Is It Ethical To Raise A Child In A Tiny House?

So one of the most frequent questions I get about Tiny Houses is: “what if I have a family?”  It is a good question.  To paraphrase Jay Schaffer, “it’s not the size of the house that matters, it is the size in relation to the number of people living in it.”

But this question always bring to mind a question for me

Is it ethical to raise children in such small spaces?

Now I would love to hear you all weigh in on this in the comments section, so please, share your thoughts, I love discussion!  But here is my take on it all, it might not be right, so take it with a grain of salt.  It is also important to know, as a matter of full disclosure, I don’t have kids, nor do I plan on having any.

Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs

I personally think that the raising of a child is successful when the child is loved, is socialized properly, is taught life skills and intellectual ones.   This combined with consistency, safety, room to be a kid and financial resources are also very important.  I feel that as a young child, living in a 400-500 square foot home would be excellent so long as there is a safe place to play outside.

As a child my mother almost never let us watch TV, we didn’t have video games or a computer and if it wasn’t raining outside, out we went.  Luckily we lived on a decent lot in a small town in New Hampshire.  My mother would always dress me in a bright red jacket, which happened to be my favorite color (here I was thinking she encouraged it because I loved red), and I would make forts, climb trees, jump on the trampoline.  In the winter it was snowmen, snow caves and munching on icicles.  I couldn’t imagine having anything less for a child of my own.

Family Bedroom

The reason I tell this story is that one of the big appeals to Tiny Living is that it gets you outside and reconnecting with nature.  The outside world becomes your second home.  This rare in our society and it is to our downfall, in my opinion.

There are two instances where I think that a Tiny House might not be all that ethical or good for the child.  These two, privacy/boundaries and evaluation of social services, really concern me.  As a child gets older she/he needs their own space, they need their own privacy, a dedicated space solely to them is important in my mind.  It also builds in responsibility for keeping up one’s own space, cleaning, folding, how to make a bed, personalization, and a place for solitude when needed.

The final issue that I think that is a huge issue and this has yet to be tested in the real world is how a representative of social services / child protective services would view a child living in such a small space.  It is often the case that Tiny Houses are not legal, that they in fact by definition (however  deeply flawed) is not a habitable space and would be condemned.

I fear that a child would be removed from the home and the custody of the parents.  That the Tiny House would be boarded up, the parents might be charged with neglect.  It is simply a parents worst nightmare, to have their children taken from them because they are labeled bad parents.

What do you think?

What would social services think?

Is it ethical to raise a child in a Tiny House?

  1. Jay Shaffer says that each person needs a private place of his own. He also recommends that each person have at least 100 square feet of “bulk storage” for books and other items that don’t fit in a tiny house.

    For families, it seems that a small house would be a better choice than a tiny one. Each person could have his privacy in a small bedroom. And, there would be space to keep your things inside rather than needing to build another shed or pay for a storage locker on the other side of town.

    Some of Jay’s “larger” homes look like they would be quite nice for a family.

    • Is it ethical to raise a child with a astronomical interest-bearing mortgage ? (while ‘investors’ stuff their pockets.) Middle class people buy liabilities (mortgages). Rich people buy assets. (A ‘home’ with a mortgage is an ‘asset’ to the lender…not to the “homeowner”. What are you raising…..another “good consumer” ? That is what money-bags America WANTS you to think. Hello…wake up

      • Today’s america demands an indoor child. Department of children and families has america scared to death to let their children outside.

    • ….”social services”…. the American people are no more than pawns and prostitutes for the get rich quick system….we are SO, SO snowed into the mindset of making OTHER people rich…In fact …we are snowed into feeling guilty if we don’t take out a 30 yr mortgage to fund someone else’s private school fund for THEIR kid…Americans buy into the status symbol game and work to have stuff so they feel ‘worthy and proud’ …..ego….hello…nice cars…nice home..these are LIABILITIES… wake up….quit making other ‘people-investors’ RICH…that is the shameful part….grow balls and a spine…live in something you can pay for in 3 years..

      • I wholeheartedly agree. I have been trying to talk my what will be ex-husband into going tiny or at least a smaller house with a smaller mortgage after he retires from the military in April and living in NM where we’re surrounded by nature & away from metro life. I remind him how we were happier when we were living in a nice single wide with little payment than the rest of our marriage after he had to start keeping up with what his family thought was ideal. He was lower rank making beans meaning we were struggling living hand to mouth from 1999 until 2007 so he could satisfy his & their egos. My parents brought me up to believe you can be happy with what you need & not all the elaborate crap everybody else craves & has to have. They started out with low income jobs & went to nursing & self employed building contractor but that never changed their motto in life. His family was exact opposite although in the same financial boat and had family members committing suicide & having mental breakdowns all the time. So, after all the sacrifices I have made for him to be a career Marine, he can’t make one small sacrifice living a simple debt free life so we could still travel around after because we wouldn’t be strapped down with a mortgage. I’m ready to live simple again & it doesn’t make me white trash because I prefer a smaller, less expensive lifestyle. He has our 17 yr old son convinced he would be miserable living with me in something small too. I don’t have a huge ego I need to feed & keep happy so bring it on tiny life!

    • This question put to us has always been a concern to me since I turned on HGTV and saw my first Tiny Home. My knowledge to contribute is my husband raised three girls in what I considered a small house. It had three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Our home worked just fine as long as my husband and I had a place and time for “intimate time”. This was not to bleed into family time, homework, cooking, family meeting time, you get the jest. When the girls turned into pre teens (not the nicest child living in a regular home) the home became smaller with each one
      entered the twilight zone. Here’s the part when I
      become. The girls needed,demanded, and should have the right of a space larger than what I keep seeing in a Tiny House. They were changing in personality and the way their body was shaping.
      Out. If a family had a combination of male and females I cannot imagine the problems. Don’t these kids have spend the night? Changing clothes, bathing,etc. I almost wonder if at least one Maladjusted child doesn’t come out thatliving arrangement. Parents are making the decision about where the family will live. Actually the child doesn’t have a vote. Not really. Great perhaps for a temp living situation on a lake or in the mountains for a vacation. That could get too long.

      • I come from Mongolia where vast majority of children grow up sharing space or in a one room ger together. It’s not only “ethical” but awesome in the sense that the siblings grow up bonded. There is nothing to hide. Mongolian kids don’t go through “my mom and dad are lame” teen phase, quite the same way: most remain exceptionally humble and helpful to their parents throughout teen years and don’t talk back. Basically you do your homework and things In front of each other and together around the same table. The individuality is respected by people’s attitude and level of adjustment they give to each other than by isolating one another into his or her “own space.”

