Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

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katnok
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Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by katnok »

We are a couple in our early to mid 30's with 2 young kids (2&4) living in a small town (about 20k pop). Just like every other parent, we would like our kids to achieve the best academically, professionally and personally as well as they are able to.

This led us to the question of whether it would be beneficial for the kids to grow up in a city/suburb vs our small town.

Ignoring everything else (such as cost of living and other additional expenses), does it help kids that grow up in cities (or their suburbs) achieve bigger success in life?
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by livesoft »

It probably does not matter. I know very successful adults (friends, colleagues, acquaintances) who are from cities, suburbs, small towns, everywhere.

It will depend on the parents more than environment away from parents I would think.

In our suburban area of A-types (doctors, lawyers, pro athletes, Indian Chiefs), children are exposed to peers who are expected to go to the best colleges, get sports scholarships, attend Jullliard, etc. But of course only the top few percent do that. Where you went to school will have more impact that anything else.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by Crimsontide »

I think you need to define your idea of success in life first. Do you mean strictly in a financial sense or their development as complete human beings and good citizens?
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by livesoft »

Let me add that my parents/family moved around while we were growing up. I graduated from a suburban high school with 700 students per grade that I later learned was in the top 100 in the nation per US News&WR although I was clueless at the time. My parents moved after I graduated and my younger siblings graduated from a small rural high school with 50 students per grade. I would consider my siblings more successful than me.
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katnok
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by katnok »

Crimsontide wrote:I think you need to define your idea of success in life first. Do you mean strictly in a financial sense or their development as complete human beings and good citizens?
Financial success is important but it is not everything. We would like them to develop into well rounded human beings too.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by beachplum »

You need to give more details about this small town i.e. schools, economics of the town, percentage with college degrees, activities for kids from pre-school thru high school, crime rate...
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by Calm Man »

I believe they will be more "sophisticated" and make many more lifelong contacts that could be valuable in a city (I don't mean like Detroit) or a reasonably affluent suburb. Disclosure: I am not an elitist.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by Steelersfan »

While the parents themselves probably have more influence than anything else, a lot would depend on the quality of the school system the kids attend. A good school system in a smaller town would be better than a poor one in a suburb or city.

And vice versa.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by katnok »

beachplum wrote:You need to give more details about this small town i.e. schools, economics of the town, percentage with college degrees, activities for kids from pre-school thru high school, crime rate...
I do not know all the details as we have been living here for about 3 years, but I can say that its schools are not good, and private schools are above average at best. About 20% have college degree or higher. As far as I know crime rate is quite low. If it helps, its about 80-90 miles to DC and Baltimore.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by katnok »

[quote="livesoft"]Let me add that my parents/family moved around while we were growing up. I graduated from a suburban high school with 700 students per grade that I later learned was in the top 100 in the nation per US News&WR although I was clueless at the time. My parents moved after I graduated and my younger siblings graduated from a small rural high school with 50 students per grade. I would consider my siblings more successful than me.[/quote]

Livesoft, what do you think helped your siblings become more successful? Did your siblings also go to those top rated schools before your parents moved?
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by travelnut11 »

I find it interesting that you lump big city and suburbs as the same category? I think small town and big city and suburbs are three distinctly different things. Or if anything, I'd lump small town/suburbs together and big city separately.

In general, I think kids can do well under a wide variety of circumstances and there are many factors that contribute. In my area I feel that the people that flee to the small towns and suburbs are looking for racial/socioeconomic homogeneity under the guise of "good schools". That's their prerogative of course but I personally would prefer that my kids be exposed to a wide variety of people in a wide variety of life situations and socio-economic statuses. Of course, I don't have kids yet so reserve the right to change my mind. :D
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by livesoft »

Once again parents made my siblings successful. My younger siblings did not go to my high school. They went to good universities after high school.

In a small school, everyone has the opportunity to be on the sports teams, in the band, in leadership positions. In a big school, one has to be in the top 0.25% to be on the boys' basketball team. In a large school, there will be plenty of AP courses, different languages like Japanese and not just Spanish.

