Re: Posting Request-Dealing with Sensitive Issues
From: Alicia George (ajgeorgeearthlink.net)
Date: Tue, 1 Oct 2019 21:23:37 -0700 (PDT)
I recently wrote an article on how my community dealt with emotionally laden 
issues involving some of our kids. The article ("Raising Troubled Children in 
Community") was published in the fall issue of Communities Magazine 
<https://www.ic.org/community-bookstore/product/communities-magazine-the-shadow-side-of-cooperation/>.

Takoma Village doesn’t have a formal process for dealing with sensitive issues 
like this. And unlike many communities, we don’t have a team who helps resolve 
conflicts. So my suggestions, offered below in brief, are based on my 
experience as the parent of a troubled child:

1.  Bring as much compassion to the situation as you can. The problematic 
individuals may be dealing with mental health issues, and their families are 
almost surely struggling to cope.

2.  Support the families of the problematic individuals in communicating as 
openly as possible with the community. It’s likely they are working to address 
the problem behaviors in ways that aren’t visible to everyone. Help them share 
that information, which can allay some concerns others in the community may 
have or prompt additional suggestions for action.

3.  Consider a restorative justice circle as a way to help the people causing 
the problems to understand their impact on their neighbors and provide a 
mechanism for resolution and reconciliation. Often trainers in Non-Violent 
Communication (NVC) are familiar with specialists who can facilitate such a 
gathering.

4.  Call the police when the situation warrants it. You have a right to protect 
your families and your property. Involving the authorities signals that the 
problem behavior is being treated seriously. In some cases, it also opens the 
door to services that families can access to help their troubled family member.

Alicia George
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC


On Sep 30, 2019, at 8:25 AM, Robin7500 [at] gmail.com <mailto:Robin7500 [at] 
gmail.com> wrote:

How do some communities deal with emotionally laden issues?
We already decide things by consensus, but this is different. Before we
have a proposal at hand, how do communities deal with a topic that can be
especially sensitive and about one household, but affecting the community.
Examples could be a difficult, agressive child or an adult child who has
moved back with parents but has questionable behavior and friends visiting.
Do some co-housing communities have a process in place for dealing with
such topics.

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