Kids and the Common House
From: Becky Schaller (
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 23:08:02 -0600 (MDT)
Hi Randy, these are the things I would watch for.

1. Make sure you don't promise the kids anything that you might not be able
to deliver.  During planning and construction, the waters can get very rough
and  you may be asked to rethink  some previous decisions.   If you get the
kids too invested, they may feel some sense of betrayal if their decisions
need to be changed significantly.

2.  Remember that the needs and desires of kids change as they get older.
The kids who are planning a particular space may out grow out of it within a
few years after move in.

3.  Also, be flexible.  You may have over 20 kids now, but 10 years from now
there could be significantly less or more and their ages may be quite

I think you might be safest if you focused on ideas like how to paint the
walls, what they'd like to put in the room,  and how they would like to
decorate the rooms.

Becky Schaller

> Date: Mon, 19 May 2003 22:28:07 -0400
> From: Randy Sailer <rsailer [at]>
> To: cohousing-l [at]
> Subject: [C-L]_Kids and the Common House
> Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]
> We are about to start designing our common house and I wanted to get
> some thoughts/advice on how to include the children of the community in
> the process. There were relatively children in the community during the
> site design and through much of of the unit design, but as we have been
> filling up, we have many more children (like over 20 now).
> My 6 year old son is very excited about the common house (I am not sure
> that it can look like a castle, though) and I bet other kids are as
> well. I especially think that some of the teenagers and pre-teens might
> be interested in thinking about their own space needs.
> Our architect is willing and eager to work with the kids and we have a
> kindergarten teacher and an art therapist that are also into it. Any
> suggestions as to a fun process? Any advice? Any watch fors?
> Thanks,
> Randy

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