        • Thank you for this cultural perspective. I’ve had someone tell me that it’s akin to child abuse and that children should be removed. I argued that surely it’s not actually that unusual for children to share a room, especially in low income/economic areas and that it is surely better for kids to be in a stable, loving home with their parents, than have stressed out parents who they barely see thanks to a huge mortgage. It definitely sounded like an exceptionally privileged point of view. Yes children need alone time, but that can be worked around even when sharing a room.

  2. I can’t say whether, in the big picture, a tiny house would be right for a family with children. What I CAN say is that as a child I recall visiting my aunt, who lived in a trailer at the lake, and I absolutely loved being tucked away in the nook of a bunk bed built into a wall alcove with a curtain to close off the compartment and a tiny window to look outside! In fact, I attribute that experience as being the start of my love for tiny spaces!

  3. In my opinion, it is not only ethical, but better for happiness – if we remember, children have been (and still are being) raised in small trailers, RVs, boats, and one-room cabins for centuries (at LEAST). And it has been my own experience that living in smaller spaces brings family closer together than larger ones – you are forced to interact and learn to work together because you can’t stomp off and blare music and slam a door if you don’t have the space to do so.

    That’s not to say that kids shouldn’t have someplace private. But when you have less privacy IN the house, you make yourself a space OUTSIDE of the house.

    I would agree, however, that a small house is better than a tiny house – you don’t want to be completely on top of each other – but we’ve considered downsizing our 2BR/2BA apartment to something smaller (either in rooms or square footage) but cozy to raise our two daughters (and two daughters makes it easier to share rooms than, say, 1 girl and 1 boy would, I think). But we do like some of Jay’s “larger” homes…

    • Edited: All uppercase to Lower case.

      I belive that loving someone is more important then the size of house. If you have problems with cps, hitch up and move. Home teaching will
      Be better then pubic education. My grand-niece
      Just started collage at 16.

      My folks had a large house to the point of thinking that i was living by my self. At 13

      • There is a reason CPS gets involved. It’s safety of children. Small children don’t care about space but soon those small children become young adults and begging to have sexual feelings and hormonal changes. If you have opposite gendered children living in a space less than 250 sq feet , that is a disaster waiting to happen. What if you and your spouse want to be intimate? I’m not saying People need a McMansion but children need at lease privacy, to think and to explore theirselfs and so do the parents. CPS is there to prevent abuse and rightly so. Getting up and moving only teaches children to have no respect for the law or for safety concerned or considering the health and well being of others. Avoidance of laws and responsibility is not mentally mature nor does it make for a responsible Adult. I grew up in a 900sq foot house with my brother and sister and I’m glad I had my own space as I am the oldest and I could not imaging going through puberty and having to share with a little girl and boy 5 years my junior. And anyone who has gone through puberty knows exactly what I am referring to. That’s why we have laws to protect our children in those respects. I would have to question someone greatly who wants to avoid CPS….

        • So you’re saying if siblings don’t have a certain amount of space they will sexually abuse each other? What weird thought. Also, lots of people co-sleep with their children until a certain age (maybe until they move out in some cultures) and the parents can still find ways to be intimate, not to mention that tiny house sleep areas can be walled in for privacy. It sounds like the inclusion of CPS in this article was geared more toward the idea of raising children in an area that may be inadequate for basic physical needs and developmental goals. Living in a tiny home with small children does not mean the family will there forever either. My husband and plan to build and live in a tiny home with our toddler and baby on the way, but we do not plan to live in it forever. We also plan to have 3 separate sleeping spaces, the idea that everyone shares one sleeping space is inaccurate (although some may chose to do so). We see it as a way to reduce debt, focus on what’s important in life, and reconnect with ourselves and nature – with less material possessions and less stress about finances. Creating an environment where our children are forced to expose or molest each other is certainly not a part of that plan, and not an issue I’ve heard of amongst the tiny house community.

          • totally agree!
            children need to be brought back to the basics , and learn what is important in life . like family not material items .

        • Both of my parents grew up in small houses with several siblings meaning it was tight quarters and nobody molested each other or committed incest. I do believe boys & girls need their own separate rooms but not all kids living tight quarters have this problem but usually ones that are unsupervised, not taught right from wrong or told right from wrong but their parents don’t practice what they preach. I also believe parents should have a private room too because children don’t need to be seeing certain affections that go past kisses & hugs which can lead to sexual curiosity & desires of their own whether it’s with their siblings or a peer. I think that may be what you were getting at too. That kind of behavior could also go on in a larger house as well though if that’s what they’re seeing adults do & some adults could have a mansion but have the morals of an alley cat & still do it in the open for the kids to see.

          • So if my fiance and I move into 1 out baby is on the way and it’s only us till our baby reaches 10 years of age we will be fine right ?

        • I was thinking the same thing about the opposite gender children, not necessarily that they would sexual abuse each other but if say you have a set of twins (boy and girl) sharing a room when they are younger it is fine but as they get older and hormones start many kids need their privacy and sharing a room with someone who isn’t going through the same bodily changes can make things awkward. and while you as a parent might not want to (or should) think about (or encourage) your children becoming interested in sex and exploring their bodies the thing is that it happens. Living in a Tiny/Small house is fine you just might want to make sure that everyone as their ‘own’ space Whether for homework, reading or just needing time to their selves.

          I was a very introverted child even with my family while I loved to spend time with them I also enjoyed time to myself.

          • Geez I wonder how the many millions of families around the world and in the olden days of the U.S.A. ever managed to get along without problems space)privacy,sex,puberty,sharing,etc. In much smaller houses and much larger families.
            A tiny house can be built that accommodates a family.

          • Re: Robert

            I am speaking of families who I know/are aware of that don’t provide personal spaces. I am not opposed to tiny houses at all. I am answering the question brought forward by the article, is it ethical. As long as they are in a loving home and have their own space there is no ethical violations.

            I am aware of families of 6 where boys and girls are sharing the same room.

    • I wholeheartedly agree. Smaller homes seem to promote more family time together and at the same time perhaps just a small, not so tiny or teenie in some cases I’ve seen on Tiny House Hunters, that kids don’t have any space of their own because let’s face it. The weather isn’t always nice enough to be outside all of the time. Another plus to living small with a family is that you won’t get into the habit of saving everything & have to be in the habit of keeping the place picked up especially in the case of teenagers or you’ll be look like hoarders. I admit that if I were a social worker in the case of some of these couples moving into 100-200 sf with 2-3 small children that I would suggest removal because that’s no better than a bunch of animals living packed into a small cage together IMO.

