Re: children and cohousing
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2008 21:04:32 -0700 (PDT)
One of the dynamics within this issue is people who are not parents who
sometimes expect children to be like miniature adults in behavior and
expectations.  As parents and teachers know, this is not reasonable. Kids
are kids, they are immature, they do not have the same developed sense of
responsibility, self control, and social skills as adults.  So they are
sometimes loud, energetic, messy, not always remembering their manners, self
centered and sometimes not very thoughtful of others. This is normal for
children to be like this sometimes. I have intervened in community conflicts
about children before and often people want to place adult expectations upon
the behavior of kids. In my experience as both a parent, and as long time
teacher, this rarely works. This does not mean that kids can not be
respectful, thoughtful, considerate of others, but usually you have to
remind them, like a thousand times. And depending on their age, they forget
things easily, so sometimes an agreement might only be remembered for 5-10
minutes. "I thought we agreed you were going to use your inside
voice"...."Oh, I forgot."  This is not some kind of devious plot to make you
crazy, its how kids are.  So if you are going to work through agreements
with kids, it needs to be done with an understanding of what kids can
actually do, and not be loaded with unreasonable, adult expectations that
kids are not likely to be able to accomplish.

Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood Cohousing
Naturalist, Teacher, Writer
The Environmental Science School

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