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Old 01-15-2012, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,004 posts, read 9,661,231 times
Reputation: 19409

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
I had that wow feeling myself. Except my WOW was concerning the fact that he/she was talking about being raised in the suburbs of Chicago. First thing I thought was "Wow. He's lucky he didn't grow up in the projects or in parts of the South Side." (MUCH poorer, more crime ridden areas.)

We all bring different perspectives.
Absolutely! To a small town, or country dweller like me, the environment the OP was describing, is hell on earth. To someone who grew up in the projects or in parts of the South Side of Chicago, the OP is describing heaven! ...a dream come true!
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,004 posts, read 9,661,231 times
Reputation: 19409
Quote:
Originally Posted by LostUndergrad View Post
I lived in a near suburb of Chicago most of my life, an area filled with tight lots, lots of pollution, low quality of living and close minded people. The funny thing is...I never noticed it until I went away to college. I used to think that the way I lived was "normal", I thought having metal on your doors was something that everybody had to do...and that kids across America had to be in by Sunset, because things were just to dangerous at night. It is only now that I realize how much I missed out on in my childhood, through my experiences at college. It wasn't until I met other people, that I realized how different my childhood had been.

When my roommate first told me the stories about how he was able to walk to the movie theatre after dark...I was shocked, never in my life had I heard of parents letting kids do such a thing. He followed it up with stories about the county fair, riding his bike to the other side of town, going to HS football games and not having to be patted down for weapons. I soon heard very similar stories from others I met, and thats when it hit me...I missed out on so much in life by living in an urban area. Sure, I learned the values of diversity and how to watch my back...but I never could walk to my friends house alone, go to the county fair or hang with friends for that extra hour after the sun fell. While I struggled to find friends at my gang infested High School, my roommate was enjoying his first kiss, while a kid in my chem class was lighting papers on fire, my roommate was learning the foundations of organic chemistry in his AP class. It hurts just thinking about it.

So whats my point to this? My message is for parents to reevaluate the communities your children are living in. If you live in an urban area, look around and make sure this is where you want your kids to grow up. It might be, or it might not...but make sure the conversation happens, so your child doesn't end up pondering what could have been years later.

Thanks
(I will be happy to make follow up comments, and answer any questions you might have)
Lost, there is something that you're missing here though. Conversations are just that...talk. Also, areas change and the economy has a lot to do with that. Perhaps the neighborhood your parents settled in was a completely different place when they were considering where to live. Perhaps their current financial situation or job location prohibited them from buying elsewhere.

Another thing I'd like you to take into consideration is this, you can have a 1/2 dozen children and every one of those kids can have a different view/perspective of where you live. Our eldest child went through a period of time where he thought we lived in the most stupid, boring, horrible place ever! He moved to the city for a SHORT time and lo and behold, came back to this safe, small town. That didn't mean that he didn't make us miserable (as did our 3rd child for a while) with constant complaining about there being NOTHING to do around here.

Again though, once the 3rd met a few people his age, who'd lived "the city life", he realized that he'd grown up pretty darned blessed. I have 2 other children who have never wanted to live anywhere else. They have always been incredibly content to live in a small town where they feel safe. Again though, please remember, sometimes situations are NOT completely controllable. Not every one can take a look around them, once they find themselves pregnant, and say, "I wonder if this is the best neighborhood to be raising our children in. Perhaps we should do some research and see if we can find a "better" place."

Last edited by beachmel; 01-15-2012 at 05:54 PM..
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:57 PM
 
Location: here
24,472 posts, read 28,750,429 times
Reputation: 31051
Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
I do have a question:

Who is supposed to have this "conversation"?

Mom and Dad with each other? The parent with their child.?

"Hey, Junior. I don't want you to grow up all upset with the fact that we have a security door, so maybe you can tell me where you want to live?"

Is that the conversation?
Good point Dew. I'm betting that the conversation did happen, between mom and dad, and there were real reasons the OP's family lived where they did.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:30 AM
 
2,726 posts, read 4,366,579 times
Reputation: 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmel View Post
Lost,

Thanks for posting this. I'm sorry you lived in an area like you did. It is wonderful though, that you were able to go to college and meet others who lived very different lives. It's amazing, isn't it, how you can live in the same country...even the same state or town and have such vastly different enviornments. Your parents are blessed to have you IMHO.

Yes, once you get away from home and go elsewhere, you find out more about others lived. Me? I was raised in UBER-SAFE USA! LOL Hearing how you lived...bars on the doors, in by dark, etc. oh man! I have had people ask me how I can live in a small town, very little to do, no big arcades for the kids, limited "outside" entertainment options, etc. It's SAFE. My kids can walk down the street safely, do not have to be in by dark. We have no bars on the windows. There are no pat downs or any form of "security" at the school. We have about 6 police officers and there are only a couple of them on duty at once. Some people say boring, I say...safe, peaceful, friendly, homey...nice.
Very nice post. I also did not get the feeling that the OP was angry or even unforgiving of his parents.