  4. I believe that a small or tiny house would be preferable to family living than a McMansion. My reasons are thus: in a large house everyone has their own room, their own TV, their own computer (probably), their own phone, their own music system, etc. . . There is never any reason to interact, except for meals, and we all know how that goes anymore. Children (People) all need to learn to interact with others, get along with others, be respectful to others, etc. . and I think this would happen much easier and better in a small or tiny house. (End of rant)

  5. Great question and one I feel pretty strongly about. My wife and I are raising four children in 1000 square feet – maybe not a tiny house, but certainly smaller and anyway, the size of the average home in 1950 and even a bit on the large side 50 years before that.

    I am asked on almost a daily basis when we’ll be moving into something larger and I always politely blame the real estate market and change the subject.

    But the truth is:

    1) 1000 square feet can be thoroughly picked-up, laundered and vacuumed in a morning, instead of consuming your entire weekend.

    2) In a small house, you can’t go days on end without seeing your kids because they’re down in the rec room playing xbox.

    3) The kids are, or should be, outdoors anyway – home is just a place to eat, clean, read and sleep.

    4) You’re going to have to get rid of your crap sooner or later. And if you do it later, you’re less likely to properly re/freecycle it. If you can make “crap-management” a small part of your daily routine, it never gets overwhelming and you’re more likely to value what you have, or find good homes for what you no longer need.

    5) Or the best approach to “crap-management” is of course the finely-tuned crap-detector your small home will inspire in you. Everyone does this: they fill whatever space they have with crap. If you can’t spare the space in the first place, you’re forced to approach your acquisitions much more thoughtfully. This is a tremendously important life-skill I want my kids to learn.

    6) In a smaller home, your kids have more opportunities to experience the family’s ecological footprint. In larger homes, the destination of the central vacuum or the distant rumbling of HVAC are all just abstract mysteries and lend to the illusion that earth’s resources are infinite.

    7) Close quarters provide more stimulation, which makes it easier to resist the lure of television, for which there hopefully isn’t any space anyway.

    8) A smaller home reinforces the lesson that over-consumption is a more urgent problem than over-population.

    9) A smaller home in America is actually pretty average or even large by the standards of most of the rest of the world.

    10) In a smaller home, children get to witness the parents navigate all the above – they get to see for themselves how critical moderation is to sustainable living.

    • I agree, I also live in a small house with my family of four and I would like less room. Kids have learned how to unclutter with they don’t have room for stuff. stuff is just that. I do not think a tiny house is appropriate for family with kids – but a small house is good therapy for all.

    • Very well thought out arguments. And regarding Social Services…shame on Americans for letting the government tell us how big our houses should be and how we should raise our kids. I’m sure they would have a fit, so if I had children I would build my small (not tiny) house far away from a big snoopy city.

    • I completely agree on these 10 points that you made! My husband and I have 5 children, ages 6 and under, and we are currently living in a 1040 sq ft home. Our oldest 3 children are boys, and our youngest 2 are girls. I LOVE the small space, and although it does get too loud and crazy at times, we are all very comfortable and happy in this amount of space. We live in northern Wisconsin in the country on a couple acres. The kids play outside most of the year, with the exception of a few of the coldest months when temperatures reach -40 and lower. During those few winter months I begin to wonder if a larger house would keep all of us sane… 😉 But ultimately the ease of keeping the house clean, being close and interacting easily with one another, and teaching the kids how to live well regardless of what other’s think, is what keeps us here.

    • I was under the impression that a “Tiny Home” is 1000 square feet or less, so you would technically live in a tiny home. I mean, we’re talking tiny homes not micro homes. We are raising two kids in 776 square feet. Both of our children are under two. We don’t have a tub, but a wet bath (which can be tough, but we make it work) and honestly, every person that meets my kids tell me that they are the happiest and brightest kids they have ever met. We’ve had so much more money to spend on cool experiences than we would if we lived in a “normal” house.

    • We have 4 kids in 880 square feet. About all I’d like more of is a master bed and bath. In fact, we’re considering spending a year in a 5th wheel travel trailer!

    • Totally agree. My husband and I are raising our 3 kids with another on the way in our 1300 sq ft home and looking still to downsize/tiny house/something along those lines. It’s totally true, the more space you have, the more useless crap you accumulate, thus the more time you spend cleaning and subsequently organizing much “needless” stuff. We would rather spend our time doing other things together. (And to just throw my 2 cents in regarding comments made about the weather not always being the greatest and therefore kids can’t always be outside – also not true. We live in the Pacific NW and if we don’t go out in the rain/fog/snow we would be spending half our lives inside. Kids are very good at using their imaginations and playing ANYwhere – bundle them up and take or send them out! Precipitation won’t melt anyone and it builds their character and gives an appreciation for ALL the seasons and weather patterns.)

  6. Family with 3 kids in a Fencl variation:

    • that was so neat but i would want to use something like the bodega for a family but it proves that it can work

  7. I grew up in an apartment and have a relatively small home with two daughters (one off at college). Young children like to be in the same room as a parent even if they are involved in different activities. Teens tend not to retreat as much in a small home and they find privacy even in shared rooms and certainly in the virtual space of their computers. Without multiple TVs, watching is a shared experience. We read together, watch favorite shows, talk about what’s in catalogues (I know the paper is a total waste), even cook and bake together. Not sure we would share as much if we had a larger space and my daughters are much more environmentally and space aware than if they had grown up in a gas guzzler house.

  8. My in-laws raised 12 children in about 1000 sf. Bunk beds were stacked to the ceiling! I think it’s a shame the we as a society, have to worry whether or not Social Services would intervene over the size of the living quarters. To my mind, small mindful living isn’t bad parenting, just the opposite. Teaching children to be good stewards of all resources is something we should all aspire to.

  9. I think sharing space with siblings helps make you a better person in life. It helps avoid that “this is MINE” mindset that lots of people have these days.

    But I don’t think a 12-17 year old kid deserves to live in a 120 square foot house… So I say at least 500 square feet depending on how many.

    • I agree very much with the space you said Alex. I have a 17-yr-old son & although he will be leaving home in another year, I have tried to find a tiny-small home with still enough square footage to build or buy that will give him some private space as well as our small zoo–2 large dogs & 45 rowdy cats. I can’t even imagine living in 120 sq ft with just the cats during crazy cat hour. They’re worse than the dogs during their play time. A home with a teenager & small zoo definitely has to be at least 500 sf.

