The urban lifestyle is attracting more families into its core. Gone are the days when condo and apartment living is just a trend for single millennials who love the busy buzz of the city. In fact, the 2014 American Community Survey conducted by the National Multifamily Housing Council (NHMC) found that 33.52% of renters fell within the 30 to 44 age bracket, compared to just 22.26% who were under 30 years old. This only shows that more baby boomers are choosing the condo life.
Today, even startup families with little kids are becoming major participants in the rental scene. A series of surveys conducted in Canada found that the condo-heavy waterfront communities in Toronto have seen a rise in child population by 60% between 2008 and 2011. Perhaps you’re one of the more resourceful parents who stick it out raising your kids in a condo. Kudos to you! It sure is not an easy job. Hopefully, these 10 new tips will help you make condo living a better experience for you and your kids.
- Making good use of vertical space
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Apartments and condominiums for rent often don’t have the advantage of space. It’s easier for clutter to pile up quickly when your family is growing but your unit is not. This is why it’s important to learn the art of vertical living. Don’t let your floor have all the fun; your walls are there to be filled, too. Set up some high-display shelves and store some of your less-used stuff there. Old books and toys don’t have to stay in a box by the bedroom door. Let them add a more stylish look to the room by displaying on the wall. That way, your unit is decluttered and your kids have more space for playing and wandering around.
- Sharing rooms and beds
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The older generation is used to their kids having their own bedroom. Today’s generation, however, has a more open and generous vibe, so it’s really not surprising that kids these days either share their bedroom with one another or with their parents. Raising your kids in an apartment also necessitates this kind of setting. Smaller living space means that there is more room for family bonding and involvement. You get closer to your kids since you don’t place them in a room with their gadgets and toys. Besides, “it’s not a kid’s right to have their own bedroom,” as condo living blogger Adrian Cook said. “They’ll have a lot of other things that a lot of kids don’t have, such as an urban lifestyle.” Plus, they’ll have you to guide them. As Cook puts it, “Kids don’t remember that they had their own bedroom. They remember that they were loved.”
- Teaching lessons about safety
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The Internet can give you many tips for raising kids in a rental space, but the most important thing you have to remember is to teach your kids about safety procedures and emergency plans. It’s true that one of the benefits of living in a condo or apartment is the added safety feature, but it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Teach your kids what to do in case there’s a fire or burglary in the building. Even two-year-olds can learn the drills if you implement them properly.
- Creating fun and exciting chores
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Just like in any other circumstance, raising your kids in a rented home can get a little messy. With all the chaos and disorder that comes with childhood, you can just imagine how your unit will look like if you don’t create a system that compels your kids to help out with the chores while still having some fun. For this purpose, you can implement an awards program to maintain order. You can give the kids stars for every task accomplished, and they can use those stars to redeem tangible rewards like cookies or other creative incentives you can think of. It’s a simple and exciting way to get them to participate in household chores.
- Cultivating love for sports
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Most condominiums have amenities that promote fitness through sports. Let your kids develop the inner athlete in them by encouraging them to play in the basketball court, tennis court or gaming room along with other kids. It’s a good way to get them to live a proactive lifestyle.
- Organizing a kids’ club
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Are your kids too young to be left alone? Perhaps getting a babysitter may be necessary, but that’s another topic altogether. When you’re at home looking after your kids, letting them play with their gadgets is not ideal. They need to have face-to-face interactions with other kids their age. This is where a kids’ club comes in handy. Surely, there are other parents in your condo who are concerned about their kids’ social life. Maybe you can coordinate with them to create a club where your kids can interact at least once a week. Leave them with productive materials like art kits and musical instruments, so they can share their knowledge with one another while also having fun.
- Nurturing fun indoor life
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Remember, living in a condo will not afford you the benefit of a backyard, so you need to make the most of what you have indoors and within the condo community in general. Condo and apartment living with your kids will feel a little restrictive if you don’t bring the outdoors inside. Make sure that you have entertainment essentials like puzzles, board games, reading materials, and toys for your kids. It also wouldn’t hurt if you bring in furniture and art crafts that will give your kids the general vibe of the great outdoors. Some outdoor plants and natural lighting can also do the job in keeping your kids energetic throughout the day.
- Developing multiple intelligence
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Living in a condo or apartment for rent in the city poses a lot of opportunities for your kids to develop multiple aspects of their intelligence. The active lifestyle alone will help them mature emotionally and intellectually in a faster way. You can enroll them in classes around the city for a start. Your kids can learn how to play the piano or tap dance at a young age. The city presents unlimited choices for your kids to develop their skills.
- Engaging in community-wide activities
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Raising kids in a condo community can be exciting when holidays are in. Some condos sponsor timely activities like Christmas celebrations, sports festivals, and Halloween parties that give kids a rush of excitement. It’s one way to let them have fun and learn social values while cultivating meaningful interactions with other community members.
- Embracing the city life
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You are in the heart of the city and you’re wondering about how to raise your kids in a condo or apartment? Look around you. There are lots of things for your kids to do, to understand, and to love in and about the city. There are museums, restaurants, parks, and other wonderful destinations, and there are exciting activities that you can introduce them to. If you look at it the right way, you’ll see that the metropolis can be your kids’ playground. One day, when they’re all grown up, your kids will thank you for giving them an exciting urban lifestyle.
Raising your kids in a vertical space shouldn’t be so hard. It can be rewarding if you know how to approach it from the right perspective. The urban lifestyle is brimming with so many opportunities. You just have to decide which ones can help you give your kids a better taste of life.
Jeanette Anzon is a graduate of Architecture in UP Diliman. She enjoys photography, sketching, arts, film and continuous education. Currently, she works as a broker and as a home stylist, accommodating clients mostly in North America. Her exposure to the market has initiated a deeper learning to real estate, marketing communication, and home design.