City or Country to raise kids?
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September - posted on 12/03/2010
It's crazy to come across this thread as I was just talking about this with my husband the other night. Having lived myself in both (the country and the city) I personally feel the best place to raise children is in the city. I'm only speaking from my own experiences so this is only my opinion. Having grown up in a small town in Florida until the age of 15 and then moving to the suburbs of Seattle Washington has made me realize that there are so many closed minded people in such a small town (the small town I grew up in) due to lack of diversity, resources and exposure to the world thus passing that lack of onto ones child. It's a cycle I've seen continue within my own family and I find it to be very sad! I love that we are raising our son is a city that is full of diversity and resources that provides wonderful exposure for our son. I'm sure there are rural place in the country that could also provide the same things however it's not something I've ever experienced myself. I’m not saying that living in a rural area provides no diversity however I find it more challenging to seek out. Being exposed to diversity as a child is HUGE in my opinion! I love visiting the small town I grew up in however I could never imagine raising our son there.
LMAO! Our town has 4 pubs, 2 petrol stations, A Franklins and about 5 cafe's! All with a population of 3000. Go figure!
Orange is a beautiful town but it gets very very cold during winter and atm is surrounded by floods just like the rest of the central west!
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Sonja - posted on 12/06/2010
I am a country girl born and bred. I grew up in the country in South Dakota, about 20 minutes from Sioux Falls (the largest city in SD with a population of about 150,000) The closest town was 2 miles away and still has a population or about 1,200. I loved growing up in the country. Some of the advantages that I see to growing up in the country are: freedom to roam around without many dangers, having lots of pets/animals (we had goats, sheep, horses, chickens, ducks, cats, dogs, turtles and numerous other strays. We even raised racoons one year that were abandoned by their mother...btw, they do NOT make good pets!) LOL!. There is some boredom that comes with country living, but we learned to really use our imaginations as a result!
Neighbors also know each other and look out for each other.
Some negatives to country living: We always had to travel to do ANYTHING! We rode our bikes the 2 miles to the pool at least once, if not twice a day - it was great excerise! My parents were pretty strict, but they did let us do this. We always had to check in and let them know if we were taking a different route or going anywhere else in town. (This was pre-cell phones so checking in was sometimes problematic, but we got in big trouble if we went anywhere other than were we said).
There are country kids who get into trouble (drugs, alcohol, sex, ect...) but that really has a lot to do with how much parenting was going on. Every person I knew/know that went down that path had parents that either condoned the behaviors or parents that were not paying attention and/or disiplining their children.
Overall, in my experience, the kids that lived in town (even small towns) that were able to regularly see their friends and be unsupervised got into much more trouble than the kids that had to travel or get rides to see any friends. My parents were fully able to isolate us from "unacceptable" friends if they thought we were getting into trouble.
So, as a parent, I love raising my son in the country. Yes, it is sometimes lonely and we do have to drive to get anywhere, but I can instill values while giving my son freedoms that he could never have in the city. We also love having animals (currently 4 hunting dogs) which we could never have in town - at least not if we want to stay sane. We currently live 15 miles from any town - literally in the middle of no where!
Internet does help make the isolation tolerable as well, but country living does take a degree of enjoying your own and your family's company because that is sometimes all you get.
LaCi - posted on 12/03/2010
"The kind of suburb I loathe is the one where developers went in and built a metric shitload of duplexes and townhouses, all with the garage in front so as to take advantage of how narrow the lots are. "
Oh I totally agree with you there. My newest pet peeve is patio homes. They're popping up all over the outskirts and destroying our rural areas. Worse than any of the mcmansion neighborhoods, at least they offered a tiny bit of variety and a bit of land.
Amber - posted on 12/03/2010
I live in a town of about 40,000 right now. But we live in a township on the outskirts. So, we have property to run on and only a handful of neighbors.
It takes me 10 minutes to get to town, and I have a convienence store about 3 minutes away (about10 minutes on bike).
