How Is Raising a Kid in the City Different Than the Suburbs?


As parents, we often wonder what’s right for our kids, and we may question whether or not we make the right decisions in everything from education to food.

If you’re a parent raising a kid in the city, you may also question if that’s the right choice. So many families opt to leave the city when they have kids, or even when they’re just thinking about it, but what about those families who don’t?

There are plenty of differences in raising a kid in the city versus the suburbs, and there are, of course, pros and cons.

So what are some of those differences?

The Logistics

If you have babies or younger kids, there are certain things you might not even think about yet that will become relevant when your kids get older. For example, will your kids learn how to drive if you stay in the city? Some kids may not learn how to drive at all, and if you grew up in the city, you might not even know how to.

Some city parents will still get their kids driving lessons, even if they don’t have a car.

It’s up to you, of course, but in the suburbs and areas outside of the city, learning how to drive is a rite of passage for teens. It can be a big difference between city kids and kids raised in suburban areas.

There are perks of not driving. One of the biggest is the exercise element. Many parents who live outside of the city may struggle to keep their kids active, and they may have a primarily sedentary life, but this is fairly unlikely to be the case if you don’t have a car and you live in a big city with your family.


Our goal as parents is to raise thriving kids who are independent and can do things on their own. Kids from the city tend to be more independent from an earlier age than kids raised in other places. For example, when you raise kids in the city, your kids may be more comfortable heading out on their own at an earlier age.

They may also be more vigilant about staying safe in a variety of different situations that suburban kids may not face.


Of course, there can be some diversity outside the city, but for the most part, your kids are more likely to be around people from all walks of life if they live in a bigger city.

This can help your kids have a broader perspective and see the world in different ways. It can also help them be more empathetic to people who are different than they are and comfortable in a variety of situations.

There’s not just diversity in the people your kids will interact within a big city, but in all the things they encounter on a regular basis. This might mean food and culture, for example.

There may be more opportunities to socialize in general when you’re in a big city because people tend to get out and about more, and there are neighborhood parks, cafes and other gathering areas that people in the suburbs might not frequent as often.

When you live in a big city, you are going to have a smaller home in most cases than people in other areas, and you’re not going to have a big yard. While this can feel like a downside of city living it does push you to get out into the world more, rather than relying on the comfort of your private home and yard.


When you can walk outside your door and find most things you could ever need or want, it’s simply convenient. That convenience can then give you more time to spend enjoying your kids and your family, rather than thinking about commuting from place-to-place.

When you live in the city you may own less, and that can offer money savings and more time to spend with your family in addition to convenience. You have a smaller home, which means less room for stuff. You also don’t have to maintain a large home and yard, so that time can be spent in other ways.

If you’re raising a kid in the city, there are times it may feel like it’s difficult, but often families find the benefits outweigh the challenges and can help your kids to become more culturally aware, self-sufficient and willing to get out and explore the world they live in.

About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.