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Old 03-27-2019, 01:24 PM
 
36 posts, read 59,442 times
Reputation: 37

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We moved to the Burgh a few years ago. We bought a perfect house, where there are some families with kids (some on our street, most on parallel streets) but they aren't friendly/open to friendship. My kids can't make friends, which was never an issue in a DC suburb where we used to live. I have to say- the topography isn't helping, so hills combined with cars zooming by make it impossible to play outside.

It all started with a terrible incident at our school (Howe), where my child was bullied by a group of kids (4 or 5) on the basis of religion. We are not practicing any religion. Without getting into too much detail, this incident spiralled out of control, and the principal was involved. There were other minor incidents throughout these two school years, pretty much every other day.

My kid tells me church, God, and unicorns are favorite topics of girls in her class. They don't play tag or video games. So she ends up playing with boys. To put it in perspective, there was a time period where pretty much all girls in her class were getting ready to wear heels and a white dress for their ceremonies at a local church and all conversations revolved around this and also...ahem, bras and Jojo Siwa. Parents of these kids that I met are very cliquish and rude. One walked away in the middle of a conversation.

My other child also had some strange encounters at preschool, where a parent of a classmate threw away a note I wrote in order to arrange a playdate (since her son was begging for it) and told him she doesn't want any playdates with my child/other children (not sure of exact words).

Personally, I have noticed that people are a little shocked when they hear my accent. I am a naturalized US citizen, but both of my kids were born here in the US.

I guess my question is are we getting unlucky here or is it just Sunset hills? Would living in Lincoln or Washington Elementary zone be a different experience? If it's something we are doing wrong, why hasn't that been the case before we moved into this highly recommended community of Mt.Lebanon? (we used to live near DC, with high Asian, Hispanic and some African American populations). Can someone recommend a neighborhood anywhere around Pittsburgh (as far away as Cranberry) where kids are just being kids? We would like to stay in Pittsburgh, despite having no luck in the friendship department. Thank you!
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Old 03-27-2019, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
14,352 posts, read 17,012,289 times
Reputation: 12401
Quote:
Originally Posted by MovingtoDC123 View Post
It all started with a terrible incident at our school (Howe), where my child was bullied by a group of kids (4 or 5) on the basis of religion. We are not practicing any religion. Without getting into too much detail, this incident spiraled out of control, and the principal was involved. There were other minor incidents throughout these two school years, pretty much every other day.

My kid tells me church, God, and unicorns are favorite topics of girls in her class. They don't play tag or video games. So she ends up playing with boys. To put it in perspective, there was a time period where pretty much all girls in her class were getting ready to wear heels and a white dress for their ceremonies at a local church and all conversations revolved around this and also...ahem, bras and Jojo Siwa. Parents of these kids that I met are very cliquish and rude. One walked away in the middle of a conversation.

My other child also had some strange encounters at preschool, where a parent of a classmate threw away a note I wrote in order to arrange a playdate (since her son was begging for it) and told him she doesn't want any playdates with my child/other children (not sure of exact words).

Personally, I have noticed that people are a little shocked when they hear my accent. I am a naturalized US citizen, but both of my kids were born here in the US.
I don't live in the suburbs, I live in the city. But I'm also a parent with two kids, one of whom is school age, and one of whom is in preschool.

My daughter is a pretty militant atheist at age 9 (we didn't particularly raise her to be one, she just chose it on her own). She occasionally mentions to me that some of the kids make comments about her not believing in God or going to church, but it seems to be a relatively small number of kids, and it doesn't seem to bother her. She has lots of friends from different backgrounds. Her best friend's parents are German immigrants. Another friend has a Hungarian father and a Brazilian mother. One has Chinese parents, another is half-Samoan, and another half-Vietnamese. Thus diversity is a normal part of her life.

I don't know much about your neighborhood in Mt. Lebanon in particular, but I think you would be more actively embraced if you lived in Squirrel Hill and sent your kids to Colfax or something.
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Old 03-27-2019, 02:03 PM
 
36 posts, read 59,442 times
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I don't live in the suburbs, I live in the city. But I'm also a parent with two kids, one of whom is school age, and one of whom is in preschool.

My daughter is a pretty militant atheist at age 9 (we didn't particularly raise her to be one, she just chose it on her own). She occasionally mentions to me that some of the kids make comments about her not believing in God or going to church, but it seems to be a relatively small number of kids, and it doesn't seem to bother her. She has lots of friends from different backgrounds. Her best friend's parents are German immigrants. Another friend has a Hungarian father and a Brazilian mother. One has Chinese parents, another is half-Samoan, and another half-Vietnamese. Thus diversity is a normal part of her life.

