Ho Ho HOA! A Happy Kids ‘n Homeowners Story!

Hi Readers! Here’s a nice story for a Sunday. Enjoy!

Dear Free-Range Kids: Due to a recent bankruptcy and divorce my four children (ages 6-14) and I moved from our home of 10 years (great neighborhood) into a small group of very upscale townhomes. We are renting. I didn’t see much evidence of children around the small complex and felt a little nervous that maybe my children’s rambunctious ways (truly just normal children) wouldn’t be appreciated.

You can imagine my delight when last week we had a beautiful, warm, sunny day and my three younger children (6, 9, 11) were outside in the common area making forts out of our old moving boxes, using sidewalk chalk, *and* using scissors (gasp!) to make “doors” and “windows” in the boxes so that they could build cardboard box houses.

They were having a great time, and a bunch of other children from this small community showed up to play with them.  I was a little nervous when the HOA president (no children by choice) and secretary (has children but is older & retired) happened by, but all they said was “looks like they’re having a great time!” and continued on their way.

My children & the neighborhood kids played like this for several days in a row.  Other than asking them to make sure they put the boxes back in the garage when they were finished, I gave them no specific instructions.

They had a BALL and met lots of new friends.  The best part? They spent hours & hours outside playing, running around and actually being CHILDREN.

I don’t know if we have a rare HOA that just happens to be child-friendly, but I did want to share a positive story about organized, mostly adult communities. Thank you for an amazing website & resource for those of us that want to allow children to be children for as long as they can. — Ms. A

Condo Won’t Let Kids Play Outside

Hi Folks — Sometimes the inbox brings a little symmetry. Here’s a story one of you sent in about a condo association that can’t stand kids running around “from yard to yard” making “unacceptable noise.” Perhaps children should be taught to use their “indoor voices” outdoors.

But then here’s a story, also just in, about how Berlin is now officially allowing children to run around and MAKE noise (just not on Sundays).  So there’s hope. Far away. On weekdays.

Finally, I didn’t alert you to my current piece on ParentDish, “If You Don’t Have Kids, Can You Give Parents Advice?” So — here it is! Enjoy! — Lenore