      • Make that 4 rowdy cats, not 45. They would need a tiny house of their own then, lol.

        • Bahhahhahaaa that was hilarious! I was like 45……….rowdy!?………what on Earth…..

  10. If the child has mom and dad and they love each other. And give that love, who needs a big house. When you have big LOVE.

  11. I have to say that as a mother, I find rearing children in a small space to not only be good but necessary. I feel that the excess space and things given to most children reinforces the mindset of materialism and entitlement that is prevalent throughout western culture, especially in the U.S.

    That being said, I don’t think a tiny house would be the route to go. I think a small house would be perfect. Sharing a bathroom should not be an issue, and the bedrooms should be small, but everyone needs a bit of privacy.

    Not only does living in a small space get children outdoors, but it also teaches them to be less attached to things and more attached to people and the world around them.

  12. I know a lot of people worry about social services, but as long as a home is sanitary, the child has food and a place to sleep, and is not being abused physically or verbally then they cannot really do anything. If you are polite and talk to the worker nicely then dealing with them is not bad at all. Many of them just want to see a child happy and well cared for because they see so many cases where a child is terribly neglected. Usually the problem is people who think they know what is better and will call CPS at the drop of a hat and unfortunately it is hard to get away from those kind of people.
    Some things that you can think about to tell someone when they make comments about children living in tiny spaces are:
    Religious reasons – for example “I believe that God wants us to take care of the earth and to do so my family has reduced their carbon footprint”
    Mental well being of children – for example “by living in a small house I am able to spend more time with my children and we get to go to lots of museums and go on hikes while other parents are working all day, so my children feel I am there for them.”
    If someone is really concerned about this kind of thing happening to them then I would suggest sitting down with your family and writing a family constitution to establish why you live the way you do and what you want out of life because of the way you live. Of course there is always room for amendments as you grow and learn, but to have something solid in writing is good if you need to defend your personal belief in living.

  13. My mother was an only child. She was born in a tent and raised in a one room log cabin on an isolated Montana ranch until she was 12 years old. She lived to be 97 and her fondest memories, about which she wrote many stories, were of the years in that cabin.

    I was one of four children raised in a small home in a tiny village. The house has 3 small bedrooms – one for my parents, one for my brother (lucky duck, only boy) and one for us three girls. We had a small living room, small kitchen, and an acre of land to run around in (and garden, yuck) plus the entire area of pastures and fields. I’m still sorry that I couldn’t raise my daughter in a similar setting.

    Single parent with single child might do OK in a tiny house — more people than that, probably a small house would be better. I don’t think that kids raised in big houses fare any better and maybe not as well when they can divorce themselves from their families and live like hermits if they want to. Small houses encourage contact and thereby, communication.

    Go small and tiny houses!

  14. I agree with everyone, but Jason Blum hit it right on the head. Perfect.

  15. When I grew up 11 of us (9 siblings + 2 parents) shared a 900 sq. ft. house. It’s not the size of the house, its what’s in it that counts.

  16. Y’all are talkin’ about one of those eight-foot-wide-on-wheels type tiny places? By choice?

    C’mon, that’s not cool. I mean really.

  17. We have our family of 3 (and dd is a young teen) living in a 2 story 16×24 similar to some of the Tumbleweed? plans I have seen. It was one of the best decisions we have made. No mortgage means I can be home w/ dd, gardens, and animals. Which also means that our house is always full of other teens because they are in a safe, supervised environment while other parents work. We live on a hobby farm so lots to do outside. We do have a 10×16 house that we lived in during the end of construction that now houses an extra teen space or guests as well. One thing I do recommend: We insulated our teens rooms walls all around (including floor) to reduce sound. Very helpful:)

  18. My wife and I live in a two bedroom, one bath house in South Florida that’s all of 1100 squ. feet with our 6 children. Its true what everyone is saying about being close, we have friend with houses that you could get lost in. It like they have separate lives from their children. I think it is a mind set, you either want to be close to your children or you don’t. Living in a small house isn’t bad but having a 5 thousand square foot garage would make things a little easier when it comes to storing all my tools, everyone’s bikes, lawn equipment, strollers, etc. LOL

  19. In his book, The New Good Life, John Robbins points out that he’s never heard anyone complain that their childhood was bad because of living in a small house or that their childhood was good because of living in a large house. That simply isn’t what’s important to children.

  20. Go see the movie “Babies” It puts a lot of things in perspective.

  21. I think it would be great to raise a family in a tiny house. I would think the family would have a sense of closeness people just don’t have now days. It would be better,also because I would think it would make the children more active, which would promote better over-all health.( I would imagine children would be more prone to play out-doors) It would cut down on obesity and also let children develop a sense of imagination they just don’t have anymore. It would also give them respect for nature, recycling, and appreciation for what they do have. So over all I think it is an excellent idea. ( I have 3 kids and once I find the land I want I plan on having a “tiny house”)

  22. >>Is it ethical to raise children in such small spaces?<<
    Asking "is it optimal?" or "is it practical?" or a host of other similar questions related to tiny houses, is fine.
    But to ask "is it ethical?" borders on silliness, and betrays an incredibly Ameri-centrist or rich-country-centrist view of the world.
    Here's why. Follow me on this.
    No. 1, merely posing the question admits of the possibility that the answer could be No.
    No. 2, a substantial portion of the world's population today raises their kids in spaces smaller than any [I'd venture to say] of your houses. Would any of you have the audacity to march into a poor village in the Central Highlands of Peru and accuse a family there of unethical behavior because they're raising their kids in an earthen hut? Would you have the temerity to stroll through the Dharavi Slum in Mumbai and question the ethics of most of the families there?
    Practicality, advisability, and the relative value of square footage vs other considerations in providing for a child, yes, by all means pose those issues, grapple with them.
    But the question "is it ethical?" is highly inappropriate.

    • What he said.

      Would one ask if it is ethical for a family to take a camping trip in a tent?

      • One would not live 24/7 366 days a year in said tent.

