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Old 02-10-2017, 11:00 AM
 
640 posts, read 275,214 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwumpus View Post
Thanks all. This is by far the best feedback of any post I've ever made on these forums. I value it highly.

I do not think I made it clear how bad the social problems here are from poverty and substance abuse. There is just one middle school so every child from every social and economic class attends. In CA we lived in a large middle class county and all the students came from fairly healthy and happy middle class homes.

For example, the one friend who attended her birthday party is a mess. She is gender confused, suicidal, had to practically raise her drug-addicted father for years, and is cruelly emotionally abused by her mother. These kids are everywhere here, and for whatever reason our daughter has gravitated toward them as a sort of care giver, and it clearly burdens her.

I don't mean to say these kids are "bad" as if this is their fault, but as a father with a choice am I doing the right thing keeping my daughter in that environment? Obviously these kids were more open and friendly to my daughter than the "good" kids when she was the new kid at the school, so that partly explains why she latched onto them.

But as other posters have noted, slowly but surely my daughter is connecting with kids that seem happier and healthier who are active in dance, etc.

My wife stepped it in with some locals when she mentioned the social problems. They were very offended but protested that it is more real here, so I suppose in a way my children being exposed to problems they never imagined before can build character.

After reading this I would move back to California. I agree with a previous poster who mentioned the "tribe" of being with the same kids through school. That tribe is very real. I taught public high school in Los Angeles for years and the success a child feels socially throughout high school is huge when it comes to launching them into adulthood. If your daughter's only friends are a "mess" and her only social is being a therapist to those kids that is not healthy either. What if your daughter falls into that drug culture? Also, the public college options in CA are far greater than in MT.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:21 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
11,870 posts, read 15,795,348 times
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after reading all that yeah I would move back to ca too as well . I think your kids will be glad you did ...take care and safe travels .
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:24 AM
 
366 posts, read 218,088 times
Reputation: 619
Not sure where in CA the OP is from but as someone born and raised in Los Angeles, I would never move back. Awful place to raise children. And I include pretty much all of Southern California in that assessment.

If the place you're living now is not in line with your socioeconomic preferences, then move somewhere else locally that has more middle class folks. When I moved my family from CA to CO, we rented for the first six months to really get the lay of the land. The area we thought we would like at first turned out to be not so great once we got to know it. Then we were able to make a much more educated decision about neighborhoods, school districts, etc when we bought our house later. Now we live in a fantastic community (IMO) with great neighbors (for us), good schools, etc. But our neighborhood is not one of the ones frequently mentioned on this site as being "the best". We had to live here and do our own research to find what is best for us.

So the choice to stay where you're at or go back to CA is not a binary decision. This isn't Trump vs Hillary. You can vote 3rd party and your vote will make all the difference in the world! But seriously, I'd recommend finding a better neighborhood or town that's still in your current neck of the woods or surrounding states.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:35 AM
 
15,940 posts, read 17,671,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War Beagle View Post
Californians usually think people don't like CA because they are jealous. It might be true sometimes, but I think most people with that opinion hate CA because of the image they have created for it in their head. Others simply wouldn't want to live there for factual reasons (cost of living, politics, some even find the climate boring, etc). I've lived in CA before and it's one of the bottom five states I would want to live in.

A lot of people hate Texas too and would never want to live here. Frankly, if I could choose where to live it wouldn't be here either. I also know that if I went to CA, NY, NJ, etc., there would be people who wouldn't like me because I live in TX or who would think they are better than me.

This is all why moving kids can be so valuable to their development into adulthood. They have to learn how to deal with different types of people, mindsets and worldviews. It challenges their preconceived notions and paradigms. I know from having been moved to CA that there are plenty of good, hard-working people there, even in the nuttiest of areas.
Yes in THEIR head. You should see the comments on the CA boards by people who have never even lived in CA or in some cases even visited.

You have people who have images of LA for example based on shows like "Entourage" or to the other extreme a movie like "Colors".....LOL. The ignorance is mind boggling.

It's home for me, I have been to about 35 of the 50 states and I prefer CA.

Plenty of hard working people here, otherwise how would anything ever get done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coloradomom22 View Post
After reading this I would move back to California. I agree with a previous poster who mentioned the "tribe" of being with the same kids through school. That tribe is very real. I taught public high school in Los Angeles for years and the success a child feels socially throughout high school is huge when it comes to launching them into adulthood. If your daughter's only friends are a "mess" and her only social is being a therapist to those kids that is not healthy either. What if your daughter falls into that drug culture? Also, the public college options in CA are far greater than in MT.
You do realize that teens fall out of the "tribe"? There is no guarantee that if they moved back that the daughter would be accepted back in among her friends. Teenage girls can be very cruel.

They could move back and find they all have boyfriends, or view her now as outsider because she wasn't part of the group any longer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
after reading all that yeah I would move back to ca too as well . I think your kids will be glad you did ...take care and safe travels .
You don't base a serious decision that could have a negative economic impact that you can't easily reverse to please a teenage girl.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:42 AM
 
630 posts, read 673,164 times
Reputation: 996
I appreciate all the feedback.

