Global Insights | Parenting in New York City

Christian parenting looks different in different countries, cultures and contexts. Here we get some insights from our dear friends Cait and Joel Kady who live in New York City. Joel works for Redeemer Presbyterian Church (Tim Keller’s church) where he works with community groups for Redeemer Westside, and is attending Reformed Theological Seminary’s New York campus. Cait is a stay-at-home Mom for their three young children – aged 5, 3 and 1.

Where do you live and what’s it like?

We live in upper Manhattan, New York City. It’s a slightly calmer neighborhood but still very much the city and only a subway ride away from the typical, touristy, or busier parts of New York. It’s exciting, with a lot of opportunities, but challenging to get around with kids, take strollers on the subway, do laundry in the apartment basement, or get enough time in nature when it takes more effort (though it is there!).

What are some of the challenges and opportunities that you face in Christian parenting because of your context?

We were very much influenced by Tim Keller’s ministry before moving to New York, and appreciated his perspective on raising kids here and on how God views cities. It’s wonderful to be in a place where there are so many people – even though that can feel like a drawback at times!  People are the most beautiful thing that God has created, and beloved by him. There is also concentrated opportunity for ministry and culture formation when there is just so much happening. With our kids, it can be hard to have them exposed to difficult subjects at a young age, but we see that also as a positive thing to talk through with them from a biblical perspective in real life, not just hypothetically. It can make God and his ethics much more real to them as they get older and know their parents are not clueless about the world because they have been encountering it together. Being around people very different from me has been a huge blessing, challenge, and learning curve which will hopefully benefit my parenting as well.

What do you do to encourage your children to love Jesus?

We are always growing and trying to be better stewards of our time with our little ones. Right now we pray and read Bible stories together, and are trying to make singing and memorizing God’s word a part of our routine as well. Conflict is an opportunity to point them to Christ and teach them about forgiveness and their need. Our personal choice of homeschooling this next year has us excited about the chance to create lifegiving routines at home and the flexibility to explore the city and read beautiful books full of truth. The biggest thing for me right now has been personal growth, knowing that what I model, not what we teach, will have the biggest impact on them.

We hope you enjoyed this latest post in our series “Global Insights” where we hear from Christian parents from all over the world. It’s so encouraging to hear how different believers are parenting their children in contexts very different from our own.

We’d love you to consider contributing to this series – whether you live in the Highlands of Scotland, the Cape of Good Hope or the Gold Coast. Please take 5 minutes to fill in the form below to let our readers be encouraged by you.

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