Re: Number of children
From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2018 17:11:57 -0700 (PDT)
*47 kids aged 0-16 (24 have at least a small percentage of their custody 
elsewhere; I would say 3 are mostly elsewhere, 2 are evenly split, and 19 
are mostly here) 
*58 adults 19-late 70s 
Sharingwood once had 40 so I think you have bested them. We have been steady 
around 20 children even though the number of adults varies. Singles vs 
partnered, child in residence, no child in residence — all this changes but one 
way or anotther we have about 20 kids.

What changes is a cycle of ages. People were planning on children and moved 
here to have children. So we had a slew of babies and toddlers for a few years, 
both homegrown and adopted. Then suddenly a slew of 8-10 year olds who were 
adopted. Adding the older group suddenly felt like we were being overwhelmed.  
They hadn’t grown up here so needed to be acclimated. 

Then they started going off to college and some moving because the schools are 
so bad in DC or they needed more space for 4-5 children. (Yes, people still do 
that. The 1950s are back. And we had no toddlers.

Then all of a sudden we had 7 babies in the last 3 years so we are starting the 
cycle again.

A difference which to me is marked is that the new households with babies have 
moved here to be close to their extended families and the babies are not in the 
community as much. The original parents wanted to live in cohousing because 
they wanted a child friendly environment and wanted their children to know 
other adults and have relationships with them independent of the parents.

As one facilitator said at a meeting, “It was so nice to be able to faciitate 
and see Natalie happily being passed around the room being cared for by many 
people. A single mother by choice said when she looked around to decide where 
her 2 children could go if she had a medical emergency, she counted 12 
households that would be happy to have them and they would be perfectly 
comforable staying for 36-48 hours or longer.

There are no single people adopting or having children now, and the parents are 
more “cloistered” with their children. A major difference is that they have 
their own parents to provide support so they don’t need a cohousing 
grandmother. 

Sharon

Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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