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Pros and cons of living near family

By: Natasha Archary

living near family
Image: Adobe Stock

Whether you’re close to your family like Sizwe Dhlomo is or you can only tolerate your relatives in small doses, there are pros and cons to living near family.

While social media and technology have made it easier to connect with family and loved ones, it’s not a substitute for time spent with family. 

For many, having family close by means a close relationship with your children and grandparents, uncles and aunts. 

Instilling in them that family comes first. It’s important to establish a set of family values from a young age and keep the bond strong with contact. 

On the other hand, having living near family can complicate your life and leave you with little to no privacy. 

Pros of having family near 

  • Better relationship with your children

Studies show that children who grow up spending time with their grandparents, have improved physical health, advance in language skills and strengthen their moral compass. 

Grandparents who are close to their grandchildren also show signs of contentment and less stress. 

  • Support in times of need 

Having your family in close proximity can make living in a new city less scary. You don’t feel isolated and can turn to them in times of need for support. 

  • Establish a sense of family pride 

Most families have a deep sense of pride, be it over their family traditions, accomplishments, culture and heritage. 

Every family likes showing this off at family events and gatherings. 

  • Close bonds 

The close bonds you form with your family when they live nearby cannot be matched. If you miss a home-cooked meal or want to catch a game with your siblings or dad, a quick drive makes it possible. 

It gives you more time with the people who matter to you. 

Cons of living near family

  • Too involved 

Unless you set clear boundaries with your family, they could get too involved in your life. 

  • They come over unannounced 

As great as it is to spend time with your family, sometimes they forget to inform you that they are stopping by and just show up when “they’re in the neighbourhood.”

Not only is it inconvenient but it can become a regular habit unless you enforce that you need to be given a heads up to plan for their visit. 

  • Family drama

Every family has some drama. Family dynamics and a mix of personalities means that people are bound to clash, disagree and not get along at some point. 

The problem is that when you’re close to your family, you get sucked in to the family politics whether you want to be or not. 

  • It’s too much 

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and sometimes it takes missing someone to realise their value and place in your life. 

When they’re too close to you, it’s easy to take your family for granted.

Listen to the conversation on Kaya Drive: 

Also read: “My husband always prioritizes his mother over me”: The Blind Spot

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Written by: Natasha



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