Raising Kids In A Tiny House
Raising children of all ages in tiny houses is not only possible, but a wonderful unique experience. Certainly our own experience of living tiny with our two teenage children has been extraordinary and we wouldn’t trade it for anything. From their perspective, they love it too and feel proud to live the tiny lifestyle.
We talked the other day about living simply by breaking free. I have since been spending a lot of time thinking about the phrase “breaking free.” For those who don’t live by convention there really is nothing to break free from. But for 99 % of the population who has designed their life around “hand-me down philosophy” there is MUCH to break free from. I think for us the most difficult area to spread our wings and escape the V-formation was in parenting.
In the deep South you basically have 2 or 3 types of youngins. You have the mama’s boys and daddy’s girls (this type seems to do no wrong and is forever pushing the limits to be the apple of their parents’ eye), the rebel with a flaw (this type is difficult in behavior but does no wrong in his folks’ eye), and whooping boy (this is the type who has to pay for everything with an inch of a flesh and a switch). There are these types because that is the basic types of parenting in the South. And for those Southerners reading this feel free to call me out or add a few types I may have missed! Whatever the case my wife and I quickly realized that none of these children were what we wanted and that none of those parenting styles would work in close quarters. We had to break free and learn to do things differently. To some extent we had already broken free as we were the married couple with a baby while our friends were watching theirs graduate from high school.
Quite frankly, raising kids in a tiny house or otherwise small space can be a scary scenario as well as a potential foundation for minimalism and simplifying. In a tiny house you eat, sleep, and use the bathroom. Your living room and your media room are the world around you. There is usually not a TV in the house. There are not several rooms to escape to. There is no office/library or even a laundry room. This can prove especially difficult on rainy days, snow days, sick days, or even just the last day of a pay period when morale is down and funds are lower!
When your space and your child’s space is less then 6 feet apart and separated by little more than a heavy curtain how do you find privacy? Where does Mommy and Daddy get to be husband and wife again? But what about space for yourself? How do you find some solitude in a tiny house with a child? You can’t in all fairness ask everyone to leave. No, you have to improvise. You have to find comfort in ear-hugging Bose. You have to take naps when you can and master the art of sleeping with wide open eyes. You even have to learn that intimacy can be had on a volume of 1 rather than 10.