What is the best place to raise children: city, suburbs, or a rural town?

22  Answers

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I think the best place to raise children is where you as a parent are the happiest. Children thrive when their parents are content. It's important that you're in an area where there are activities you like to do that you can share with your children. The most important thing is that children are active and engaged in their communities and wherever you feel most comfortable is where you'll be happiest as a family.

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The best place to raise children is in a loving, supportive home. I personally prefer our rural setting which is in fairly close proximity to a city. The advantages for us are the peace and quiet, the abundant nature, and a safe place to play outside. We are close enough to the city to enjoy what it has to offer: museums, shows, movies, shopping, etc., yet far enough out to enjoy a quiet life.

As long as parents stay involved in their kids' lives, it really doesn't matter where they live. Each setting has something to offer, and it all boils down to what you make of it.

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Raising my children in the suburbs wins my vote! I love the cultural aspects of the city but, when it comes to my little ones, the suburbs are home for the time being. Knowing thy neighbors is comforting. The suburbs have a close knit community feel that compliment the likes of our family.

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I have lived in several places with my family, however; I really think that a place that allows your children to have the freedom to be outside, play with their friends, and access a life that creates memories is the best place. I guess I would think that the suburbs and rural towns facilitate that best.

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Often we can't choose, but we can make the best of where we are and join up with a few like-valued families and create a nurturing community right where you are.
Having lived in all three types of places over the past 18 years of marriage, I'd choose a rural town as the best for family life.
When we moved to a farm we saw a gentle and deep "unwinding" from media, rush and constant stimulation to a quieter, more relevant lifestyle. My young kids love playing outdoors, and connect with nature and animals. The older children love to meet and play with other like-minded children and it is safe and easy for them to walk to friends. My older teenager and her friends are amazingly creative and come up with all sorts of community events - games afternoons, swims for all the children at a dam, barn dances , they even formed a band and sang to the neighbors in the town.
Wherever you are, simply take time to walk outdoors, or go on a hike, or visit a park, or meet friends for unhurried, social time. Find what fills you and your child's soul and nurture that wherever you happen to be.

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I think we all try to do the best we can with the hand we've been dealt and make sure our kids have as many opportunies as our personal resources allow, to experience the aspects of life that encourage them to grow. This includes taking holidays or day trips to different areas so they can experience different lifestyles and opportunities. No one location is really superior to another as long as the child is in a happy, safe home as everyone has mentioned. That said, I would love to live by the beach again! Sigh. :)

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I love living in the heart of the city (Vancouver, BC) - we have a great community feel in our neighbourhood. We can walk to any amenity that we could possibly need, and there are many parks for the kids. There are trails to walk (we're surrounded by rainforest), and many beaches to choose from - lots of things to do to explore and keep busy.

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I definitely agree with the general sentiment. Love is where your home is. Ours just happens to be in the suburbs and we do love it. Here's a snip-it of a piece I wrote about it (which, when you remove the suburbs lead in, can probably apply anywhere that you have a close-knit community):
I am so grateful for the life lessons that my kids are learning living in our neighborhood. They’re learning about generosity. That people share their time, food, toys, and even humidifiers to make someone else’s day a bit easier. They’re learning that there’s always something to celebrate—new babies, birthdays, holidays, Fridays—and that celebration is all the more special when you’re surrounded by friends. They’re learning that every family makes their own choices, has different beliefs and finds happiness in a variety of ways. They’re learning that a smile and a wave (particularly if it comes from a dog’s tail) can make your day. And if you ask me, that’s pretty cool.

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The best place to raise your children is where they are loved. In a warm caring home. Having said that, I think living perhaps in a small town is wonderful because you get that small town feel of knowing everyone but the drawbacks are often less things to do. So living within a reasonable distance from a big city would balance that. Because let's face it, unless you live in like the perfect small town, there are just so many more opportunities to do amazing things in the City especially culturally. We live in a small town on the Island and while we can attend plays and such, we regret that it's an almost three hour drive to just got to an Imax Theatre and a two hour drive to go to a Indoor Adventure Playground.

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Despite books and web sites that might lead us to believe there are truly "best places" to raise a family, let's face it, there really isn't any best place. It's a little like the, "eye of the beholder" phrase in that what works for one family may not necessarily work for another. I happen to think I am raising my children in the most amazing place on Earth -- rugged surroundings, surrounded by nature, with much space and many opportunities for my children to learn and explore through homeschooling. And yet I know many families that would find my environment relatively wild and uncomfortable, which I would perfectly understand! When all is said and done, the best place for a child is in a parent's heart, wherever that may be. Apartment dwellers in big cities can raise exceptional children, and so can families on acreage with no neighbors at all. I think a better question might be, "Does location matter?" -- for which the answer would be 'absolutely not'!

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I would have to agree with Unknown Mami. I believe it comes down to the people and experiences within the home. Of course the environment they are brought up in has contributing factors, but as long as the children are safe and loved that is what is most important.

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I would say a rural or suburb town is best because then a child is able to learn more about nature and also use their imagination a lot more.

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There is no best place to raise children. Each place has its ups and downs. The most important thing is that they have a safe, healthy, loving environment in which to thrive, and opportunity for a quality education that keeps them challenged and encourages creativity.

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The best place to raise a child is in a home filled with love. It doesn't matter if that home is in the city, suburbs, or a rural town.

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We live in the suburbs but we spend most of our free time at the beach or in the country & often go to the city. I think if you can possible live close to all then you are giving your kids the best of everything. I do not believe that one is better than the other. I do believe that you make the most of where you live. Kids make the most of where they live too.

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I think this depends on personal preference; what you're comfortable with. Personally, I'm partial to urban life. I think it teaches kids a lot of life lessons. They grow up learning about diversity, culture and individuality. Not that a small town can't teach these things, but I think an urban area provides more of these things. I grew up basically in all rural towns, and at a certain age I figured out that I really didn't like it. I never felt at home in a rural area. It's a mystery to my family how I turned out to have such an urban soul, but I really do. And some people are just more rural souls, and I totally get that.

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I think it depends on the state you live in. In the state of MI where I live, I would say any of the above BUT the city. Detroit isn't the greatest right now, so there is no way I would recommended anyone living there. In the end it comes down to (IMO) Schools and the crime rate before I make a decision.

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In your home! The best place to raise a child is in a loving home. It all depends on your personality, where you should live.

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This may not be answering the question appropriately but I think that there is no right answer to this. Because I was raised (and am currently raising my children) in the suburbs, I dream about the excitment and culture a city has to offer children. Museums, historical locations and diversity is what help to make individuals well rounded. On the flipside, I love the comfort and safety you get in the suburbs. Everyone knows everyone and there is a stronger sense of community. I personally think that each family needs to discover what works best for them. Our plan? We live in the suburbs but take our children on trips to big cities all around the country so they are exposed to more than what our small community can offer.

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I long for a quieter neighborhood where it isn't city and not quite suburbs - but growing up in the suburbs left me always more country/nature in my soul. And I wish that for my daughter. That said, as a NYC mom - it is a thrill to hear her ask to go to "a show at Lincoln Center", she loves to ride the subway and the bus - we have museums, parks and so much stimulation at our fingertips it's incredible. She loves restaurants (we're working on our manners...). So even though city living is noisy, often dirty, and tough on a mom - for kids it's an eye opener and an education 24/7. Makes you cherish your vacations that much more...

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The city has so many fun cultural opportunities for children. Parks and playgrounds, museums and theater. Small towns have a neighborly feel and room for young ones to roam. The 'burbs have a little bit of both. I say raise your family wherever YOU are the happiest! A happy mom makes a happy family!

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