Re: creating cohesive cohousing kids' culture
From: Gerald Manata (
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2008 22:22:29 -0700 (PDT)
     I will be watching this conversation with interest. After 4 years of 
existence, our cohousing complex has never discussed or brought up this issue. 
Parenting and raising children,as well as the relationship between parents and 
non-parents  is very traditional here, not at all like a village or extended 
family, but more like an upscale middle class condominium complex.

Karen Scheer <karen [at]> wrote: 
After numerous conversations between parents at our newly established 13 
home cohousing community, Bear Grass Village, we would like to consult 
with other communities about helping our children to establish 
relationships/ /with each other where respect and cooperation are the 
norm (rather than competition and disrespect which has been occurring 
more frequently than we are comfortable with).  Others must have gone 
through a similar period of adjustment to this unique style of living, 
more akin to an extended family or tiny village than to a typical 
neighborhood.  Also, what has helped parents learn to co-parent with 
other families? 

The Scene:
We are working hard to develop the landscaping, finish our yards, 
furnish & decorate our common house, etc., so there is much transition 
still going on here.  Our children range in age from two teeny tiny 
babies to one 12 year old who has avoided participating in any way.  
Currently, there are 2 girls in the community, 2 & 3 yrs. old; the rest 
are boys. 

We have been working together to establish simple behavior guidelines 
which apply to all situations that we can teach and reinforce, like 
"Stop means Stop" and "No means No."  Most of the children are too young 
to generate their own list of "rules."  Most of the adults are reluctant 
to create a lengthy list of "no's" and would rather the kids learn to 
work out the issues with a little guidance from adults.

Thanks in advance for your input!  I hope that I have provided enough 
information to convey the general picture without too much labeling, 
which causes much discomfort to us parents who are all feeling differing 
amounts of frustration & protectiveness. 

Karen Scheer
Bear Grass Village
Ashland, OR

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