5 Great Things About Raising a Kid in the South

From the good weather to the great neighbors, just a few of our favorite things.

Caroline Rogers
Mother feeding baby vintage photo
George Marks/Stringer/Getty Images

Raising a kid in the South is about more than geometry and piano lessons. It’s more than football, and it’s more than a great pecan pie recipe. Raising your children in the South teaches life lessons that follow them forever. When you’re a parent in the South, you know that the formative years fashion the adults they’ll be. These childhood days fill them with memories, wonderful memories of endless summer afternoons and hours spent in the kitchen learning about food and family. It all contributes to a sense of place that you never lose. Raising a kid in the South ensures that there is no end to those small, beautiful moments—moments that turn into a landscape of memory that they’ll return to again and again as they get older. It’s a beautiful place to grow up, with traditions year-round, respect for hard work, the thrill of football falls, trips to the beach and the mountains, incomparable food, and no lack of important family time. Raising a kid in the South is a privilege.

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1. We Have Community Spirit
A townful of support. It’s a comfort to know that in our Southern towns, everyone’s looking out for your kids. When you send them out to play—or to school, church, or practice—you know that you have a whole community behind you. Southern towns are full of surrogate aunts and uncles and grandparents who are sure to keep your kids in line with a grin and a chuckle. It’s these Southern communities that remind our kids to say “Yes, ma’am” and “Yes, sir,” and they also let us know when our teenagers aren’t where they’re supposed to be.

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2. We Give Back
In the South, there is no shortage of opportunities to give back. We teach our kids through example, and we have so many ways to contribute to the places that help build us. When disaster strikes, we come together to support our neighbors, because we know that the most important part of our lives is taking care of the people we meet, the people with whom we share the world.

3. We Tell a Lot of Stories
No matter where you are in the South, you’re in the path of a great story. Whether at the grocery store or on the sidewalk, you never know where you’ll encounter someone with a tale to tell. When we raise our kids in the South, they come to know that everyone they encounter has something to teach them. So many of those lessons and experiences come from the stories we’re told. Though they may tug impatiently on mom and dad’s shirttails when the grown-ups stop to chat, the kids are sure to do it themselves when they’re older.

4. We Have Great Summers
Parents of kids know that in the South there’s always something new to do and new to see. Throughout the year, we plan trips to the mountains and the coast and the places in between, marveling at the landscape and the people we meet. It’s a year-round adventure, but there’s really nothing like a summer in the South when you’re a kid. Venturing far from home lets us learn, whether it’s at summer camp in the Smokies, hiking and camping with family, or exploring small towns, cities, and new restaurants. Parents know that it’s all part of the learning experience. And so much learning happens in a Southern summer.

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5. We Have Wonderful Weather
There are a few gold-standard reasons to raise a kid in the South. One of the top reasons is the weather. Mild Southern weather throughout the four seasons means that kids can play outside most all year. Send them out the front door, and not only are there sunshine skies, there are also miles of trees, plains, and fields—Mother Nature’s playground, which makes for the perfect place to play pretend. The Southern landscape teaches kids to use their imaginations, be brave, and explore the world around them. We wouldn’t trade it for anything.