Even in a small town, kids can get a sophisticated and well-rounded world view if the parents let them have access to the internet and television. Presumably the family will travel and see other places, too.

In a small town, the kids may see all socio-economic strata handily, but even in a wealthy suburban school district, the parents can make sure that the kids do charitable work in all socio-economic strata.

One can say the experiences will be different, but with a lot of overlap. I would not classify one as better than the other.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by aquifer »

Not to pick on the OP at all, but I've always found it amusing how people define "small town". I was raised on a farm near a town of 700 people. There were 29 kids in my class, a fairly large class at the time. A "city" to me was a town of about 20,000 which was 45 miles away. It's all a matter of perspective of course. :happy
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by MathWizard »

Small vs. big is not so important.

Look at safety of schools,
graduation rates,
percentage of students that go onto post-secondary schools,
% national merit or presidential scholars.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by ClevrChico »

I grew up in a small town. (10k pop) Lots of adventures and free time. Not as much opportunity as an adult, so your family may be fragmented after the kids are grown. Good schools, but little done to retain young adults. Brain drain seemed to be by design. Too many "get off my lawn" attitudes.

As an adult with kids, life is good in the city. (500k pop) Lots of careers available and people seem to aim for a higher standard. Top notch daycare and schools. There's abundant rec opportunities, but not enough time to use it.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by livesoft »

BTW, even a suburb or big city can offer some of the smallness depending on how tightly knit the neighborhood is and how well its sense of community is developed.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by SnapShots »

Our kids were raised in a college-town. Population 20K. Student population. 20K. The public schools are good and parents are highly educated. Very little crime and there was no fear or concern about them running around town. We live 60 minutes away from two large cities. Easy hop for shopping sprees.

There is less competition in a smallish-type town. Kids are able to do more and feel important.

Both our of children went to out-of-state universities and had no trouble getting in or succeeding. Both married and lived in large cities after graduating. After 10 years one moved back home with her family saying she wanted her kids to fell the connection to a community that she felt. The other still lives in a large city and loves all the action there.

My husband grew up on a farm and went to a school where five grades shared one room. He played every sport they had and was involved in about every activity. Went to college and medical school.

I lived and went to a big city school where it was difficult to be involved in after school activities because my parents worked and couldn't get me to a lot of things. My husband had more experiences opportunities than I did because logistically it was harder to get to activities in a large town. However, that's where I grew up and I liked it. It took some time for me to adjust to a small town. Now I would not move back to a large city.

There is also less pressure and competition for parent's in a smaller town. It also cost less because you have to travel a long way to shop. :?
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by lthenderson »

This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I graduated from a class of eight in a school that had 200 kids total (K thr 12). The nearest town five miles away had 250 residents and to this day there isn't a single stoplight or fast food restaurant in the county.

I consider myself an extremely successful person. I'm married with two kids and retired/quit working for the time being at age 39. I had excellent caring parents who taught me the value of money, hard work, life and many other things at an early age. I think they were the biggest reason I was successful.

On the other hand, when I graduated high school Valedictorian, I was woefully unprepared for a career. It essentially set me back a year in college because I had to teach myself all the things that my peers were taught in the bigger, more richly resourced suburban schools. I spent my first year in college going to classes by day and checking out textbooks by night to teach myself all these things. On the other hand, because I graduated from such a small high school, if I wanted to join an athletic or academic club, I did. There were no such things as tryouts. So I was in everything and exposed to everything early when my peers had to be much more selective. Through it all I had supportive parents who told me that I would succeed at whatever I did.

So my conclusion is that the real answer for turning your children into outstanding citizens who are successful in life is your parenting skills and not where they grew up.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by sscritic »

Do both. Move back and forth. Let your kids see both sides. My kids grew up in LA, but my daughter graduated from high school in a town of 20,000 after two years of small town life (my son was in middle school). She got the "easy to join" part of the small high school, but she choose to go a big school in a big city for college.

Both kids made their choice: they live in LA. Maybe if we had spent five years rather than two years in a small town, they would have made different choices, but the choice was theirs to make.