    • Wow, I know this thread is dead, but I feel compelled to respond to this. First: of course “merely posing [a yes-no] question admits of the possibility that the answer could be No.” That is how questions work. It’s almost never inappropriate to ask questions about ethics. (Maybe, in your fantasies about the Central Highlands of Peru and the Dharavi slum, people do not ask questions; they just blindly accept their fate, or intuit the correct course of action, because they haven’t been corrupted by money or Western capitalism or feminism or whatever your bogeymen are. But I’m pretty sure that in the real world, people ask questions, they think freely, and they make decisions based on reason. Even poor people.) Second: is it “highly inappropriate” to ask whether it’s ethical for large corporations to take over farmland, flood villages, and displace millions of people into slums and refugee camps? To my mind, we don’t find it just to question the ethics of families who live in slums or other low-cost, high-density housing because they can’t easily move. It’s equally unjust to blame them for their living situations, but that wasn’t the question here: the question was about the ethics of the person who freely decides to put a family in a tiny space — whether it’s ethical to raise children in a very small space not due to economic necessity but due, to put it bluntly, to ideology. (Yes, environmentalism is ideology. It’s my ideology too, but let’s call it by its name.) This is absolutely a fair question to ask (even, please note, if the answer is “yes”!), especially because it’s not a matter of a slum or poor village with dozens of families in the same circumstances: it’s a matter of downscaling the very conventional American ideal of the well-built, well-locked single-family house on a sizeable plot of land. You still have the nuclear family as a unit, with very strong bonds between parents and children and much weaker bonds between parents and neighbors, or children and neighbor children/classmates (inherently suspect, with their mountains of toys and despicable video game systems). Is the fantasy of living like Noble Poor People from the developing world justification enough for radically restricting your children’s living space to the size of (as comment below suggests) a camping tent? And if the kid wants to know why s/he can’t have his/her own room like the neighbor kids, will you reply that it’s a “highly inappropriate” question, since a kid in a slum would never ask? I’m guessing your answer to that is no, you’d try to reason with your children. That’s what’s going on here as well. Try treating your neighbors and fellow citizens a bit more like you treat your children and the poor nonwesterners you idealize, that’s my advice.

  23. Echoing Sara L.’s Post above

    Social workers doing home visits see kids crammed into small apartments all day long. They are not going to make an issue of limited space. There are too many real problems out there that need attention.

    But if they see abuse or neglect, they will use every rule and ordinance available, including insufficient space, to get leverage on behalf of those children.

    That is their job.

  24. So glad to hear the experiences of other families in small homes. We three live in basically one room (no actual walls or privacy) that is about 450 square feet. It is wonderful most of the time, and I am glad our daughter has spent the first 5 years of her life living this way. We all crave privacy at times (father and I are more introverted than her!). I have wished at times she had her own tiny little room for her sake and ours, but it isn’t a bit deal. We are building a bigger house now, and it makes me a bit sad to leave our cozy little home. She had her first real play date (with someone other than family friend) recently and we wish we could have heard what the little girl reported to her parents!

  25. I am the oldest of 8 children, I am now 43 years old. I give this info to tell you that this is relatively recent :-). As one of 8, we often shared rooms, sometimes 6 children to a room (6 girls, 2 boys). We often had small homes, but never lacked for anything. We all had braces on our teeth, and all the food we could eat. Mom and dad took good care of us, and we enjoyed our small spaces. I do not recall ever wanting anything different! Years later, I have one child, and we have decided to raise him in a small space of 320 sq ft. We are VERY happy, every day we comment on how fortunate we are. We drive by big houses (I am careful not to say anything negative about large houses, as many of my family now have them) and he says “I bet they work a lot, and never get to spend time with their kids”. These are HIS comments! He knows there is a trade off, and is happy with what he has. We were the same growing up, my mother did not work outside the home, we spent long days with her.

    Sorry to ramble 🙂 Here is my home, go take a look:

    PS I have had many beautiful, LARGE homes, that our son has enjoyed as well

  26. I live in Alaska & we spent a lot of time outside when my son was younger.

    Now that he is a teenager, our 900 sqft. home seems a little cramped at times, but we still make do. I have an entire extra bedroom just for my studio.

    It is great idea to think that the outdoors can be an extension of your living area, but it is not possible in Alaska all year round. It would be really hard to spend 8 months of cold weather cramped inside a 200 sqft cabin. (remember the term “Cabin Fever”?)

    The key to our success is having an open living/dining/kitchen area. It feels big. Our bedrooms are just for sleeping & storing stuff that we don’t really need. Most of the time my son sleeps on the couch, so we really have 2 extra bedrooms.

    My sister on the other hand has a 4000+ sqft. home in the mountains. We enjoy going there on the weekends & visiting. There is no way we could do that in the winter if she lived in a tiny cabin. Because I have a smaller house, we have all events at her house, so sometimes I feel a little left out. That is the only downside I feel with having a small house & large extended family.

    When my son goes off to college in a few years, my dream is to downsize. People think I am nuts.

    I think it is great!

  27. When I grew up in a 1000sq.ft. home with 5 other siblings and both parents we had to share rooms. At one time we had three in one small room in a triple bunkbed. We enjoyed it. We didn’t have to be scared of the dark because we were there for each other. As far as private space goes, we each had two drawers in a dresser and our bed. That was what was considered “ours”. Everything else was shared. In one way or another we are all, I just realized, downsizing now that we are all past 50 years old. 1000 sq. foot would be the average for each of us as married couples. Grandkids come and visit and yes, someone has to sleep on the living room floor. In my house, it’s usually me since I get up earliest. It works.

  28. My goal is to eventually build and live in my own home, small but not tiny. Probably about 400-500 feet and add on bedrooms whenever kids happen (i’m 22, kids will be another 6-10 years probably). I really don’t see the need for us to have a home larger than 1000 sq feet even with a family of four and maybe a small office space. More space than that seems like for the years of owning the place will just eat up resources (heating costs, maintainance cost, time)and life is to short to slave for a shell of a home. I’d rather have a small efficient home with my own custom cabinetry, attention to detail the newer way of giant kitchens being deemed necessary to anyone who likes to cook, and a den, a living room and a study. It’s wasteful.

    When I was growing up I lived half the time at my fathers duplex, where there was a total of 7-8 people living in 2 bedrooms, 750 sq ft. That’s crowded, I shared a bed with my sisters for a long time and before that I slept in the living room. There was constantly people everywhere. It didn’t bother me though. All I wanted to do when the weather wasn’t raining was explore the wide open world around me, so home was for relaxing indoors with movies at night. It was lots of fun, sometimes annoying but it was never lonely.

    When I was 10 I moved into my moms new condo, just four of us, my mom and two brothers in two bedrooms and 800 square feet and it was utter hell the seven years I lived there. It was a dark, lightless cave, impossible to cool in summer (the few windows they had were perfect to capture afternoon heat in our hot Sacramento summer) and we all couldn’t stand each other. We were not an emotionally close family, and the layout wasn’t great. Having guest over made my mom claustrophobic so of course I never had friends over. My brother and I had no place of our own and were fighting constantly. When I was 17 we moved a larger house and for the first time ever my brother and I didn’t want to kill each other anymore.

