Published On: Wed, May 10th, 2017

Everything You Need to Know About Living Near Your Family

Many teens dream of getting far away from their families. They can’t wait to spread their wings and fly the nest. The urge to be independent, to escape the constraints of family rules, and to be an adult, at last, is very strong. It results in thousands of high school kids crossing the country to attend college or start a new job each year. For many, freedom was exactly what they were hoping for and they set up home on the other side of the country or on the other side of the world. For others, it is not so successful and homesickness or family circumstances may drive them back home to live close to their folks.

What’s good about living near your family?

The main advantage is that you get to be part of an extended family network. Your contact with your nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles is so much more than the annual birthday card. Your kids get to make memories with their cousins and with the kids of people that you went to school with. This kind of continuity can be reassuring and stabilizing. Nothing is more familiar and comforting than your hometown.

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In contrast, if you move overseas, you are in a completely unfamiliar place and possibly in a country where you don’t yet understand the laws and customs. You may need to find a local immigration lawyer to check out that you have the right to stay there and it can be unsettling if you have to move on.

Living away you miss out on the bond with elderly relatives. Children benefit greatly from contact with grandparents and they, in turn, thrive in the presence of children. You get to spend plenty of time with them in those very special final years of life.

When you live near your family you have a ready-made backup plan. It is far easier to ask your Mom or your sister to look after the kids whilst you attend a hospital appointment than it is to rely on friends. They are your kin, they owe you one!

What’s not so good about living near your family?

Living close to their folks is not for everyone. You will be expected to pitch in when they need a hand and you may find this irritating. This is especially true if they have a tendency to take advantage of your good nature. Saying ‘no’ to relatives is hard and can cause family tensions.

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Sometimes, you just want to be left alone but this can be interpreted as awkwardness and rejection. You need your privacy if you have issues going on in your life that you don’t want your relatives to know about and this can be almost impossible if you live on the same block or in the same neighborhood. If you are struggling with your kids, you may not want your own parents to know about this. Small towns, in particular, can be notorious for gossip and this does not suit everyone.