There is probably no bigger issue than children in cohousing. Many people want to live in cohousing because it looks like a wonderful place to raise children. That’s what I thought too. And it can be but some things to consider.
Many families decided not to live in our cohousing when other families couldn’t move in for whatever reason or not and that meant there wouldn’t be children of the same age. That can happen anywhere. Many neighborhoods have kids the same ages, and sometimes not. We had neighbors with the same ages in our previous town but they had to move away. Same with some of my children’s friends – people move.
Having different ages playing together can be a good thing. It’s one of the things I loved about homeschooling. It is the public schools that decided the same age had to be exclusively together.
In communes and cohousing, the kids can become their own group. It can be cool to see their own world and language. However, if some children behave in ways that troubles other families, it can influence the whole group.
The days are long but the years are short. A saying about raising children. They grow up. What I noticed with my children is when they are young they’ll play with anyone but as they get older, they want to be with people with their own interests. So, it is a small window that they’ll have neighborhood playmates. Also, if you move into cohousing for your children, what happens when they grow up? I’ve heard some move out. Other communities all the kids grew up and now they are a community with no children. I have one rule in my house – no growing, but they keep disobeying it.
Another reason people move into cohousing is so that their child can have other adults in their lives. I heard that about homeschooling too and my eldest has had amazing influences through homeschooling parents and church leaders. The problem is when the adults don’t act like adults. Stop talking to your kids because they are mad at you (I”ve heard a few examples of this). Arguing, yelling, and screaming matches in front of kids. Or you aren’t okay with their lifestyle and your kids seeing that – nudists, polyamourous, whatever.
I have also heard some people upset that they feel like they live in a preschool. If the community is too focused on kids, it may feel unbalanced.
Just things I’ve heard and seen and to think about.