    But I think it’s more about the space your living in that the size. While the house we moved into had one more bedroom and 1100 sq ft, it was set up in a better situation for our summers. large windows let in a lot of light, tall ceiling made us use the AC as little as I ever had in our climate at the time. It’d be perfect if it were smaller. We ended up moving because it was too much house but it really proved to me the importance of light and personal space.

    Kids when they are young, and when I was young, I didn’t care about my own space much until I was approaching my teen years. I think as kids get older and earn their independence their own space becomes more important. But this doesn’t mean they need 500 sq ft of privacy, just a small place of their own. But to not provide kids the luxury (really it’s all lux) of their own room or space isn’t anything remotely worthy of wasting CPS’s time over, anyone who thinks otherwise is ridiculous. Love isn’t measure in square feet.

    I want to have rural property, and when my future kids reach teenage years and want more space, they can build themselves a tiny house of their own. Either permanent or on a trailer. But I don’t think I’ll want to empty the nest the way my mom did, just let them build their own nest.

  29. Ethical?
    I have had several friends that years ago,well before the recent economic woes,sold their large homes and sailed in small sailboats from port to port around the world. Home schooling their children. No walls,no real private space,no steady group of friends other than those they met briefly on shore. They did this for several years and then decided to return,buy a big house and live in the social norm. All of them at the kids request have since sold the houses bought another boat and set sail for places unknown.
    No worries.
    Lest we forget Abe Lincoln grew up in cabins of under 300SqFt with 2 siblings and 2 parents and Jimmy Carter was the first President to be born in a hospital. Yikes what Barbarians,social services should have tossed the parents in jail.LOL Lousy kids.

  30. I grew up in Nunavut, Canada.. the natives here are inuit (myself included), we have only recently been modernized, and in the 50’s inuit were still living in igloos (if you don’t know what that is it’s a dome snow house). In igloos there were no bedrooms, families spent all their time together, eating, sleeping, and having fun. They had a close bond, and if I compare that to today’s young inuit it has made a huge impact on our family relations, kids spending all their time in their bedrooms with their ipods and gaming systems rather than with their parents and grandparents. I would say it is a lot harder to pass on traditional knowledge and values to the youth of today. I believe that small or tiny houses are the way to go for families, you will build closer relationships and gain more respect from your children. Just my honest opinion, from an arctic perspective.

  31. I know this is an old post, but maybe my story will help people thinking about tiny living with families.

    Almost a year ago exactly we lived in a fairly run down 256sq ft two behind rv trailer due to financial hardship. There was me, my husband, and our 7 yr old. I was very pregnant as well. We had a vengeful CPS call made on us. The trailer wasn’t as clean as I’d have liked due to the difficulties of Texas summer heat and pregnancy, I’ll admit. However, the cleanliness was the ONLY thing addressed by our social worker. Basically, she asked us to do the dishes from the past two days and have our eldest clean his room. Easy cheesy. I asked her about the size and this was her response: “Children are required to have their own bed and a small bit of space for themselves. The overall size doesn’t matter as long as they have their basic needs met.”

    So for all those worried about CPS taking your child because you choose to live tiny, don’t worry. At least in Texas.

  32. I know I’m commenting on this late, however, for the sake of those reading this in the future, I’d like to get this info out there.

    At the time this was written, I was working in child protective services and, in fact, was an assessment worker, meaning, that I was the first contact the family had the one that made the decision of there was abuse or neglect happening, and the general idea of what the public things of CPS. I can tell you theoretically what I would have looked at and thought as well as how I actually dealt with a similar situation.
    A tiny house itself would not be my concern, it is always about the impact to the child and sometimes about the law. Male and female children by the age puberty first starts can not share a room. So around age 8, they need to be in individual rooms. They cannot be put in the living room or something that is not actually a bed room and the home must be safe-not falling apart or dangerous. So, general common sense here. If the children are happy and healthy and the family is functional, I’d applaud them for living within their means and teaching their children valuable life lessons.
    If older, different gendered children were sharing a room, I’d discuss it with the family. What impact existed to the child, what options were there etc. I would not remove a child for that reason alone and probably would close the case of they refuse to move one and the kids weren’t impacted by the sharing. That would be it.
    If the home was dangerous, I would evaluate why. Probably money reasons, that’s something I would help. You don’t take away children from a good family doing their best because of poverty. No, the are other options. There family living in a dilapidated trailer in which a wall could be moved feet in either direction with your hand and they had fallen through the floor 3 times. I got them help and genuinely cared for that family. I think they liked me, when another person called to resort them again they were happy to see it was me who came back and I praised them for further improvements. The house wasn’t pretty and didn’t have the finer things in life but if was sage and they made a lot of further improvements. Not one did I threaten to remove their kids.
    The family I had first referred to say living in a school bus parked in the woods. They had shelled it out, insulated it, put in a bed and it even had heat, air conditioning, a television, and proper ventilation! They had an outhouse and a fire pit for cooking. I brought a thermometer with me, it was summer and a reasonable 78 degrees inside. They had an infant so they explained they didn’t want them to be too chilly. I dropped by in the winter to recheck and they happily had me in. It was a warm 78 degrees then too… Again, for the baby, and this was in a very cold region. Neither were found to be abusive or neglectful homes and we left the families alone because why would we bother them? They were doing what they had to provide for their families. Many aren’t that motivated and creative. Now I am looking at building my own soon to raise my daughter in. If I thought it was risky, I’d never even consider doing it. Small homes don’t make bad families.

  33. I’m very late to this posting, but since I’m seriously considering this as a single parent to a four year old, thought I would pitch in. From the age of 15 until I left for the military, I lived on a 33 foot sailboat with my family (mother, father and brother, who is 7 years younger than I) in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. Was it a little close quartered sometimes? Of course. But I absolutely loved it. We were friends with many families who had even younger children, toddlers or infants. Everyone simply learn to adapt, and that community takes pride in having only the necessities, the things that are actually important.

    As a younger child, I lived in a wide range of homes, some very small, and eventually a very large and spacious house in New Mexico. Frankly, my brother and I much preferred the smaller space with far less crap to take care of. Additionally, getting rid of everything that we didn’t need with a huge relief. After we lived on the boat, we took a four month trip around the states in an old RV, and the extra footage seemed luxurious. Following that, I spent seven years in the Air Force, with the majority of my housing being in a dorm room, or 9 x 9′ storage converted shipping containers during deployments.