The fact is, we were trying to escape the bad in California but keep the good. I over-corrected and ended up in a ditch. After two years in MT, even though my wife's favorite sibling lives here, even she thinks this is not best for our children. As the primary breadwinner who made this choice, I feel I have failed to provide the best for my children.

Last year I took my two daughters back to CA for a visit, and they had nearly as many sleepovers and play dates in a week than they had in a year in MT. And that's not for want of trying!

I'm not saying we could not make it work here, but since this was a choice rather than forced upon us by my career, I have a choice to leave too.

Yesterday both my kids missed school because my 4x4 and sedan got stuck in the snow in my driveway. I was shoveling snow for 90 minutes yesterday. When the tow truck guy finally showed up, he was bitching about his truck being stuck in the snow himself for two hours and told me he is threatening to move to Texas.

My wife was not working FT for a lot of the time in CA. She is now in MT, so that could tip the scale but obviously without a job lined up in CA we'd have to live with my parents temporarily to play it smart.

Still open to greener pastures elsewhere, but as another person noted, moving is expensive and exhausting, and I don't appear to be very gifted at picking the best places.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:54 AM
 
723 posts, read 468,837 times
Reputation: 2450
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumline View Post
Not sure where in CA the OP is from but as someone born and raised in Los Angeles, I would never move back. Awful place to raise children. And I include pretty much all of Southern California in that assessment.

If the place you're living now is not in line with your socioeconomic preferences, then move somewhere else locally that has more middle class folks. When I moved my family from CA to CO, we rented for the first six months to really get the lay of the land. The area we thought we would like at first turned out to be not so great once we got to know it. Then we were able to make a much more educated decision about neighborhoods, school districts, etc when we bought our house later. Now we live in a fantastic community (IMO) with great neighbors (for us), good schools, etc. But our neighborhood is not one of the ones frequently mentioned on this site as being "the best". We had to live here and do our own research to find what is best for us.

So the choice to stay where you're at or go back to CA is not a binary decision. This isn't Trump vs Hillary. You can vote 3rd party and your vote will make all the difference in the world! But seriously, I'd recommend finding a better neighborhood or town that's still in your current neck of the woods or surrounding states.
I agree with this. I was born and raised in Orange County and left to move to the Midwest. Ca. Isn't the California I grew up in anymore. My son actually lived there till he got married and he and his wife researched the school districts both L.A. and O.C. Districts and wasn't impressed. Also they wanted a home for a family so he and his wife moved back here bought a 3 bedroom home on 10 acres.

I understand how homesick your dd is I have been there and it takes time. Church is a good place to meet people, getting involved in school activities helps too. Maybe write down the positives and negatives of living where your at might help. Just FYI Texas is a large diverse state. If you are more the liberal side Austin will be a good fit for you.
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:20 PM
 
2,333 posts, read 704,997 times
Reputation: 909
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwumpus View Post
I appreciate all the feedback.

The fact is, we were trying to escape the bad in California but keep the good. I over-corrected and ended up in a ditch. After two years in MT, even though my wife's favorite sibling lives here, even she thinks this is not best for our children. As the primary breadwinner who made this choice, I feel I have failed to provide the best for my children.

Last year I took my two daughters back to CA for a visit, and they had nearly as many sleepovers and play dates in a week than they had in a year in MT. And that's not for want of trying!

I'm not saying we could not make it work here, but since this was a choice rather than forced upon us by my career, I have a choice to leave too.

Yesterday both my kids missed school because my 4x4 and sedan got stuck in the snow in my driveway. I was shoveling snow for 90 minutes yesterday. When the tow truck guy finally showed up, he was bitching about his truck being stuck in the snow himself for two hours and told me he is threatening to move to Texas.

My wife was not working FT for a lot of the time in CA. She is now in MT, so that could tip the scale but obviously without a job lined up in CA we'd have to live with my parents temporarily to play it smart.

Still open to greener pastures elsewhere, but as another person noted, moving is expensive and exhausting, and I don't appear to be very gifted at picking the best places.
If you AND your wife don't think the environment is good for the kids in MT, maybe you're right that it's not the place to be. From a financial standpoint, doesn't seem like CA is it either, unless you could live in a much cheaper area than where you were before but that might negate the benefits.

Being my overly-mobile self, I'd move to a 3rd place that has the best of both worlds. You've gone from one extreme to the other, so find a middle ground. Your moving cost could be offset by the tax/cost savings of that cheaper place. For example, TX has no state income tax... that could cover your moving costs in the first year right there. Doesn't seem like the family has put down any roots in MT that would be difficult to shake out anyway. But I'm a DINK so I get that this road not be ideal for a family like yours.

I just would not move back to CA for your one daughter's social life. High schools in CA are big, so friendships come and go and new groups are developed quickly. The people I came into HS being BFFs with became peripheral friends by the time I left it, and my life-long friends were developed towards the end of HS. It is such a transitory time, socially, that I really don't think you should base a big family decision on it.
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:22 PM
 
15,940 posts, read 17,671,827 times
Reputation: 30496
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwumpus View Post
I appreciate all the feedback.

