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Old 06-14-2009, 12:07 AM
 
Location: Jersey
2,098 posts, read 5,722,917 times
Reputation: 938

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I'm posting this question in a few forums because for several years I've struggled with wanting to leave my state and move elsewhere. During that time my children have gotten older and it's getting harder to leave, as they will be in high school within the next couple of years. They say they will hate us if we move and are determined to be miserable anywhere but here. I want to move because it's not so great here anymore, too crowded, too judgmental, too competitive, too worried about trends & money, too fast paced, too worried about outward appearance, schools aren't what they used to be, drugs, sex, crime, etc. I know it's everywhere but I also know there are better places than here. So I am posting this question in a few chosen (states) forums and am hoping for some good feedback.

Now for the weird/stupid question: How do the children and/or adolescents in your particular community, school system, town, county or state react to newcomers??

While this may sound incredibly ridiculous, keep in mind what we hear on the news about kids who often befriend the "newcomer", act like they want to pursue a friendship, invite the child somewhere and end up beating the kid to death or near death and leaving them there. I know it's not something that is a daily event in most places, but it's not unheard of. I recall a few years ago seeing a video on the news of a group of girls who did that to one new girl. Not only did they beat her to a pulp, they videotaped themselves doing it! Considering that my oldest is almost in high school, I see it as a valid question based on how children socialize, how they are judged, teased, ridiculed, teen suicide, depression, etc. You see it all over the country. I want to move to better the lives and futures of my children, not make their lives miserable or put them in jeopardy. And as we all know, children are harsh and brutally honest and simply downright cruel at times.

So, based on all that I have written, I am hoping that many of you, as parents, teachers, even students and teens, or simply someone who knows what goes on in their community, can tell me from your point of view or experience or what goes on in your local news, how accepted newcomers are to your area, is there gang violence, adolescent violence, is it a friendly, welcoming place to live, are people accepted freely or are they ridiculed until they prove themselves, etc? I have no particular area preference at this time, but if you don't mind listing where you're from, or close to where you're from if you'd like to remain private, along with your response, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you sincerely
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:36 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
23,764 posts, read 39,041,200 times
Reputation: 6638
I can understand how uprooting a child would be difficult on them but you need to explain to them that it is for their own good. Children do not understand this. They only know what thye have experienced and if moving around is not one of them, they will resist.

Keep in mind though that no matter where you go they will resist the change and if they go into it with a closed mind, they will not be happy. Other kids will sense the resentment and avoid them. My suggestion is to sit them down, explain the way it is and tell them only they can make it work or not.

Connecticut has many of the same issues that you identify but it also has many great areas as well. Not sure what you need or want but I would strongly suggest if you need employment to find that first and them move. Good luck, Jay
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:39 AM
 
2,754 posts, read 8,696,928 times
Reputation: 1556
I would wait until your children go off to college to move when they are no longer living in your home on a 24/7 basis.
Moving children if NOT necessary can be damaging to them. I moved in the middle of middle school and it DID affect me.
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:20 AM
 
1,219 posts, read 3,694,346 times
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Well, I live in a city here in CT and people move in and out all the time. However, I think many of the smaller, more expensive towns are more insular and might be harder to break into.
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:19 PM
 
438 posts, read 996,843 times
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Moving is extremely hard on kids, and you shouldn't do it unless you really have to, or unless they're completely on board. This goes double if they're happy in their current life -- you're basically forcing the kid to start from scratch.

I suppose it's better to move before high school than after they've started, but either way, it's rough, and shouldn't be done solely for the parents' well-being, IMHO. There's no substitute for childhood friends, and unless your kids want a fresh start, or unless their characters are really suffering from their environment, they shouldn't have one forced on them.

I never dealt firsthand with CT grade schools, since I moved there well after my teenage years, so I can't speak to them except to say that the high school kids I knew in CT were smart, diligent, and generally affluent. But I grew up in rural NH, and where I was from, there was very little hazing of newcomers, and certainly none of this "drag the new kid off and beat the tar out of him/her" stuff. At worst, there was some tension between the "preppies" and the "rednecks".

