One of the main complaints I hear from AP parents concerning consensual living is that while they agree that children are people, they don’t think their children should have as much say in certain matters…ranging anywhere from house payments to bedtimes. They seem to be under the impression that our household, and others like it, is run like a democracy with everyone receiving an equal vote. Democracies are not consensual, as anyone looking at the United States’ voting system can clearly see. The majority vote wins in a democracy, and anyone in the minority loses out.
Having a democratic household for a family could be very detrimental. The wants of the majority could overshadow the wants and needs of the minority. Instead, consensually living families listen to everyone as equals and take into account the needs of every person, collectively and individually in order to meet the needs of everyone. They work together to come up with solutions that work for everyone. The parents may very well make final decisions (especially concerning major topics), coming from a place of more experience and knowledge, but everyone’s needs are taken into account. It’s not a democratic society; it’s a consensual form of existence.