    Now, at the age of 30, I am preparing to relocate us to a new city, and am actively searching for a much smaller space for my son and I to live in; anything over 400 feet seems like overkill. I’ve talked to him many times about choosing our favorite things only to bring with us, and discussed living in a smaller space. Truly he’s very excited about it. Not having to pay an atrocious amount of money for footage and utilities frees me up to be able to pay for food and various activities without stress. And again, the more crap you have, the more time you waste taking care of it.

    As long as they are treated like the beautiful human beings they are, provided a stable, loving environment and are given a voice, kids are extremely flexible and will eagerly adapt if they see that you are also adaptable.

  34. Ok. So,we have four kids and we live in,a 36′ tiny house built out of an old travel trailer. The kids share a room with 2 bunks on each wall. Girls on one side, boys on the other. The beds have curtains and the kids refer to their beds as their “rooms”. Our loft is over their room and insulation and reason should keep their thoughts pure. Lol. When the kids get older (5, 4, 3, 1 now) we will repurpose our living room loft on opposite side for gender separation. We moved out of a 7000sf house into the tiny. Friends lie to say we have lived in the biggest and smallest houses they have ever seen. We raised our three older kids in the big house. The kids in the tiny house are so much h closer,to us and each other that hi is night and day. We built our tiny house for less than it cost to heat the big house for the winter.

    • You realize you just admitted to criminal activity and child abuse on a public website, right?

      • Heinrich
        You do realize you are admitting to be a troll on a public website.
        Why not crawl back under the rock in which you reside.

      • Heinrich,I am sorry you feel that way.My children are incredibly happy and healthy. Also,as my tiny house is a registered camper, it is not illegal in any state in the USA. Or Canada to take my kids on a camping trip of any length I choose.

        We have actually checked into this and are doing nothing wrong according to the state of NY or the county we live in. Gender desperation will occur one day,as mentioned in my previous post, but at 5 and under is hardly an issue.

        My children live on a beautiful farm and speak 2 languages, can all read at the age of three and participate in sports and other community events, love church and are well known for always being happy and well mannered.
        I am not sure why you believe I am breaking a law? Or abusing my children? It is kind of judgemental and arrogant. It is also untrue.

        I hope you find your happiness as we have found ours, and wish you a happy life.

        If you have children, perhaps tiny living isn’t for you… it is not for everyone to be sure.

        Best wishes.

  35. As mother and grandmother, and one who works on the social services field, I feel I can add my two cents. I’ll adress the social services question first; it is much harder to “take kids away” than people think. And as long as they are fed, clothed, and appear happy and well, it’s not going to happen. But as a mom and g mom I have to say, I agree that privacy is an issue. But more importantly, although getting out in nature etc is very important, where 8 am, for example, is not just fluffy fun snow in winter. It is mostly icy rain, sleet, and bitter cold, 5 months out of the year. Kids can only “go out” a limited amount of time. We are surrounded with lovely mountains, etc, but, again, there are sometimes weeks on end of bitter ,icy weather. This has to be taken into consideration. Nerves get frayed, kids get bored. This is reality. Even a small house would be better. And I’m a big fan of tiny houses. But although back in the day it was frowned upon to run in the house, it was necessary in bad weather. At least to be able to spread out a bit. In tiny houses, you can barely walk by each other. I don’t think it’s fair.

    • syl,I mean no disrespect to you, but that is only your opinion. The peoples of the artic disagree. Thousands of years living in hide tents, dugouts, and igloos seems to have worked just fine in terrible winter conditions. The Romoni people lived on the road in push carts and later in horse drawn vardos for centuries and now the continue to raise families in rvs. In Mongolia the yurt continues to be used in horrible conditions. The Sherpa also live in extreme climates and live small.

      What makes the Western model of larger living “right”? Every culture I just mentioned has people who live western and othets who live traditionally. The harshest environment in the US mainland in the Winter is the upper midwest. Minnesota and the Dakotas had plenty if indigenous tribes who dwelt in much smaller space made of skin with whole families for many months at a time. Were they unfair? As a culture were they wrong? And not only are some people living in this region today in teepees and yurts, but the numbers are growing.

  36. I’ve already had a similar discussion with ‘our friends in government’ who think that children (and by inference, the custodial parent) are entitled to a government mandated lifestyle provided by the non-custodial parent.

    In times gone by, Indigenous people lived in tents, huts, and caves for many generations.

    Today, with satellite internet access providing distance learning opportunities, there is no reason that well-rounded children cannot grow up happy and healthy in non-traditional environments.

  37. I love the idea of a tiny house, but I have three step children and seven grandchildren. I am a musician. Everyone has hobbies. The hobbies we all have require a certain amount of room. And, while I think I could have raised one child in say a house less than 1000 sq. ft. I don’t think I could have raised three. My husband is also a big man and loves to spread out. What happens with the bad weather that always comes with winter? We would not expect our kids to go out in the rain, wind, and snow for long periods of time just to connect with nature. Yes, non-western societies have managed with far less and under harsh conditions. But, this is not times past and I am not an indigenous person. Our schools and work require a certain amount of connectedness, unless you want to home-school and I did not. The tiny house would be wonderful just for me, but totally impractical and unfair to subject children to that environment.

    • After a couple of years with 5 kids and two adults we have had absolutely the best experience in our tiny space. There has never been a time when there was not enough room. There was never a time when it didn’t work. All these objections just don’t hold up to the experience. Don’t knock it till you try it. Big family Tiny house WORKS.

  38. Hello, would anyone want the opinion of someone who actually grew up in a tiny house?
    That’s me.
    I was born and raised in a 950 square foot house with 3 sisters. So, that’s 6 people sharing 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.
    It was hell.
    Absolute hell. No privacy. The only privacy I had was the closet and a dirty makeshift bug infested treehouse in the backyard (I would put pillows on the floor of the closet in the bedroom and hold a flashlight to get some idea of alone time). I developed quite an imagination to somehow “escape;” like my body couldn’t be somewhere else but at least my mind could.
    This was in Long Beach,CA until I was almost 14 years old. My family couldn’t afford Southern CA at that point so they decided to move us to the country in FL.
    I was so desperately excited to move into a bigger house so very badly, that I didn’t care about my friends/school/live/etc. (Looking back that’s abnormal for a teenager born and raised in one city.)
    Any parent who wants to move their family into a trendy rustic tiny house should seriously consider their son/daughter’s sanity, especially if they can afford it.

