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Unread 06-21-2011, 05:44 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,585 times
Reputation: 11
Default Raising a family in Santa Barbara-- morals, values, quality of life??

Hi, My husband and I (young 30's) are moving our family to SB to live out our dreams.. we lived there for 2 years as grad students and fell in love with everything about the place. We did not, however, have kids back then. Financially, we are totally capable of having a nice life in SB, buying a home and sending our kids to private schools. We both grew up in affluent suburbs of NYC and it was an incredibly safe, "leave it to beaver" small-town lifestyle. I worry sometimes about raising kids in SoCal-- is SB totally safe for kids (wandering around town with friends at night)-- Is there more of a drug problem with the access to wealth/proximity to LA, etc. And is there a sense of kids growing up too fast or being "too cool for school" in a place where there seems to be so much glitz and glamour? I just want solid, grounded, happy, safe kids (and I know parenting is obviously the main determinent.. but peers play a huge role). Is this life possible in SB? Any thoughts appreciated but please be nice... the SB naysayers can be intimidating on here...
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Unread 06-21-2011, 07:00 PM
LDH
 
168 posts, read 309,869 times
Reputation: 101
Kids are going to find drugs not matter where you live if those are the type of people they make for friends. As parents, you need to be involved in their lives and know who they are with. I'm a big advocate for keeping kids active in sports and other activities to keep them busy and from looking for trouble.

Is SB safe? For the most part I believe it is but just as with any place, it depends where exactly you live and you need to watch your children. There are definately better areas then others. Over the past few years we've been hearing about a gang presence (which seems to be related to high school age kids) and there have even been incidents in downtown which make it somewhat un-nerving.

Have you considered living in Santa Ynez Valley? It's a great area to raise kids with a small town feel. My parents live in Los Olivos and my kids spent the summers there as well as some weekends. I felt totally safe letting them go there and feel like they gained so much by becoming a part of the community.
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Unread 06-23-2011, 10:25 AM
 
Location: In them thar hills
7,606 posts, read 8,345,230 times
Reputation: 3667
The biggest issues there are with gangs in Eastside, and, the relic of WT types in Western neighborhoods. If you feed into San Marcos (or go private) there should be relatively few youth issues.
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Unread 06-24-2011, 10:26 AM
 
69 posts, read 106,422 times
Reputation: 42
Lived in Los Angeles for the most part of life. Currently moving to SB area. Only visited never lived in SB. So let me say as a former Los Angelino. There aren't any "gangs" to speak of in SB.

Drugs, yes they are everywhere! One of best friends was born and raised in SB and while attending a private Highschool there she began a 20+ year use of Marijuana. I and my sister grew up in South Los Angeles in a gang infested area. Very few of our friends and classmates were exposed to drugs or used drugs extensively. So drugs will find you any where, there aren't any borders.

I imagine SB kids are pretty smart and for the most part i bet they have better schools. There seems to be lots of activities for them in the area. I also imagine the local kids are very trendy and worldly so be prepared for that. No biggie its simply California youth culture.

The community seems to be pretty tight and kinda small towny probably to a fault. I mean that's what I hear from friends that have lived there. Your kids in general should be safe check out the crime stats here on city data. To be honest I dont ever remember hearing or seeing SB in the news or papers when it came to anything to do with violence of any kind. It was only in papers during a Forrest fire, festivals, political events, or sports (Gauchos).

I do wish you the best.
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Unread 06-24-2011, 02:31 PM
 
Location: the illegal immigrant state
753 posts, read 708,643 times
Reputation: 943
The Santa Barbara Independent Gangs in Santa Barbara

That should add fire to the OP's anxiety.

If it's the "leave it to Beaver" upbringing she wants for her kids, she may want to try "affluent suburbs of NYC" circa 1980-2000. Barring that, she may have to try "affluent suburbs of NYC" circa 2010-20.

I think she may have done what so rare on C-D which is to specify a difficult/impossible criterion for a place to live.

There are plenty of NYC'ers on this forum who complain about how they went to CA looking for NYC and didn't find it. Now there can be one more. I'm sure the content residents of SB will be happy to listen to her complaining in the years to come.
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Unread 06-24-2011, 03:42 PM
 
69 posts, read 106,422 times
Reputation: 42
Sorry let me clarify when I say gangs I mean. Street gangs that take parts of the city by hostage and the police rarely venture into their neighborhoods type gangs. The kind you just tolerate cos they arent going anywhere and they have ran the town for generations...

Nah you wont find those in SB...

But you will find the hooligan types. Thugs and wanna bees. These are basically just your typical hard heads that are in and out of jail and like to cause trouble. They congregate and label themselves as a "gang" or the media does.
Their parents most likely work and own a home just like you and I. But for some reasons they allow their children to roam the streets. They have no jobs for one reason or another and they just hang out. They arent driving up to the mall and spraying the place with bullets. No that's all TV stuff.

Its SB not Grape Street or the Flats in Los Angeles. SB police wouldn't ever allow it to get that bad. Too many voters in SB County for that to happen.
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