I don't know much about your neighborhood in Mt. Lebanon in particular, but I think you would be more actively embraced if you lived in Squirrel Hill and sent your kids to Colfax or something.
We were initially looking in Squirrel hill, but it is very expensive. I've heard good things about Colfax. We will take another look. Do kids around your neighborhood come out to play?
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Old 03-27-2019, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,616 posts, read 77,579,178 times
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I moved to Pittsburgh (the city) from the DC suburbs as well. I've had zero issues befriending people here. To me it seems like most DC suburbs were much more liberal in nature than most Pittsburgh suburbs. I agree with Eschaton that you might find the East End more to your liking.
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Old 03-27-2019, 02:10 PM
 
36 posts, read 59,442 times
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Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
I moved to Pittsburgh (the city) from the DC suburbs as well. I've had zero issues befriending people here. To me it seems like most DC suburbs were much more liberal in nature than most Pittsburgh suburbs. I agree with Eschaton that you might find the East End more to your liking.
I'm not sure it has to do with politics. I'm an independent. Are you also an immigrant?
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Old 03-27-2019, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,616 posts, read 77,579,178 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MovingtoDC123 View Post
I'm not sure it has to do with politics. I'm an independent. Are you also an immigrant?
Sorry. Perhaps "liberal" was the wrong choice of words. I think "open-minded" was more along the lines of what I was thinking.

I am not an immigrant.
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Old 03-27-2019, 02:13 PM
 
270 posts, read 340,708 times
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I have to say I am surprised to hear this from a Mt. Lebanon resident. Pittsburgh (and especially it's suburbs) is not known for being a diverse, international, we-welcome-all-newcomers kind of place, but if you came on this forum a few years back and told people that you were coming from DC and wanted a semi-urban, somewhat diverse and progressive suburb with good schools, I guarantee you would have gotten lots of "Mt. Lebanon" replies.

For reference, I live one town over in Upper St. Clair, a suburb routinely lambasted by Pittsburgh city-dwellers (unfairly, IMHO) as being non-diverse and somewhat snobbish, and yet my kids have several friends of various colors, races, and nationalities, who have had an overall good experience. Some of their parents also have (gasp!) international accents.

I don't know much about the Sunset Hills neighborhood in particular, but in general this seems like the kind of story I'd expect from someplace out in a more rural area. Saddened to hear it coming from somewhere I thought was pretty open-minded and welcoming.
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Old 03-27-2019, 02:15 PM
 
Location: A coal patch in Pennsyltucky
10,385 posts, read 10,650,173 times
Reputation: 12699
It has been a while since my family lived in Mt. Lebanon, but this was not our experience. Two of my children went to Lincoln Elementary. We still have two sets of family in ML and their children all went/are going to Mt. Lebanon schools from K12. We didn't live in Sunset Hills but I always heard good things about that part of Mt. Lebanon.


I would give it time. Regarding the religion issue, while it is a big part of some people's lives, I never remember my three children ever mentioning religion being discussed at school or among their friends. What you will find in Mt. Lebanon and similar areas is that sports are a big deal. I remember spending a lot of time with baseball, softball, and soccer. It is important to get them involved as early as possible to make the social contacts with other kids. My son hated baseball, but I firmly believe it helped him to learn to deal with things that didn't come easy.
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Old 03-27-2019, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
12,529 posts, read 17,536,827 times
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I used to live right across the street from Howe back in the 80's. It was a very diverse area back then, short white people, tall white people, rich white people, richer white people, you get the idea. Don't think that area will ever change.


Sad that your kids are treated that way. Some people are just jerks.
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Old 03-27-2019, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
14,352 posts, read 17,012,289 times
Reputation: 12401
Quote:
Originally Posted by MovingtoDC123 View Post
We were initially looking in Squirrel hill, but it is very expensive. I've heard good things about Colfax. We will take another look. Do kids around your neighborhood come out to play?
To be clear, I don't live in Squirrel Hill - I live in Morningside and my children are in the magnet school system. I suggested Squirrel Hill/Colfax because that's an area you could move right to and be in the neighborhood school, while navigating the magnet system in Pittsburgh has its own challenges.

In my neighborhood kids absolutely are playing out on the sidewalks all the time, and we live only like a five-minute walk from a playground. We had high hopes when we moved here from Lawrenceville our daughter would develop some "neighborhood friends" as a result, but she's a pretty shy kid (honestly, to the point of seeming rude to us sometimes - like she won't talk to people who come up to her and say hi) so it hasn't really worked out. Our son is very gregarious and will play with anyone he meets though.
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