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Old 09-24-2013, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,335 posts, read 17,364,497 times
Reputation: 27255

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Why do parents continue to raise children in small, rural towns where schools are of bad quality, drug abuse and crime is high, poverty is systemic, and opportunities for advancement are low?

I grew up in small town TN where the schools and universities were of poor quality. Because I grew up in a bad area and went to a bad high school, getting interest from good universities was difficult. Without the proper academic pedigree, getting into graduate school or attracting the interest of a quality employer was difficult, no matter how strong your individual merits are. So the cycle of rural poverty moves on.

My family had job offers in other areas that were more prosperous, but foolishly failed to take them to stay close to their family. Ultimately growing up in a rural ghetto with poor parents shortchanged me of opportunities I would have otherwise had, along with condemning my parents to absolute poverty in old age. We live in an area that is as politically corrupt and nearly as violent as Detroit.

Why do people hold the small town as an ideal for raising children, when most small towns can be shown to be demonstrably inferior in every social metric to major urban areas?
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
12,982 posts, read 12,217,889 times
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Strange question as this has little to do with parenting, and everything to do with economics. People live where they can get a job. They get jobs where they are qualified to work. If everyone lived in the city we would all die of starvation. Agriculture and natural resources are the reason for rural development.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Long Island
8,740 posts, read 12,125,874 times
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The desire to stay close to family and their roots is a big factor. If they are in financial trouble, family is around to help whether it be babysitting or putting them up for a while. I think that's the mentality at least. There's also comfort and familiarity. Goes for both rural or suburban upbringings. The high taxes & cost of living here don't provide a good reason to stay, but every time we go away for vacation or short stay - every nicer places, it just never feels quite like home base. I truly think I'd feel the same way even if I didn't grow up in NY which has so much going on.

On the flip-side, you see a lot of immigrants uproot their lives to give their children a better opportunity. With people who already live in America, they don't have that same desire. Rural living and whatever poverty you may have lived with may not compare to what some immigrants really consider poverty or lack of opportunity.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
42,687 posts, read 41,411,184 times
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Why are YOU still there?

So many factors play into what you're describing.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Denver 'burbs
21,843 posts, read 23,073,284 times
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The OP is making the assumption that all small, rural communities have bad schools and an uneducated and poverty stricken populace. That is not the case.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,335 posts, read 17,364,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
Why are YOU still there?

So many factors play into what you're describing.
I'm not from Brentwood, and because I earn so little ($25k after a bachelors, seven certifications and three years experience), it's difficult to leave. I am not fortunate enough to live in an area that is commutable for interviews to a prosperous area like Brentwood. The point of this thread is that where a person is born and raised largely determines where they end up in an economy that is inflexible. Parents who raise their children in bad areas just destroy they child's future prospects
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
42,687 posts, read 41,411,184 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
I'm not from Brentwood, and because I earn so little ($25k after a bachelors, seven certifications and three years experience), it's difficult to leave. I am not fortunate enough to live in an area that is commutable for interviews to a prosperous area like Brentwood. The point of this thread is that where a person is born and raised largely determines where they end up in an economy that is inflexible. Parents who raise their children in bad areas just destroy they child's future prospects
I'm not FROM Brentwood either.

Surely you understand that people don't choose where they're born ... And if you start off with few resources, it takes an incredible set of circumstances to "break the cycle," as they say.

I think you'd get more supportive responses if you didn't blame folks for stuff that isn't necessarily within their control.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:59 PM
 
13,138 posts, read 20,706,093 times
Reputation: 35314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zimbochick View Post
Strange question as this has little to do with parenting, and everything to do with economics. People live where they can get a job. They get jobs where they are qualified to work. If everyone lived in the city we would all die of starvation. Agriculture and natural resources are the reason for rural development.
Yup, thumbs up.

I grew up in a small town, and my kids have lived in small towns twice. The schools were regional schools, drawing kids from a wide area. I never thought their education was suffering because of it, in fact, it was a nice safe atmosphere where everybody knew each other. The biggest complaint was the long bus rides.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:01 PM
 
4,787 posts, read 9,250,582 times
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You're where you are because you choose to be there. If you're three years out of college, then either continue to live at home or move back home for year to eighteen months.

Pay mom & dad room and board and save every other penny. Then in a year- eighteen months, take your savings and move to Nashville or any where else in the country you'd like to live. Rent a cheap studio or get a room mate to start. You should have enough saved to tide you over for the several months you'll need to get a job.

What you don't want to do is to blame everyone else for your problems. Start researching the areas where your chosen career has job opportunities. You think with a limited mind - you see your options as Kingsport or Brentwood. What are they like three hours apart ? Big deal. It's a large country- go where the jobs are. Don't limit yourself to just eastern TN. Fear of the unknown is holding you back.

When you're out of school for a few years as you are, employers are less concerned with where you went to school, etc. and more concerned with your job performance, your continued training and what you can offer them.

Pres. Bill Clinton grew up in poverty in a single parent home in Hope, Arkansas. Talk about small town.

Pres. Obama grew up in an apartment building with a single mother, on food stamps and partly raised by grandparents. He and his wife didn't finish paying off their college loans until their early forties.

In other words, stop whining, stop blaming others and get yourself a better life plan than one filled with self defeat. Good luck
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:16 PM
 
4,270 posts, read 13,948,721 times
Reputation: 3350
It really depends on the small town and your attitude about it. My husband grew up in a small town - rural south Texas. He was actively involved in school functions and ended up going to college graduating with a mechanical engineering degree. I'm a stay at home mom b'c he makes a comfortable wage for me to raise our kiddo without the stress of working. He is the smartest person I know and works great with people.

Although a big part of education is the school, parents should also be involved in educating their kids. I know sometimes it's easier said than done, especially when both parents have to work but work doesn't give you an excuse to not raise your kids. Teach/educate them every spare moment you have.
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