Is coliving good for families?
While there are many different kinds of coliving communities, each with their own unique way of doing things, there is a common thread which runs throughout all of them. Every coliving group needs to strike the right balance between private spaces and the common spaces, and that choices generally are made as a group through collaborative decision-making. Resources and utilities are shared to cut back costs and manpower, and there is usually a focus on being eco-friendly and cutting back on unnecessary waste of resources.
The Shared Living Lifestyle
The biggest appeal about communities which are intentional and centered around shared resources, is that these communities foster relationships and are environments that thrive on inter-dependence. Coliving spaces usually featured shared laundry, dining, and kitchen facilities, and often include indoor and outdoor recreational areas which benefit all and are pricier than most could afford on a single income budget. Wifi and office space, cleaning services, and even community farms are common benefits that come with communal living, and the costs are decreased significantly.
How Families Benefit from Coliving
When shared communities are centred around the family lifestyle, there are a lot of benefits that come along with it. While it may not be ideal in every individual circumstance, there are some key reasons why more parents are making the decision to cohouse with other families. While their kids may go to different school, when they are at home, they are unified as an extended ‘family,’ which provides them with additional safety and security.
- Having children around them of different ages gives them valuable social skills, particularly beneficial for children who don’t have siblings. Finding playdates or making new friends is easier for all the children involved as it widens all of their networks and extended circle outside of the home. It also helps when it comes to needing babysitters or carpooling, as there are more people able to offer each other assistance in time of need.
- The communal lifestyle exposes the children and adults to various cultures and points of view about the world. There is a lot of knowledge and experience that can be imparted, and many opportunities for community bonding to occur.
- Families have access to a higher standard of living than they would otherwise be able to afford. For many, this can be the difference between making ends meet or not, so this is a huge benefit. Many coliving families are able to support their children on single minimum wage income by making the most of all the benefits that coliving has to offer.
The Challenges of Coliving
While there are many benefits which make coliving seem appealing to more than just students or tech start-ups, there are drawbacks to consider before you make that leap. When children misbehave or couples fight, everyone gets a front row seat, and privacy in many ways can become a rare and elusive treasure. It is vital that all members of the community know how to compromise, to communicate well, and to come to a consensus when it comes to decisions which affect the whole household.