Keep in mind that the news, especially TV news, makes a lot of its money by making people afraid. It's a mistake to take their portrayal of the world as representative of anything real; by design, they focus on the worst and most frightening possibilities, and the most simplistic and sensationalistic angle on any story. It certainly shouldn't be a major motivating factor in any decision you make about anything.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
23,764 posts, read 39,041,200 times
Reputation: 6638
I think you need to ask yourself why you are moving. If it is just for a change, then it can wait. But if you feel your children's well-being is in jeopordy then you should move. But before you do that look at the things you mention. It is pretty hard to escape the these things just about anywhere in this country. TV and the internet have made our world very small and kids pick up these things no matter where you live. Jay
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Jersey
2,098 posts, read 5,722,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
I think you need to ask yourself why you are moving. If it is just for a change, then it can wait. But if you feel your children's well-being is in jeopordy then you should move. But before you do that look at the things you mention. It is pretty hard to escape the these things just about anywhere in this country. TV and the internet have made our world very small and kids pick up these things no matter where you live. Jay
It is for a change, but not just "a change". If that makes any sense. We have plenty of family and friends here, whom I would miss dearly. But we'd probably see them as often as we do now. Everyone's always "busy". We live in Jersey....that in itself should explain a lot LOL. But we live very close to NYC, we're overcrowded, gangs are coming in big time, crime is up, school ratings are down. I looked up statistics recently and NJ is only about 1200 square miles smaller than NH. However, where NH has just over a million people, maybe 1.5 (can't quite remember), NJ has about 8 million. Where are we all fitting? Traffic is horrendous, car accidents are as common as changing your underwear, taxes are ridiculous, homes are expensive, jobs are scarce in the past year, shall I go on? With that said, I am aware that this is not the only place that those issues exist. Chances are by the time my kids are grown, no matter where we live it will be like that. I love NJ because it's the only home I've ever known, my roots are here and we do have beauty regardless of what others think. But it's not where I want to be and it's not where I want my children growing up any longer. I can't explain it any better than that. We've been to Maine and through Portsmouth, and from what we've seen, the way of life is so different. So much more laid back, peaceful. It's friendly there. Kids were playing outside like I did 20-25 years ago. My kids can't go a week without getting a school notice sent home about some creep trying to lure kids into a car after school. I live in a pretty town, and it's a rather tight community, but I see it's faults and I see the cracks growing wider in the buffer. It seems like only here can a kid at 12 be threatened by summer school and in the same sentence ask if they can go get their nails done and make a pit stop at Abercrombie, while texting 7 of their friends at the same time. Um, school? Failing? It's sickening. But those are just examples of what I mean, I know that's probably in a lot of places as well. I guess what I'm trying to say is it's the quality of life. We don't have that here anymore. Unless you've lived in or outside of the city, and I mean a city like NYC, it won't be easy for me to make you understand what I mean. These kids here seem to carry the same weight of worries as their parents, when they should be children and carefree. I'm sorry, I'm just not putting into words correctly what it is I'm trying to say.
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Old 06-15-2009, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
23,764 posts, read 39,041,200 times
Reputation: 6638
no you did a good job explaining yourself and I assure you that your worries are the same worries most parents experience. Since you do like NJ, have you considered moving to a less densely populated part of the state. There are beautiful areas to the west and south where life is a bit less hectic. Just a thought. Jay
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
15,289 posts, read 21,402,756 times
Reputation: 5073
I spend a great deal of time in Jersey and have many friends in Bergen and Middlesex Counties. Not one of them have complained about anything but the taxes. This is the first I've heard of people "beating up the new kid" and freaks trying to lure children into cars all over the place everyday.

I know there are many gorgeous towns in NW Jersey and southern Jersey. Of course, you know this. I'd say stick with looking at a different community, away from NYC. CT does not have the issues you speak of, but it is also very expensive to live unless you go to far eastern CT.

Don't move your kids in high school. IMO that's the worst thing you can do, unless your neighborhood is so dangerous that it is a threat to everyone's safety.
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Groton, CT
181 posts, read 471,219 times
Reputation: 103
To speak to the comments of moving, as I child I moved 7 times up and down the east coast, living in places like Norfolk VA, New York NY, and Newport RI and I can honestly say that the idea of moving upset me every single time, and the first couple of months was always difficult, but every time I ended up loving it and being glad that we did move and that I was able to experience so much. That said, I was also the youngest of five children that all got along pretty well so finding friends wasn't as big of a deal as if I were the only child or there were only a couple of us that didn't get along. Ultimately we ended up settling in Eastern Connecticut, and I have absolutely loved it.

In my opinion I think that your child's personality and social disposition and propensities play a huge deal into whether moving will ultimately be beneficial or harmful, but know that there are going to be positives and negatives from either decision. As others mentioned, moving usually eliminates childhood friends, as I know firsthand.

To address your initial question, typically military based towns and larger towns/cities are much more receiving, however the concern there obviously is the quality of living and school systems. I would encourage you to check out small to mid sized cities and military towns and the communities surrounding them.
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