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Raising kids in the city

This week, Matthew Yglesias of Vox makes the case for raising kids in the city. Spoiler: Driving sucks. Cities have lots to do. And parks can be better than lawns. However, he also talks about why this proposition is becoming increasingly difficult for many families. Here are a couple of excerpts:

Now the father of a 4-year-old son, I live in Washington, DC, a city that is, mercifully, marginally more affordable than New York, and I wouldn’t want to raise a family any place other than the city.

But unfortunately, families are disappearing from American cities even as city living in general has become fashionable again for those who can afford it.

Children cost money. And they take up space. And urban space has become much more expensive — repelling growing families. This suits the proclivities of smug suburbanites just fine, but as someone who grew up in a big city in the 1980s and 1990s when city living was both less fashionable and more affordable, it seems like a tragedy to me.

I didn’t grow up in the city. Though, I spent time in apartments and other higher density housing. And I don’t have kids. But I find this topic interesting. It’s also an important one. I don’t believe that the childless city is a good thing.

For the full article, click here.

1 Comment so far

  1. Tanya

    Interesting questions about raising kids in a city. We have raised 5. The last 2 are still teens. I think city living creates a resourcefulness and sense of independence not offered by countryside living (I grew up on a farm). The influence of cultural diversity cannot be quantified. My kids are used to high density, multiple languages, and diverse food options at their finger tips (Uber eats!). Health care is immediate and close by. Treatment for mental health is abundant and without stigma.

    Living at home while attending university within the same city is feasible and realistic.

    Their friends live a walk, bike, or transit ride away. No one is isolated here. I appreciate that, and so do they. Our rule was, if you are old enough to babysit, you are old enough to ride transit solo.

    On the flip side, traditional milestones such as acquiring a drivers license is not valued or commonplace. Most of my kids don’t have a license and might never have one. That has been difficult for me to accept, as it has always, for me, been a marker of maturity. Instead there are other signs to look for – trusting them to be alone in the house for a few days, moving out on their own, and making good choices even when we aren’t there to help or advise.

    Liked by 1 person

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