You are right that his parents are blessed to have the OP. He didn't go to college with an attitude that his reality is the only reality or that his college peers were clueless about the realities of life as he knew it.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:08 AM
 
1,677 posts, read 1,968,624 times
Reputation: 5475
Every child probably looks back at a choice their parents made, and decide they don't want that for their own kids. The problem is, your kids are not necessarily you. What you considered hell on earth, your own kids might enjoy, and vice versa. Some kids enjoy outdoors and trees to climb, others might enjoy libraries and museums.

The important thing is for a kid to appreciate whatever it is he has. It's okay to want something different as an adult than you had as a child, but as a child you have to realize it can always be worse. Due to financial circumstances, I do have to raise my dd in a more urban environment. She visits aunts, uncles, and friends who live in suburban homes, and once when she told me how much she hated our apartment, I drove her through the worst parts of town and showed her where she COULD be living. I also pointed out the homeless people who hang out around the public library. I've never heard her complain again. When she grows up, I do hope that she can afford to raise her own children however she sees fit, even if it's different than the way she was raised. But right now, she needs to realize I am doing the best I can, and she needs to appreciate what she has.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,004 posts, read 9,661,231 times
Reputation: 19409
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaNomus View Post
Every child probably looks back at a choice their parents made, and decide they don't want that for their own kids. The problem is, your kids are not necessarily you. What you considered hell on earth, your own kids might enjoy, and vice versa. Some kids enjoy outdoors and trees to climb, others might enjoy libraries and museums.

The important thing is for a kid to appreciate whatever it is he has. It's okay to want something different as an adult than you had as a child, but as a child you have to realize it can always be worse. Due to financial circumstances, I do have to raise my dd in a more urban environment. She visits aunts, uncles, and friends who live in suburban homes, and once when she told me how much she hated our apartment, I drove her through the worst parts of town and showed her where she COULD be living. I also pointed out the homeless people who hang out around the public library. I've never heard her complain again. When she grows up, I do hope that she can afford to raise her own children however she sees fit, even if it's different than the way she was raised. But right now, she needs to realize I am doing the best I can, and she needs to appreciate what she has.
Such a good post! What a great thing for you to do, showing your daughter where she COULD be living. Anna, that's the thing about being a parent, you try to do the best you can for your kids. They might not like it, but hopefully, when they get older, they WILL understand that you were doing the best you could. When they have a family of their own, it will then be up to them to make those decisions. It's funny though, sometimes that light switch doesn't flip on unTIL you have kids of your own.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:33 AM
 
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 5,859,035 times
Reputation: 3142
Quote:
Originally Posted by LostUndergrad View Post
I lived in a near suburb of Chicago most of my life, an area filled with tight lots, lots of pollution, low quality of living and close minded people. The funny thing is...I never noticed it until I went away to college. I used to think that the way I lived was "normal", I thought having metal on your doors was something that everybody had to do...and that kids across America had to be in by Sunset, because things were just to dangerous at night. It is only now that I realize how much I missed out on in my childhood, through my experiences at college. It wasn't until I met other people, that I realized how different my childhood had been.

When my roommate first told me the stories about how he was able to walk to the movie theatre after dark...I was shocked, never in my life had I heard of parents letting kids do such a thing. He followed it up with stories about the county fair, riding his bike to the other side of town, going to HS football games and not having to be patted down for weapons. I soon heard very similar stories from others I met, and thats when it hit me...I missed out on so much in life by living in an urban area. Sure, I learned the values of diversity and how to watch my back...but I never could walk to my friends house alone, go to the county fair or hang with friends for that extra hour after the sun fell. While I struggled to find friends at my gang infested High School, my roommate was enjoying his first kiss, while a kid in my chem class was lighting papers on fire, my roommate was learning the foundations of organic chemistry in his AP class. It hurts just thinking about it.

So whats my point to this? My message is for parents to reevaluate the communities your children are living in. If you live in an urban area, look around and make sure this is where you want your kids to grow up. It might be, or it might not...but make sure the conversation happens, so your child doesn't end up pondering what could have been years later.

