Re: Do You Have a Kids Team?
From: Joelyn Malone (JKMalonecomcast.net)
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 21:04:53 -0700 (PDT)
At Monterey Cohousing, we have what we call a "kid's club" that is very similar to what people are calling a kid's team. One very dedicated adult that loves working with kids is the mentor for the club. We use it to resolve disputes between the kids (mostly by way of teaching and modeling healthy communication), to have the kids come up with their own solutions to problems like too-noisy hallways, toys where they are a danger to others, etc. Often kids will also be specifically invited to join the Board of Directors meetings. They are welcome anytime, but mostly only come when there's an item on the agenda that will affect them. They know our process for meetings because they use it in their own meetings. They also decide to do things together, plan parties, and collect the community's aluminum cans so they can get the money for their own activities. They (subgroups based on age) decided how to decorate the Teen Room (this was when our oldest kids were about 14), and what items should stay and what should go out of the play room for the younger kids. They worked together with responsible adults to build the loft in the play room, and are all very proud of it as a result. As the kids' ages have changed and we have fewer younger kids now, the kid's club is not quite as active as when we all first moved in. It still is used to give the kids a platform so they are heard on issues that affect them. We're experiencing something of the "age wave" in our community. Many original founders, who had young kids 15 years ago, obviously don't anymore but have no desire to leave the community. So, there aren't a lot of units available for new families moving in and bringing kids. Fewer kids available means the community isn't as attractive for families, and so we are losing two households who are looking elsewhere for locations with playmates. We're hoping we aren't all going to be gray-haired as the units turn over, but we are noticing that most interested folk are baby boomers.

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