Originally Posted by FreeRangeMama
It isn't that a larger house is isolating or cold, but when you are in a small home you have NO CHOICE but to work it out
There are different dynamics at play, not better or worse. Just different
I am also surprised that people think house size *doesn't* make a difference. When you are forced to share a room (not just sleep in a sibling's room) there are constant compromises that need to be made. Who gets the bed on which side of the room, which shelf belongs to which child, what colour to paint the walls. So much practice for compromise
Not that those things aren't possible in larger homes, and of course not every small home living family will practice creative problem solving or gentle discipline. And of course the reasons a family will choose to stay in a small home will make a big difference in how they make the situation workable (if they do). I don't think you can really separate out the reasons why families are close knit and well functioning, WHY we live the way we do are interwoven into our every interaction.
BUT choosing to live small is a lifestyle choice that provides opportunities that are just not a factor in a larger house where everyone has a bunch of space for every family member and a place to put every item one could want (should one want to have it all). Doing stuff together isn't all that optional when the ONLY place you can choose to do stuff is......together
As with everything in life, there is more than one "right" way of doing things. You said that in a small home, family doesn't have a choice but to work it out. I don't agree. People always have a choice in how they relate, interact, and behave. If the parents foster an atmosphere where respecting other's space and possessions is important, then the children will learn that. If the parents model skills like conflict resolution, having patience, compromise, sharing, etc. then the children will learn because that is what they live. What I am inferring from many posts is that having a small home is the "right" way to instill things like compromise, patience, and functioning together well. I heard alot of this same crapola when dh and I were considering not having a second child. We heard from practically everybody that only children can't learn to share or to compromise without a sibling. Now what I am reading is that unless siblings are forced to share a bedroom or living on top of one another then they will not learn skills like compromise or creative problem solving.
IRL I know many families in homes of all sizes who have, whether by conscience choice or not, fostered a life of isolation. The kids may share a bedroom, but if they are always on their computers or texting their friends, or watching TV they aren't communicating. I also know many families who are so overscheduled that they are literally never home. The kids are growing up in the backseat of the family car as they are being driven to and from various extra curricular activities. The size of the home is completely irrelevent in their cases.
For me it's much more about the family's priorities and the emphasis they put on being together, even when they aren't forced to be together.