Thanks
(I will be happy to make follow up comments, and answer any questions you might have)
This isn't an issue of city living vs. suburban living. Rather, you are talking about living in a disenfranchised, lower socio-economic area vs. living a middle-class existence. We live in a very large city, but what you experienced is not something my child will hopefully ever experience. Our large city is pretty safe and starting in middle school, kids roam around freely with their friends. You find them in parks, museums, restaurants, etc. It's not a battle zone.
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Chicago
6,005 posts, read 13,184,027 times
Reputation: 7956
Quote:
Originally Posted by LostUndergrad View Post
I lived in a near suburb of Chicago most of my life, an area filled with tight lots, lots of pollution, low quality of living and close minded people. The funny thing is...I never noticed it until I went away to college. I used to think that the way I lived was "normal", I thought having metal on your doors was something that everybody had to do...and that kids across America had to be in by Sunset, because things were just to dangerous at night. It is only now that I realize how much I missed out on in my childhood, through my experiences at college. It wasn't until I met other people, that I realized how different my childhood had been.

When my roommate first told me the stories about how he was able to walk to the movie theatre after dark...I was shocked, never in my life had I heard of parents letting kids do such a thing. He followed it up with stories about the county fair, riding his bike to the other side of town, going to HS football games and not having to be patted down for weapons. I soon heard very similar stories from others I met, and thats when it hit me...I missed out on so much in life by living in an urban area. Sure, I learned the values of diversity and how to watch my back...but I never could walk to my friends house alone, go to the county fair or hang with friends for that extra hour after the sun fell. While I struggled to find friends at my gang infested High School, my roommate was enjoying his first kiss, while a kid in my chem class was lighting papers on fire, my roommate was learning the foundations of organic chemistry in his AP class. It hurts just thinking about it.

So whats my point to this? My message is for parents to reevaluate the communities your children are living in. If you live in an urban area, look around and make sure this is where you want your kids to grow up. It might be, or it might not...but make sure the conversation happens, so your child doesn't end up pondering what could have been years later.

Thanks
(I will be happy to make follow up comments, and answer any questions you might have)
That's unfortunate you feel that way. In my mind, it would be the complete opposite. I don't have kids, but I think I would rather raise a family in a more urban area. Living in a 'burb of Chicago, did you ever have the chance to:

-check out the unique neighborhoods like Pilsen, Lincoln Sq., Andersonville, Chinatown, Lakeview, Roscoe Village, and so on? These areas are all so unique with their own interesting histories and attractions that go beyond cookie cutter big box stores. Even the architecture of these areas differ and are interesting to look at. Best of all, you can take public transportation nearly anywhere!

-check out the attractions the city has to offer? The museums? The park systems? The theaters? Music venues? Neighborhood festivals?

-There are activities you can do that can help with creating a social circle in the city. There are plenty of Y programs, for example.

I can see how you feel that you missed out if you grew up in a rough area. Unfortunately, that can cause you to miss out on fun stuff if you live in a less than safe area. But when it comes to living in a city, especially one like Chicago, you're always just a short train ride away from fun things. I've lived here since '07 and still have a LOT to see and do and never feel bored here. I lived in a suburb of Boston for some time (Norwood) and was bored to tears because there wasn't much to do and walking anywhere was pretty risky (no sidewalks, few street lights).

There are pros and cons to urban and suburban areas, but I wouldn't let your experience completely dissuade you from urban life. Perhaps a smaller, safer, urban center would be best and give you some of the same vibe you're looking for. Not all cities are the same.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Liberal Coast
4,271 posts, read 4,986,821 times
Reputation: 3861
I grew up in a suburb. Most people did not walk around after dark. Kids did ride their bikes all over the city during the day. Just about no one went to football games, so there were no patting down issues. Our high schools had shootings on campus at night a few times. We had teachers attacked by students. There were many AP classes in my gang infested high schools. A student from one of my gang infested high schools even got accepted to West Point. Just because you live in the suburbs doesn't mean you'll have a different life.

By the way, at sixteen I moved to a much more affluent area and couldn't stand it. My siblings and I are all very glad that we grew up where we did.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Wherever life takes me.
5,944 posts, read 6,383,697 times
Reputation: 3018
Quote:
Originally Posted by psr13 View Post
I grew up in a suburb. Most people did not walk around after dark. Kids did ride their bikes all over the city during the day. Just about no one went to football games, so there were no patting down issues. Our high schools had shootings on campus at night a few times. We had teachers attacked by students. There were many AP classes in my gang infested high schools. A student from one of my gang infested high schools even got accepted to West Point. Just because you live in the suburbs doesn't mean you'll have a different life.

By the way, at sixteen I moved to a much more affluent area and couldn't stand it. My siblings and I are all very glad that we grew up where we did.
My town now, I went to 2 1/2 years of high school.
There were football games weekly, EVERYONE went.
There was ALWAYS some sort of social event, spirit week, pep rally, something.
Teens are ALWAYS out and about. Even as young as like 10 or 11, they are out all day, in their little groups of friends, skateboarding around town.
Older teens are out into the wee hours of the night, like about 2am or so.
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