However, we're also only on hour outside Chicago. So, we have all the museums and big city activities a short train ride away.
Nikki - posted on 12/03/2010
Ok, thanks Shannen, I just did some research and realised it's not all that bad, it's just that on the job application form it listed Orange as being remote, I imagined some tiny town with an IGA, a pub and a petrol station! Phew
Krista - posted on 12/02/2010
It depends on the suburb, too.
If it's a suburb that kind of grew naturally and has actual neighbourhoods, then that can be awesome.
The kind of suburb I loathe is the one where developers went in and built a metric shitload of duplexes and townhouses, all with the garage in front so as to take advantage of how narrow the lots are. All of the houses look exactly the same, there are no sidewalks, and there are no convenience stores or any other type of respite from the never-ending sea of taupe vinyl siding. When you look at it from an airplane, it looks like a maze of asphalt shingles and asphalt road. That's the kind of suburb my sister lives in, and I would put a gun in my mouth before I'd live somewhere like that.
We used to live in the country, though it was not far from town. Now it is suburbs. ugh.
When we bought our house, there were just a few houses around the lake, then Mr. Ellison died and his kids sold the surrounding land to a developer who built custom houses, and gated the area. Then developers bought up the surrounding farms and put in these horrid mass production subdivisions--they have like 6 plans you can choose from, so they all look the same--and you wouldn't want to jump inside one, it might collapse.. they are horrible.
So, I love the luxury of living in OUR neighborhood--we now have a pool, park, gym, clubhouse, volleyball, tennis, and basket ball courts within our gates, but I hate the new crowds, and the fact that once you leave the gates of our neighborhood, you are surrounded by those ugly, cheap ones. I don't understand why people buy those houses--we are not near anything but the lake, and now that it is gated, they don't even have access to that....but they are selling like hotcakes.
I loved living in the city (granted it was a smaller city --Greenville SC) but I did not want to raise my son there because we spend so much time outside, and in the city we would not have had a yard for him (and our dog) to play in.
Maybe the suburbs of Canada are bad...because I agree with Kati and Laci!
Or maybe it's the size of the city that determines what the burbs are like. Baton Rouge is not a large city, therefore the cities and towns surrounding are not particularly large either.
In my neighborhood, my kid will be able to walk to school, a few different churches (that all have children's activities), and a park. We have sidewalks through the entire town, though I wouldn't let Eliza go by herself until she's much older, because a major hwy runs through town (which is one drawback). As a family, we walk to go eat out and do "business" all the time. Plus, we have a half acre. That's plenty of room for a garden and space to run. Depending on where I want to go in Baton Rouge, I've got a 20-45 minute drive. I typically make a trip "to town" once a week. I feel it's the BEST of both worlds.
Tah - posted on 12/02/2010
i moved to virginia to get my children out of philly. The last 2 or three years we lived in a suburb outside of the city..but it was still too close. I wanted them away from the shooting, killing, drugs..etc. Every place has it of course, but some more than other. When i moved here and the news came on said that murder was at all time high...20 deaths for the years...i thought..geez..that happens on a wednesday in philly. i know that where i live is not exactly considered country, but when you are from where i am..it is..We are thinking about moving even further down south to NC when we find out the husbands new orders. I do have to be able to be near stores etc, and a neighbor less than a miles away is nice also..
LaCi - posted on 12/02/2010
My suburb rocks, dunno what kinda burbs you're in :)
a few blocks from all 3 schools, convenience store, gas station, restaurants and the little league park-which is huge
Farther but still walking distance from grocery store, pool, 3 more parks- one state park/reserve, a small museum, oh, and the waterpark.
No traffic, unless its rush hour and you're on the highway, then theres a 50/50 chance.
I could actually walk to downtown louisville-which is the only part of louisville worth visiting except the zoo area, has the art museum, science center, most of our theaters and the best park of them all. (around here)
So they aren't all bad!