P.S. Of course they are outstanding people. They gave me my five granddaughters. It doesn't get more outstanding than that.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by campy2010 »

This topic is also near and dear to my heart, since I had the opportunity to experience both. I grew up in a small, rural town pop 20k in farm country and moved to suburbia in the NY tri-state area right before 9th grade. I would definitely choose the latter over the former, any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

My siblings and I were among the best students in the rural school and most of the time were bored and unchallenged. We had to put forth very little effort to get straight "A"s. The teachers learned how to keep us busy but they didn't have the resources to challenge us. Essentially, the expectations were low, and as you can imagine, kids meet the expectations set forth before them. The larger problem is that there are very few role models of achievement in small towns. Few, if any, kids even apply to top colleges or meet people with interesting careers. I hate to say it, but the potential of the brighter students is limited by this from the get-go.

Fortunately for me, I had the opportunity to attend a top 10 public high school in the NY area and the contrast was amazing. There was no question that my peers were applying to and attending the Ivies. The expectations from the teachers were much higher and the kids pushed one another to go above and beyond to get those "A"s. For me, I was fortunate I had the opportunity to catch up to my peers in 9th grade instead of freshman year of college and ultimately ended up in the top 10 in my class. In college, I saw many big fish, small pond kids struggle to catch up and I was happy I wasn't in their shoes.

So, while I agree with those who say that people eventually achieve based on their aptitude, environment definitely matters. You can try to create this environment in the home, but having role models outside of the home and in the education system definitely helps too.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by wilpat »

aquifer wrote:Not to pick on the OP at all, but I've always found it amusing how people define "small town". I was raised on a farm near a town of 700 people. There were 29 kids in my class, a fairly large class at the time. A "city" to me was a town of about 20,000 which was 45 miles away. It's all a matter of perspective of course. :happy
Me too! My hometown had a population of 639 in 1939 and when I was there last year the population was 695.
We had our own method of population control --- every time a woman got pregnant a man left town! :wink:
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by sls239 »

It depends on the kid.

As long as you pay attention to the needs of your child, I think you will make good choices.

Also, the availability of the internet, cyber schools, and even Amazon has really expanded the options in rural or semi-rural areas as has the expansion trend in community / technical colleges.

Many states have special high schools like math and science academies so that if your child really craves more challenging work, they can apply go there and get a head start on a college level academic life. There's also weekend programs - even for elementary students, summer camps - for middle schoolers and up, and the like.

Rural areas can mean less acceptance of some qualities, but it can also mean more acceptance of other qualities. It really depends.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by Rupert »

There's a big difference between small town and rural. Kids who grow up in small towns aren't as socially handicapped as kids who grow up in rural areas.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by snowman »

I grew up in a foreign country, but we went through this as kids. My mom wanted to "escape" the small town to "give us better opportunities in life". We moved and we went to better schools and than college. We left extended family behind - all my aunts, uncles, cousins. I missed them very much.

She succeeded in one regard - my siblings and I all went to college, and by any measure we are much more "successful" in life than my cousins who still to this day live in that small town. However, I can tell you that, for the most part, they are genuinely happy people who learned to live with and appreciate the little they have.

I honestly believe you can raise good, well-rounded people you will be proud of any place on earth. Here in the US, if you move to suburbs and choose the school district wisely, your kids will be pushed by their peers, will be more competitive, will take AP classes, and be better prepared for college. Presumably, they will get better job opportunities as a result. It could be a fantastic move for them. Or not. They may not make that tennis team. They may want the latest iphone because "everybody has one". The peer pressure will be enormous, and the outcome may be different than what you hoped for.

There is no right answer, but - I have seen too many people in my life that "achieved" but are not happy. Personally, I'd rather be happy. If I were you, I would focus on giving your kids love, support, "I believe in you" attitude, no matter where you decide to live.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by DFWinvestor »

snowman wrote:I grew up in a foreign country, but we went through this as kids. My mom wanted to "escape" the small town to "give us better opportunities in life". We moved and we went to better schools and than college. We left extended family behind - all my aunts, uncles, cousins. I missed them very much.

She succeeded in one regard - my siblings and I all went to college, and by any measure we are much more "successful" in life than my cousins who still to this day live in that small town. However, I can tell you that, for the most part, they are genuinely happy people who learned to live with and appreciate the little they have.