  39. I think kids need their own room by age 12, just to be able to think and become their own person and write and do homework and do projects. But why would the bedroom need to be big? I was curious about this and called CPS in Minnesota and none of this is reportable. They would never come to investigate solely on a report about a family living in a tiny house in MN. Being in poverty,or choosing to live simply, is a choice we do have the right to make. If CPS comes to your door, invite them in and offer tea!

  40. About two years ago I made my comment above about being in a 36′ the tiny house with four kids. Well we outgrew it. We had a fifth child about a year back, and my 36′ Tiny house just was not big enough for 5 kids and us. So we bought a forty foot ex transit bus. WAY Better. We gained 16 sq ft of useable space!

    Marriage still great. Kids still happy. No problem yet. Stay tiny y’all

  41. I’m glad to read this thread (and all the dozens of opinions and experiences!) Thank you, all of you. I have a daughter and an ex I am on good terms with, and I am leaning strongly toward the tiny house lifestyle. Im looking at floor plans with two lofts- one for her and one for me. I am thinking that, by skipping out on the high mortgage and high rent situations, I’ll be able to save better for more adventures. She is very musical, so I worry that she’ll choose piano or bass fiddle (ha ha), but I would view our move “down” as a benefit, not a burden.

  42. I’m currently earning a moderate salary but working 80 hour weeks, so most of my money goes for child care, including live in help. In order to provide a bedroom for my child’s nanny, I put my daughter in a large closet. I know that it is not an actual bedroom. I did put a fan in there, and a baby gate in the doorway. I’m a single parent with sole custody. Am I at risk of being reported to CPS?

  43. Kristen, if you’re reading this please let me know. Thanks!

  44. I do not live in a tiny house. I live in a small 2 bedroom 1000 sq ft. house. We have two toddler boys. What I noticed from all of the comments is that everyone was happy with their tiny home as long as there was outdoor space to use. So by saying that kids can live in a tiny house as long as there is outside space really means you live in a normal sized house where half of it is outdoors. Which is fine, but let’s not pretend that if your tiny house was an apartment the same size in a building with no green space that the kids would be fine. Live in your tiny home with a family as long as you have an outdoor option. Otherwise, kids need more space. Especially as they get older.

  45. Is it ethical? Probably. We sometimes forget that for most of human history, most people lived in very small spaces. Of course a whole lot of children died, then too, which is why average lifespan is skewed before the mid 20th century (people weren’t regularly dying at 40).

    However, I’ve seen some of those tiny house shows and I sometimes get the feeling that the parents don’t really believe their kids will grow. They’ll stick 2 or 3 boys 8 and under in a loft to sleep. What happens when they are all near 6ft tall? Also, kids argue over nothing and boys fight, a lot, just for fun. I guess it’s OK in places with good weather, but when it can be below freezing for a week or more at a time, that’s a lot of time indoors.

    The kids might be fine, but the parents may go nuts.

  46. I remember dating a guy in high school who lived in a double wide trailer with his step mother, dad, and 8 siblings. At any given time the younger kids were shipped off to relatives’ houses or friends’ houses. The parents were always at work or frazzled, and every kid moved out on their own by 16 or so. Close-knit my foot…it was survival of the fittest, which usually meant moving in with someone else who had the space. Another girl I knew in college moved into a tiny house, aka a shed, with her boyfriend. Sure they had plenty of space outside, but it was horribly claustrophobic inside. Saddest place I had ever been. I currently have three kids in a 1,200sq ft house and it seems perfect so far. I’m sure there will be a fight for the bathroom in the teenage years, but I’ve ensured I have vanity dressers in every room so it should cut down on drama. We shall see. Anything smaller I would say NO. The extra den works well for the days we can’t go outside, and gives everyone enough space. Now storage on the other hand, could improve, but that’s just the nature of the beast I guess. 1970’s weren’t big on storage.

  47. i believe that as americans it should not be up social services to even have a say so. It should be our decision if we choice to live in a tiny home with our children. if it is temparary until you can or are able to get a bigger place and it keeps the family together or from sleeping in the cold then there is nothing wrong with that . i would be blessd to have a place to live tiny or not . I am homeless with a son and it is getting cold out and sleeping in a tent is worse than a tiny home

  48. Wow, this thread got lots of replies and probably will continue to. I live in a 200 sq.ft. trailer with my 5 yo, 7 yo and husband. We are on approx. 10 acres of our own land. We have a open-air shop/metal carport with a cement floor that currently stores the toys and stuff that they kids play with. Probably way too many toys, but I didn’t want to take the toys away and am so glad they have them if they want them. The kids have bunk beds, their own space in the trailer for a few personal items. Other than that, we have a dining table, a desk-type storage area, a bookshelf, our kitchenette and bathroom. We store winter/summer and extra clothing in a wardrobe in our laundry/shed. We moved here onto raw land four summers ago and lived without power, heating with a wood stove and using neighbor’s water for awhile. Slowly we are building our home and planning a larger home over time. For now it works, but I have struggled with the ethics of it for sometime. I know, coming from a metropolis, I feel much more comfortable sending my kids into the outdoors here to play. Who knew the most dangerous thing you would encounter out here are people? Our daughter was 2 when we moved and so this is the home she knows. Our son remembers the house with a pool we had in California. It is hard when I see my husband or self getting frustrated by the typical kid-energy they have to get out of their systems in a small space. It isn’t always practical or kind to send them outside if the weather is poor. We are however, much closer because of our home. I think in the future it will all be different when our home is bigger, though that seems so long away. I think there are benefits to both choices, and all the choices in-between. We have lived in apartments, houses, and here. I think in some ways this is far superior to the other places we have lived. So much so that we are staying here. Everyday our lives are filled with beauty and family time. You can have that anywhere, but it is so easy here. It is also easy to be down each other’s throats if we are so cognizant of our moods. I love my family, we make sure the kids have food, clothing, a clean home and us. We go to the Dr. when needed, the kids are further in education than most of their peers and understand things a lot of kids haven’t had the opportunity to. They also get to play video games, have electronics, and do ‘normal kid’ things. It is unconventional, but I definitely don’t consider it child abuse. I do think parents in these situations have to very observant and willing to make adjustments as the kids indicate. Especially when needs of personal space and privacy and indicated by the kids.

  49. I just saw a tiny house episode where they built a seperate tiny house for the peoples kids,2,4,6,and 14 to sleep bedrooms in there.. seperated from the parents tiny house..I couldnt help but think that cant be legal to put their bedrooms in a seperate house..

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