Krista - posted on 12/02/2010
I agree with you, Carol. Suburbia is almost the worst of both worlds. In a lot of the more poorly designed suburbs, you have the traffic of the city, and your houses are all jammed together cheek-by-jowl, but you don't have the conveniences and culture of the city. My sister lives out in the 'burbs, and she still has to get in her car to go anywhere, because nothing is within walking distance -- not even a convenience store -- and there are no sidewalks. And she's just surrounded by other houses, and her lawn is about the size of my dining room. Sure, I have a long commute, but at least I'm MOVING, and not stuck in traffic. And at least we have lots of privacy and room on our property. I'd move back to downtown Halifax before I'd move to where she's living.
LOL @Nikki S! Orange isolated?!?!?!
I live about 2 hours from Orange and it's population is 30,000. Orange is where we all talk about going for chrsitmas shopping or car shopping unless we feel like a trip to Syd.
My small towns pop. is about 3000! Hahahaha! :)
Johnny - posted on 12/01/2010
I'm a born and raised city girl and we'll be raising our kids in the city too. We love it here and have no interest in moving. My husband was raised in the absolute middle of nowhere, and even if I wanted to, he'd never move back. We LOVE to visit, even for a couple of weeks, but we are just urban types.
Since I grew up in the city, I know what it's like, so I don't really have any major concerns. I don't actually know any kids that I went to school with who went down a particularly bad path, or got into anything seriously nasty. One girl became a stripper, but now she's a lawyer, so I guess she was paying her tuition, lol.
I'd rather live out in the country than in the suburbs though, I really do not like suburbia. Where I am now, I can walk to almost anything, or easily hop on public transit. I work out in suburbia, and the driving is absolute hell. At least when I worked in the city, if the traffic was bad, I was on the bus reading my book. Now, I'm just staring at the tail lights in front of me, ugh.
Nikkole - posted on 12/01/2010
I think anywhere you live there are going to be drugs/sluts/addicts even nice private schools you as a parent just need to teach your kids better! I just like the country because i HATE living really close to people and 50million traffic lights
Kerry - posted on 12/01/2010
I'm aware of the slut/addict risk, I managed to get out of a hippy country town at the age of 13 just before my mind and body wandered into the depths of drugs ang teen pregnancy, which is what happened with a lot of my friends who continued to grow up throughout their tennage years there. Maybe it was more due to the parenting skills or lack thereof by their pot smoking parents.
We intend on only living in the country until our oldest is in year 7, so he can adjust to city life and make friends before he goes to high school back in the city. I trust my parenting skills, but theres no high school where we are going and o way in hell am i sending to a boarding school!!
LaCi - posted on 12/01/2010
I wish I hadn't given all my textbooks to goodwill.
There is a huge impact on human behavior in areas where everyone knows your business. Since those are usually behind closed doors though, I'd take a wild guess at there not being much of a difference between the three.
Jo - posted on 12/01/2010
I grew up in the country and moved to a town when I was 15 (when I got bored in the country and wanted to see more) then to Montreal when I was 17 (when I got bored in that town and wanted to see more) then back to the country at 20 and then to the town I'm in now when I was 22.
I think that there are pros and cons to every kind of place and that it absolutely 100% depends on the family and hobbies that family / those kids like to participate in as to what area is best.
I'm outdoorsy. Devon is outdoorsy. Gabriel loves being outdoors and he's only 2. So if we decided to live in the city, we'd be heading out of the city all the time so we can go hiking, biking, boating, snowmobiling, etc, etc, etc.
Living where we do, we are 5 minutes out of town so Gabe will have access to everything there with no problems too.
As far as the addicts and sluts go - I've seen about the same amount of addicts and sluts in the cities as I have from the country lol technically more, cause I met tons more people in the city than I did living in the country :p
Krista - posted on 12/01/2010
Laura: you do have a point. Country kids can sometimes be more prone to getting bored and hence, getting in trouble.
