WHERE TO RAISE CHILDREN

January 11, 2017

I've been thinking so much lately about raising a family in the city versus the suburbs versus the country and what each place can offer and what each place lacks and is there one that's better than the other? Recently a friend posted something to social media about their new home in the suburbs, leaving the city and some comments I read really got me thinking. The city is overrated. The country is so much better for kids. It's so much safer. Quieter, etc. I wonder, can one environment be really amazing while the others are amazing too? Does everything have to be better or worse? I certainly believe the beauty and freedom nature allows in children is extremely valuable and that children connect to nature in a way most adults have a hard time understanding. I've seen my own daughter explore creeks and woods in awe and it really is quite magical. I also believe that exposing children to people and density is extremely valuable. The ability to interact with people of different races and class, I believe is giving our children a broader world view - that they are a very small part of a very big, diverse, complex place. I want them to learn what it looks like to help your neighbors, show compassion and make in impact in our community, in our daily life. Equally, I think we have a lot to learn about what it means for us to be good neighbors to others. I am also finding a lot of (a lot!) of value in walking almost everywhere we go. We have the opportunity for a lot of conversation, observation and exploration just from getting from point A to point B. And as a huge added bonus - it is SO nice for Nick and I to be able to walk anywhere we please on those rare date nights.

So I think what I'm trying to get at is, where we choose to raise our families is almost irrelevant compared to HOW we choose to raise our families. My children still have a lot of exposure to the outdoors and to nature and outdoor play is a part of our everyday lives. We have a backyard and live a block from a huge, beautiful park and we are a 10 minute drive to some beautiful wooded hikes.

But more importantly than WHERE we live, is the idea that we are working to instill in them kindness, service, compassion, and their own unique identities in a very big, ever changing world. I want them to grow knowing they are capable and worthy. That it is more important to treat people with kindness than to get an A on a test. That Nick and I could care less what they grow up to be as long as they grow to be happy, caring and selfless.

It is tricky business raising little humans no matter where you are doing it and what I so love is that there isn't a right or better way to do it as long as you are doing it with the best of intentions. So carry on country mama's, suburban mama's and fellow city mama's. Let's raise some kick ass kids.

3 COMMENTS:

  1. I think you're on the right track and I'm so happy for you. As you know, we love living in Chicago, but I do hope to move near my family someday. I'm already mourning the loss of walkability and a diverse neighborhood. I have two books I think will really encourage you (from two totally different perspectives): Walkable City by Jeff Speck, Falling Free by Shannan Martin. Look into them please. I loved them both!

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