Benefits to raising a family in the city versus a suburb

Asked by Alison Hillman, San Francisco, CA Wed Jul 18, 2012

I am curious how parents in Chicago will react to this question. I was raised in a city myself (and I think I turned out just fine!), but there was absolutely not allowed to ride my bike around the city etc. It didn't hinder my childhood, but I was always curious about what it would be like to live in a suburb as opposed to the city.

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Seth Captain, Agent, Chicago, IL
Thu Jul 19, 2012
1. The city of Chicago offers a child the ability to discern, from a distance of at least 100 meters, the difference between a dormant flaming hot Cheetos bag and a hot Doritos bag.

2. The city of Chicago allows parents to consume unlimited amounts of alcohol while enjoying an outdoor show at Millennium Park while their children run free, kept safe by a roving armada of Police Academy drop-outs empowered with Segways.

3. The city of Chicago teaches a child that all people aren't the same, nor participate in after school athletics, nor have manicured front lawns, nor have perfectly straight teeth, and that's ok. Cause that's how the real world operates.

4. The city of Chicago ensures that a child has to figure out his own way to get to school otherwise he may be forced to ask his mommy for help when he is a co-dependent 28 year old afraid to deal with life and the difficult decision of which new SUV to lease.

5. The city of Chicago teaches a little one to value space, providing homeowners and home renters with just enough yard space to have a catch or chase the dog, but not enough to make you complicit in wasting the nation's water supply to feed an unused expanse of neatly cut machismo.

6. The city of Chicago enables the developing mind to discover, in a matter of a few walkable blocks, that all people are DEFINITELY not the same, and that's ok.

7. The city of Chicago promises to create unceasing anxiety in parents over where their children will attend school only to have CPS graduates do just as well (if not better based on all studied indicators) as their socio-economic equals in the suburban hinterlands.

8. The city of Chicago teaches children, through their parents, that if they don't, or can't, read signs, they are going to curse a lot, use the lords name in vain, and pay a financial penalty from their piggy bank for doing so.

9. The city of Chicago gives suburban raised parents a second chance to provide their children with the diversified realistic exciting exposure that was denied to their incredibly boring subdivision dwelling classmates as recently reminded at their high school reunion.

10. The city of Chicago guarantees that all children will know the name of their mayor, and emblazon it with pride on all their toys, something a suburban child can't even begin to fathom.
2 votes
Great reply!!! I was always a "city mouse" and I turned out fine!!
Flag Mon Jul 30, 2012
Sari Levy, Agent, Addison, IL
Wed Jul 18, 2012
Well, kids in the city learn how to shovel and dig out parking spots....
2 votes
aleasa, Other Pro, La Grange Park, IL
Thu Jul 19, 2012
Although, kids in the city have memberships to top-notch museums, Old Town School of Folk Music, diverse and educated neighbors, looooooong walks on the lake. Yeah, it's a personal choice. ;o)
1 vote
Andy Ogorzaly, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Jul 24, 2012
I grew up in Schaumburg (suburb) and it definitely is a different experience than the city, but as an adult I prefer the city. Suburbs = bigger yards, more driving/less walking, chain stores/ restaurants, big parking lots. City = higher density, more diversity economically and culturally, less parking/more walking.

I like the city because of the diversity in architecture, people, and restaurants. I also love the ability to walk out your door to get your groceries, grab a slice of pizza, or take a train downtown. Chicago isn't perfect, but I prefer it much more over the burbs.
0 votes
Joe Schiller, Agent, Chicago, IL
Thu Jul 19, 2012
this may sound really out of the box but go figure it out for yourself..move.
0 votes
aleasa, Other Pro, La Grange Park, IL
Thu Jul 19, 2012
With 2 little babies, the city is too hard. Amenities are abundant but schools are a pain in the rear and unaffordable to many. Parking meters are a disaster. I go to plug the meter and my babies are scared I abandoned them. City is no longer family-friendly to me unless you're rich. My kids need a yard!
0 votes
The yard factor is a great point!
Flag Thu Jul 19, 2012
Matt Laricy, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Jul 18, 2012
this is a personal preference. typically its a cost issue or wanting a different school.

I grew up in the suburbs and live in the city now. Thought the suburbs were nice, but not for me.
0 votes
Bill J Delig…, Agent, Naperville, IL
Wed Jul 18, 2012 in the burbs learn how to cut grass
0 votes
you mean learn how to pay the landscaper.
Flag Thu Jul 26, 2012
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