But I think that's where the parenting comes in, and I think that rural parents need to make that commitment to bring their kids to activities in order to keep them busy and well-rounded, even if it IS a royal pain in the ass to drive an hour each way in February. The way I see it is this: I chose to live in the country -- Sam did not. So I will do whatever is within my limited powers to provide him with the same opportunities he would have if we still lived in the city. Will he have the same access to things as a kid in Toronto would? No. Unfortunately not. But, you do the best you can, and that's all you can do.
Kerry - posted on 12/01/2010
hey Aussie! yeah we are moving to the Pilbara, (pannawonica) 1 shop, 1 primary school, 1 pub, 1 day care ummm thats about it! 2 hours from major shops. I just look forward to taking things back a notch, i grew up in the country for a bit so i hope my kids get lots out of it and i'm sure they will. The kids all play outside until it gets dark there coz it's too hot during the day but apparently everyone is sort of living a holiday lifestyle with even time rosters so lots of camping etc...except when theres cyclones?! will be an adventure
Nikki - posted on 12/01/2010
Are you an Aussie Kerry? Where are you moving? My hubby is looking at a mining job in Orange right now.... I don't know how I would go being so isolated? I love cities, but I don't want to raise children in one, but I also want to be close enough to shops and civilisation!
Erin - posted on 12/01/2010
I'm a suburban girl. My city and surrounding suburbs have a population of 645,000 and it's perfect. Not huge and clogged with pollution like Sydney but there are still lots of things to do. I live about 15 mins outside the city centre and I love that I am so close to all the amenities and facilities a city has to offer. I don't think I'd want to live right in the city though with a small child... not enough space.
Nikkole - posted on 11/30/2010
I say country I used to live in the city and i hated it we moved to the country and i loved playing in the woods and not being so close to a house i could touch it while touching mine :) and now that i have kids im glad we dont live in the city
Amanda - posted on 11/30/2010
I was raised in a smaller city.(Fort Dodge, Iowa) Maybe 30,000, or something like that. I mean it wasn't tiny but it wasn't big like the big cities. I hate them! Lol. And we moved to a small town outside of the city(Badger) about 2 years ago. Cities have convinience. You run out of milk you can run to the store quick. They're open all the time pretty much and it's not going to be outrageously priced. And the drive isn't too far either. But the country living or small tiny town, which we live in is nice! We have a store that closes at 8pm. Prices aren't too bad, unless you need something like sugar, or medicine or oil for the car. Gets expensive. A post office, library, bar, and church. 2 Parks as well. I like it though. Everyone knows everyone. My son has a lot of friends! People are really nice, and super helpful! We go into the ciy everyday though because their is no preschool in our town and no buses run to our town for preschool only elementary or up. But it's only about 8min and I usually don't mind going to WalMart! Always use something!
Isobel - posted on 11/30/2010
I love the city, believe it or not, the class sizes are smaller (cause all the kids are in the suburbs), and there is soooo much for them to do (museums, science center, the zoo, etc).
All the people I knew who grew up in the country were drug addicts and sluts...sorry...maybe there's just nothing else to do there.
Krista - posted on 11/30/2010
There are advantages and drawbacks to both.
In the city, there is a lot more to do. Your child has access to a broader range of activities and sports, and tends to become a bit more sophisticated and culturally aware. On the downside, city kids usually don't have a lot of green space to play in, and there is more traffic and higher crime.
Country life is great in that your kids have lots of room to roam and fresh air, and it's usually very safe. On the downside, you're a lot more limited. If I want to put Sam in music lessons, for example, the only thing available near home is either guitar or piano. Whereas, if we lived in the city, he could learn just about any instrument. Plus, if your child has any sort of special needs, the country tends to just not have the resources there for you.
In all, I think the best place to live would be in a quiet area, about a half-hour outside the city centre.
Right now I live in a tiny fishing village. It has its benefits, mainly in that we're very close to family, it's safe, and we're able to afford a house with a huge yard. But, there's pretty much sweet-fuck-all out here. So, you just resign yourself to having to do a LOT of driving. I want to put Sam in swimming lessons soon (we live on a river), but the closest Y is in the town where I work, which is a 45-minute commute. So basically, I'll be driving back and forth 45-minutes each way every weekday, AND doing the same thing on Saturdays to take him to swim lessons.
