It's nice to know who you are growing up next to

Cohousing families – raising children in community - A video from Forgebank, Lancaster Cohousing

Cohousing has benefits for people at all ages and stages. And while we often read about how much adults enjoy cohousing it is nice to get a viewpoint from a group that can experience cohousing in a unique way. As Ravens Crossing builds its membership as a multi-generational community, hearing how much children benefit from living in cohousing helps us in our views of how we develop our community.

Children growing up in cohousing is the subject of a lovely video produced by Lancaster Cohousing at Forgebank – a community of around 65 adults and 15 children. In this video Alistair, Ella, and Elsa talk about how much they enjoy living in cohousing. They acknowledge that it is very different than growing up somewhere else. They experience freedom, independence, having lots of friends and doing things together.  As Alistair puts in “It’s a wonderful place, with loads of different people that have loads of different ideas you wouldn’t get anywhere else”. These children enjoy socializing with adults and other children and contributing to the community; whether that is helping prepare meals in the common house or solving computer problems for their neighbours.

The parents in the video echo their children’s happiness in living in cohousing. For Sarah, Simon, Kathy and Jan there is a sense of comfort in knowing all their neighbours and that their children can safely walk and play anywhere in their community. They love the support they get from each other that can take the form of very practical help like sharing child care and not having to cook dinner every night for their children as the community has shared meals in the common house. This assistance also takes other forms. For those that are sole parents they welcome the sense of community and not feeling so isolated. They are comfortable in knowing they can hang out with other adults as there is always someone else who can help put their children to bed. They all agree that their children are well rounded from being in contact with a range of different people and different age groups and gaining familiarity with different foods and cultures.

This video offers a lot of information for families who are considering cohousing and the benefits it can offer. We hope you enjoy it and if you are further interested in cohousing in Sidney, British Columbia, please check out the Ravens Crossing Cohousing website. We have regular information sessions (check our event page) and are always very happy to answer questions.

Fiona chandler