Re: creating cohesive cohousing kids' culture
From: Robert Heinich (
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2008 13:55:47 -0700 (PDT)
Quoting Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>:
On Jun 4, 2008, at 2:11 PM, Robert Heinich wrote:

   8. Enter houses or other community buildings, including your own
     only when an adult is present or prior arrangements have been

What age group does this apply to?

Our Common House and the Barn, aka the workshop, is locked. Adults have a key. If the parents feel that their teen is responsible enough, the teen can also be given a key. The parents just need to announce this (probably through the community listserv). One day we will have a coming of age ceremony.

As for being alone in their house, we have a concept that Jessie introduce us to of home basing. A child could be alone in a house and a neighbor will check in on them from time to time. Again prior arrangements. For one child I would home base for, I would go in and say "House not burnt down ... check. Kid still alive ... check." and then leave.

We also have some bold 7yros who would like to be home alone but of course they are too young. The rule is to let them know that other adults know that they should not be in their house alone.

It really comes down that we know the kids and what they are permitted by their parents to do.

Perhaps due to the fact we are a smallish community (22 households with 26 kids) we can do this. Larger communities may need a more formal mechanism.

Perhaps we are are lucky that we do have a good bunch of kids.

Whatever the reason(s), the rules are firm enough for all to support and loose enough to provide flexibility to match the maturity of the child.

-Robert Heinich
 Eno Commons Cohousing Neighborhood
 Durham, NC
 where we won a Golden Leaf Award for Sustainable Properties

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.