The fact is, we were trying to escape the bad in California but keep the good. I over-corrected and ended up in a ditch. After two years in MT, even though my wife's favorite sibling lives here, even she thinks this is not best for our children. As the primary breadwinner who made this choice, I feel I have failed to provide the best for my children.

Last year I took my two daughters back to CA for a visit, and they had nearly as many sleepovers and play dates in a week than they had in a year in MT. And that's not for want of trying!

I'm not saying we could not make it work here, but since this was a choice rather than forced upon us by my career, I have a choice to leave too.

Yesterday both my kids missed school because my 4x4 and sedan got stuck in the snow in my driveway. I was shoveling snow for 90 minutes yesterday. When the tow truck guy finally showed up, he was bitching about his truck being stuck in the snow himself for two hours and told me he is threatening to move to Texas.

My wife was not working FT for a lot of the time in CA. She is now in MT, so that could tip the scale but obviously without a job lined up in CA we'd have to live with my parents temporarily to play it smart.

Still open to greener pastures elsewhere, but as another person noted, moving is expensive and exhausting, and I don't appear to be very gifted at picking the best places.
Well any place you live is going to have good and bad. I happen to love CA, but I am not thrilled when I sit in traffic.

You sound like a nice guy, but you and your wife are both working in MT. It's risky enough for a single person to move somewhere without a job lined up, you don't do that when you have a family to provide for.




Quote:
Originally Posted by tottsieanna View Post
I agree with this. I was born and raised in Orange County and left to move to the Midwest. Ca. Isn't the California I grew up in anymore. My son actually lived there till he got married and he and his wife researched the school districts both L.A. and O.C. Districts and wasn't impressed. Also they wanted a home for a family so he and his wife moved back here bought a 3 bedroom home on 10 acres.

I understand how homesick your dd is I have been there and it takes time. Church is a good place to meet people, getting involved in school activities helps too. Maybe write down the positives and negatives of living where your at might help. Just FYI Texas is a large diverse state. If you are more the liberal side Austin will be a good fit for you.
I left CA for awhile and was in the south. The area was semi-rural. Among the teenage population was rampant pregnancy and a huge drug problem. So there you go. It was a real eye opener considering this was the Bible Belt. I never saw so many unwed young single moms in my life.

You also shouldn't suggest church as we don't know if the OP is religious or not.

And newsflash, nothing is the same in this country anymore regardless of where you live.
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:39 PM
 
3,376 posts, read 2,659,746 times
Reputation: 6176
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwumpus View Post
I appreciate all the feedback.

The fact is, we were trying to escape the bad in California but keep the good. I over-corrected and ended up in a ditch. After two years in MT, even though my wife's favorite sibling lives here, even she thinks this is not best for our children. As the primary breadwinner who made this choice, I feel I have failed to provide the best for my children.

Last year I took my two daughters back to CA for a visit, and they had nearly as many sleepovers and play dates in a week than they had in a year in MT. And that's not for want of trying!

I'm not saying we could not make it work here, but since this was a choice rather than forced upon us by my career, I have a choice to leave too.

Yesterday both my kids missed school because my 4x4 and sedan got stuck in the snow in my driveway. I was shoveling snow for 90 minutes yesterday. When the tow truck guy finally showed up, he was bitching about his truck being stuck in the snow himself for two hours and told me he is threatening to move to Texas.

My wife was not working FT for a lot of the time in CA. She is now in MT, so that could tip the scale but obviously without a job lined up in CA we'd have to live with my parents temporarily to play it smart.

Still open to greener pastures elsewhere, but as another person noted, moving is expensive and exhausting, and I don't appear to be very gifted at picking the best places.
You just picked the wrong spot in Montana. That area has a underemployment situation.
Plus this also has been record snowfall crazy in the whole Flathead.
Check out my DM suggestioned MT town. Seriously, it will be night & day difference. Good luck.
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
10,940 posts, read 8,432,841 times
Reputation: 17244
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwumpus View Post
Last year I took my two daughters back to CA for a visit, and they had nearly as many sleepovers and play dates in a week than they had in a year in MT. And that's not for want of trying!
I'd like to point out that this was last year. A lot can change in a year. The fact of the matter is that your family moved away 2 years ago. That group of friends has in fact changed in 2 years. People change a lot in 2 years. Teenagers change even more!

I'm sure they had so many sleepovers because they were just there visiting. They were there for a very short period of time. This is nothing like living there. If you lived there, the sleepovers may be once a week, once a month, or never. You also don't know how much of it was parents pushing their kids to do sleepovers and play dates.....what teenager/preteen has a play date?

You're all living in this past.....this fantasy about how great things were. If things were truly soooooo great, you wouldn't have moved! And I hate to break it to you, drugs and alcohol are EVERYWHERE. This isn't just in Montana. Maybe you didn't do much homework and research on the town you moved to because your wife loved it. How long ago did she live there? I would NOT move ANYWHERE a teenager tells me to move and I would NOT move without doing a great deal of research and a number of visits. Don't just throw a dart at a map and say we're going there.....kind of sounds like how you ended up in Montana.
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