More often than not, as soon as a city-dweller finds out that they are about to have a child, they start making plans to move to the country. They want the picket fence, the huge backyard and a safe neighborhood where the kids can ride their bikes with no danger lurking around. Sounds like a great plan.
However, these are the parents that spend their life in resentment for ‘sacrificing their lifestyle’ only to listen to their children telling them they know nothing about the ‘real world’ once they go to college. Not to say the life in the country is not enjoyable or suitable for raising independent and smart children, but a life in the city has its own share of unique perks and advantages. Following are a few neighborhood parents network tips and benefits of raising children in the city:
Unlike the countryside, your children would be exposed to a lot of diversity in bigger cities. They’d be exposed to peoples of different races, color, religion, and ethnicities. By providing guidance and teaching acceptance, you will help them to become more accepting of diversity.
This is one of the main reasons why most parents choose to relocate. They don’t want young children to be exposed to the challenges and hardships of ‘real life.’ They want them growing up believing in Santa Claus and Unicorns; which is great- for the time being anyway. When those kids go off to college and are introduced to drugs, sex, unlimited alcohol, and other potential challenges, they don’t know how to deal with them. They don’t have their parents around to tell them any better either and so they fall prey to peer pressure and do what is expected of them.
By letting your kids be exposed to such challenges from early on, you get the opportunity to teach them the difference between right and wrong. By actively participating in a neighborhood parents network , you can share concerns with other parents and get suggestions on how to tackle such situations and topics with young children.
Self-Reliance and Independence
It is much easier to commute with young children in the country. All you need to do is strap them up in their car seats and you are all good to carry them to your desired destination. It might be a bit challenging to do the same in the big city while commuting via public transport. However, once the kids are a little older, they can become more self-reliant and independent. They will be able to book their own Uber, get on a bus or subway and move around the city without having to depend on you to drive them around.
Kids in the city also have to deal with a lot of traffic on a daily basis, and so they can crossroads with very little assistance. A good neighborhood parents network suggests you nurture these skills by allowing them to move around without your assistance. Of course, you’d need to monitor closely at first. And also stay in contact via their phones initially to make sure they are safe. But with time, they will learn to move around the city all on their own.
The Walking Distance
There isn’t just one mall, one pool, one neighborhood parent’s network or one playground in the city. This means less time is wasted commuting and more spent on learning new skills and activities. Encourage your child to explore new places in their neighborhood. You can also get in touch with a neighborhood parent’s network to find out more about the activities for suitable ages in your area that your children can engage in.
Living in the countryside, everyone knows everyone; and so their identity becomes associated with the car they drive or how big of a house they have. Living in the city, driving around the same public transport, you aren’t really aware of a person’s net worth. And this is a great environment to raise your kids in. They learn to identify people by their personal characteristics rather than their material wealth.
There wouldn’t just be a ‘dance school’ in your town; there’d probably be half a dozen schools specializing in different forms of dance that your child can select from. Same goes for other skills and activities. City life offers exposure and opportunities for children to learn new skills and experiment with what interests them. So rather than driving your child 300 miles to a big city for an audition, you’d probably have to just give them some pocket money to take the subway there.
Culture and Food
One of the biggest advantages of city life is a diverse culture and cuisine. Try to expose your children to all types of food, music, and cultures by visiting such spaces. You probably already passed by Oriental, Vietnamese, Mexican, Asian restaurants on a five-minute walk to daycare, but most parents are reluctant to take small children to these spaces for fear that there they would be reluctant to try out new cuisines. However, your child may surprise you and probably wouldn’t become a picky eater.
Raising kids in the city is exciting, overwhelming and tiring all at the same time. If you want to go out for a spontaneous night out with your friends, then you don’t have to check in to see if your neighbor or your family living a block away is available to babysit. All you have to do is find a trusted nanny or babysitter through a neighborhood parents’ network or friends or family referrals and be out the door in fifteen minutes.
No matter where you decide to raise your kids, it will be a bumpy, nerve-wracking and a magical ride. You just need to invest your time and effort in making sure that you expose them to the goods and bads of each place and be there for them when they ask questions, or they’d seek answers elsewhere. Make sure to connect with other mothers via a neighborhood parents network or other platforms whenever you need a little guidance. Surely there are way too many mothers in the same boat who can offer their two cents on how to raise confident and independent kids in the city.