group.  

Rob Sandelin
18 years at Sharingwood Cohousing
Snohomish County, WA
Where babies that were born here are graduating next week......

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