Children are our future. They can also be a challenge in communities where families live close to each other.
Condo living is a balance between private and public space. It can be difficult to regulate children that may encroach on the space of others. Not all parents ensure their children are well behaved and respectful of others.
Children require space to play which may not be available in smaller suites, or buildings without designated play areas or facilities.
Problems may start when a resident complains about noise coming from another unit – yelling, banging, jumping, or toys being dropped. All of this may be entirely normal for children. However, someone trying to sleep is entitled to their privacy and owners have an obligation to ensure noise does not emanate beyond the walls of their suite. Yet children should not be discriminated against for being children.
Empty-nesters who may have moved to a community may desire a quieter environment than young families with children. Conflict occurs when children in these communities lack a place to play. Playground equipment and play areas may appear to be a good idea except to those located next to them and subjected to constant noise. Common spaces designed for adults can be dangerous for children.
Children, as compared to adults, have more energy and fewer options for play. Balancing the needs of children and adults is part of harmonious condo living.
- Kid-friendly programming can help residents connect with each other.
- Social events can cater to children and adults.
- Rules should not be implemented that target children. Unsafe activities can be prohibited without mention of age restrictions or requiring adult supervision. Noisy activities can be prohibited without limitation to age.
- Rules enacted to limit the number of guests that can use common areas should apply to all.
Ultimate responsibility lies with parents. They can and should control their children so play is limited to designated areas that exclude hallways, stairwells, elevators and lobbies. In the home sound control measures and play restrictions can be implemented to protect the privacy of neighbours.
Ultimately a community should be accommodating to people of all ages. Neither children nor adults need to be inconvenienced when all parties act reasonably.