We left a decent sized city near Orlando, Florida this past February to move to a tiny town in NY state. Actually, it's not even a town. It's officially a village and that makes me giggle every time at the thought of us now being Village People lol It's been a hard adjustment for me but I keep reminding myself that we did it so that our son would be in a safer community with a good school. There is one elementary, one middle school and one high school so he'll know the same kids all his life, plus his Daddy went to those schools too. I'm not a big city girl, but I did like being near one. The place I lived in Florida was perfect. 20 minutes to the beach, 20 minutes to Orlando, to Disney area in 40 minutes, Daytona in half an hour. We also had Wal Mart and Target right down the street from where we used to live. Now, to get to Wal Mart it's a half hour drive and Target is an hour away :( Can you tell I'm not liking small town life? Ech.
LaCi - posted on 11/30/2010
I prefer a country-like setting that's very close to a city. Like, the suburbs of the suburbs. Far enough that it's not so densely populated and I can have a good chunk of land to play with, close enough that I can be in the city anytime I want, and my son won't miss out on all the things the city offers. I like the city, I just don't want to actually live inside it. Museums, amusement park, concerts, plays, orchestra, so many good things about the city. But kids need room to run. hell, I need room to run.
Tabby - posted on 11/30/2010
I wish we could live in the country but still be close enough to the city that I can go food shopping without driving an hour... we live in a pretty big city right now and I find myself wishing we had a bigger yard and more open space.
Candi - posted on 11/30/2010
I grew up in the country. Playing outside til it was too dark to see, playing in the woods without worry, sneaking food from the garden. It was great. ALthough the Army keeps us in the city, we tell our kids stories of our youth and take them to visit country folks (our relatives)! THe funny thing is, they are 11, 10, and 5 and they all want to live on a farm! I guess the country roots were bred into our kids after all. I told them when we win the lottery, we can buy a farm!! lol. I am just too laid back for the big cities. I like to take it easy and not a whole lot upsets me, so the crowds and busy people of the city annoy me! I tell you the truth, if the city has better educational opportunities for my children, then the city is where we will live.
Kerry - posted on 11/30/2010
lol Emma, the though has crossed my mind...i think thats the most concerning thing for me atm. I'm sure the kids will adjust and theres lots of kids that live there, but will there be enough to stimulate me!!?? At least I have COM
Emma - posted on 11/29/2010
Im a city girl but we moved to suburbia to give the kids some more space and to be better schools. not really the country i know but a good compromise i think,
i would loose my mind in a small town, don't think a loony mommy would be so good for the kids.
There are advantages to both. We prefer country living, but currently live in the suburbs. It's great for now. We're close to the big city and all the amenities, but have the advantage of a close-nit community and a little room to breath. We are able to grow our own veggies on our half acre in the middle of a neighborhood! My daughter will be able to walk to school. I feel like we are getting the best of both while the kids are young. But we'll eventually move to the country.
Kerry - posted on 11/29/2010
I like the close amentities too but i also look forward to letting my kids have freedom, I am anything but a helicopter parent. Its a closed mining town so only people that work there live there. We will have to plan more to keep stocked up with clothes and food etc. The downside is medical care i suppose. Royal Flying Doctors service if we need to go to hospital....scary!
We live in the country. While they ar eypung i am liking it but i'm finding it a little to small. We are planning on moving to the coast and are in the process of finding the right spot. We don't want any town thats to big because i really want a more quiet lifestyle.
Charlie - posted on 11/29/2010
We moved from the city ( Sydney ) to a small coastal town , I believe it was the best decision for us , cheaper , safer , quieter , closer to family , loads of unspoiled , uncrowded beaches and forest to play in and grow up in what more could we want , I could not imagine living in the city with kids .
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