Large homes separate families

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Submitted by powayseller on August 23, 2006 - 8:57am

From my own experience, large homes separate does having a TV/computer in the bedroom. Each person hangs out in his own room, and when you want to find someone, you end up yelling all over the place, creating a bunch of noise.

On our vacation, it was so sweet being all together in a little suite. The kids slept together in one room, just as they did for most of their lives.

I think the need to prove one's worth by buying a big house ends up undermining the family. Families in McMansions are missing out on the closeness of being near each other.

On a related note, nothing is as important as our family dinner. I've avoided certain activities because they were at the dinner hour.

I missed many baseball games because I was in the kitchen making a meal from scratch. I know my son would have liked me there, but he saw the trade-off. After the game, I picked him up and we had a warm home-cooked meal together, while the other families had to make do with a fast food drive through. A meal is more than calories; it holds your thoughts and love for your guests. A healthy meal, cooked with the 6 tastes, is so satisfying, you don't want to eat a bunch of junk food for desert. It nourishes and fulfills in a way that a drive through can never do. And I am as skinny as can be, and I love to eat. I eat healthy; I don't crave junk, because I was raised on health food. I had my first candy at age 3, when the store clerk handed me a candy unbeknownst to my mother. I have pictures where I was munching on carrots and cucumbers. I had my first soda as a teenager, and my kids do not drink soda to this day. The oldest is 15. I was nursed, as were my 3 kids. Research shows that nursing increases health even at middle age. We drink whole milk, butter, nuts, avocadoes. We need fat for soft skin. So food is very important to me. So is a close family life.

So think about getting a little house, letting the kids share a bedroom, and taking that TV or computer out of the kids' bedrooms. Small spaces bring intimacy to a family.

Submitted by FormerOwner on August 23, 2006 - 9:11am.

I 100% agree that it's detrimental to family dynamics to live in a too-large house.

I also think that the more "walkable" a community is, the better. Walkable communties tend to have smaller houses on smaler lots. Ideally, kids should be able to go places without having to be driven back and forth by their parents 100% of the time. All of the driving is putting a lot of stress on parents these days, which I think affects the kids negatively.

Submitted by PD on August 23, 2006 - 9:15am.

Teaching your children to eat healthy is very important. I severely limit junk food and soda for my kids. I very rarely buy chips and only allow my kids to have a sugar drink (including Gatorade – I can’t believe how many parents have bought into the crap that Gatorade is health drink!) about once a week or less. I do not absolutely forbid these things, however, as I am teaching my children moderation. Treats are okay, as long as you do not have them everyday. Having been the victim of an eating disorder, I am trying to give my children healthy attitudes toward food.

I never miss my son’s baseball games, if I can help it. It means so much to them to have you there. I try to plan meals that take a long time to cook (so that they can be in the oven or crock pot while I’m at the game) or plan something that can be thrown together quickly when we get home.

Submitted by speedingpullet on August 23, 2006 - 9:59am.

Also, exposure to 'different' foods.

My mom - originally from Shreveport, LA - insisted that I eat spicy/garlicy food from a relatively early age. Filee Gumbo was a regular in our house.
I wasn't allowed to go "but....I don't LIKE it!" until I'd actually eaten some. Then, a few months later, she'd try again, and soon enough there was literally nothing I wouldn't try at least once.

Consequently, I've eaten everything from Sea Urchin to Reindeer, and can say that the only thing I don't like are raw onions. I put it firmly down to being given small portions of 'adult' food as a kid rather than cheeseburgers, macaroni and cheese, etc..

I don't think its so bad over here, but I remember growing up in the UK and seeing many of my peers being given 'nursery food' for most of thier childhood. But then, garlic was a rarity in the UK until the 80's....

And, as corroboration, almost all my food was home-cooked, and we never ever had coke/pepsi/soft drinks in the house.

Submitted by PerryChase on August 23, 2006 - 10:45am.

You guys make really good points. However, you're the exception rather then the rule. I know kids whose parents never cook so they just serve themselves to whatever is available in the cup-board or the fridge.

My mom always cooked meals for us and we were never allowed to leave the dinning table during the meal unless given permission. We also learned how to hold the silverware correctly. For mid-afternoon snacks we had fresh fruit or perhaps a chocolate croissant. And I ate everything also including horse steaks, fish eggs, goose liver and lamb's brain (that was in France).

Submitted by mydogsarelazy on August 23, 2006 - 6:06pm.

Here's how I feel about the big house issue...

My feeling is that small spaces work best when there are plenty of reasons to be out of them nearby. In other words, a small beach house sounds great to me. I have had some cabins in the high desert, from 500 to 800 square feet and I loved them since I was always out on the patio, or going hiking.

A small apartment in a great city like New York or San Francisco also seems very appealing to me.

That said, we have a large home in Murrieta, and where we live I prefer lots of indoor space. With our warm summer weather we sometimes need to be indoors a lot and often need our own spaces. I have two daugthers and a baby on the way, and we like our space.

Of course, most of the time we are all together in the big house. It amazes me how I will find a corner to read in and within five minutes we are all there, my wife, the two girls and our dog, all curled up in 10 square feet!

Home cooked meals? Almost every night!


Not a real estate professional, just someone who follows the market

Submitted by ybc on August 23, 2006 - 11:06pm.

"And I ate everything also including horse steaks, fish eggs, goose liver and lamb's brain (that was in France)." -- if you like Lamb's brain, then go to the Chinese Muslim Restraunt on Convoy - they serve "whole lamb soup" that has lamb's brain in it. It is one of their specialties. Tasted delicious to me until I heard that it had lamb's brain in it!

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