There is no right answer, but - I have seen too many people in my life that "achieved" but are not happy. Personally, I'd rather be happy. If I were you, I would focus on giving your kids love, support, "I believe in you" attitude, no matter where you decide to live.
I think this is pretty spot on. I have similar experience with people in my own family. Some who stayed in small towns, didn't go to college, had children too young IMO. But they are happy and at times I wonder if even happier than those of us who chose big city/post graduate education. I personally wouldn't trade places with them, and I'm sure they would say the same about me.

I'm going to show my bias here but I think here in the south, small towns tend to be a little bit behind the times in many ways. I'm not sure this is true everywhere, but in the south in my experience the mentality in small towns is a little conservative for my tastes. I considered relocating to a small town for a job opportunity, but one of my concerns was being judged for being a bit too liberal for their standards and whether or not I chose to sit in a church pew on Sundays. I don't mean to steer the discussion to politics or religion but this is just my viewpoint on small towns in the south, and I'm not sure it would be for me.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by MDfive21 »

depends on what you want your kids to do. my 4 year old has been to the houston zoo, museum of fine arts, museum of nat. science and the children's museum more in the last 1.5 yrs than i had been before i started taking her, and i'm 40. i'm sure we will continue to go as she grows up. i grew up 50 miles from a big city but only went to museums and such as part of field trips at school. i suppose my parents could have done the same for me. they could have afforded it, and any parent could make the effort to do it, but it's just much easier when it's a 10 minute drive from home. the museums have become an integral part of her upbringing rather than something we do once or twice every 3 years.

the trade-off is that we live in a rental which is much smaller than what i could buy or lease for the same $$ out of town. it doesn't bother me at all, but some are more interested in a larger home.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by Ged »

No question if you want a profession that requires strong academic training a rural town can add some hurdles. My best friend in college came from rural Pennsylvania.

He told me that his high school principal told his parents during his junior year that the high school didn't have anything more they could offer him and that he would be wasting his time coming back as a senior. So he applied for college as a high school junior. It took him a year or so to catch up on entering college. After that he did quite well.

Last I heard from him he had gone on to get a PhD in Geology and was teaching at a state college. He never did get a high school diploma.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by mlipps »

I grew up in a tiny town in SE Ohio about 3 hours from a major city. High school of 800 but only by busing kids in from an hour away. I think the only true limitation that resulted was the lesser availability of AP courses at my high school. But, I was able to take two online & two in the classroom and come into college with credit for all four, so it wasn't the end of the world.

What I do feel like I gained from it that many in my generation lack is a sense of identity & place. It sounds cheesy, but there is something to having strong roots and growing up in a small town seems to give people that in a way that suburban areas really don't. It's not the end all and be all to life, just a positive that might help counterbalance some of the points against rural areas.

Editing to address Ged's point before me. From my graduating class alone, we have that I know of offhand, a Yale law 3L, a pharmacy school first year, an audiology (AuD) program 2nd year, a person w/a Master's in Marine Biology, a student who is doing a PhD in chemistry at UNC Chapel Hill, an actuary, two professional dancers in touring companies, a student in an MBA program at a Big Ten university, a person w/a master's in forensic science from UC-Davis...

I won't bore you by continuing. Suffice to say that it has not held our class back, nor the ones before us or the ones after. And this is not by any means a good school district. I believe we were told at my high school graduation that the historic total for alumni of my high school w/a 2 or 4 year college degree is 35%. On Greatschools, our high school has a ranking of 4 out of a possible 10.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by mlipps »

Rupert wrote:There's a big difference between small town and rural. Kids who grow up in small towns aren't as socially handicapped as kids who grow up in rural areas.
What on earth is that supposed to mean? What a ridiculously rude stereotype.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by Rupert »

mlipps wrote:
Rupert wrote:There's a big difference between small town and rural. Kids who grow up in small towns aren't as socially handicapped as kids who grow up in rural areas.
What on earth is that supposed to mean? What a ridiculously rude stereotype.
I grew up in an extremely rural area and was socially handicapped. By that I mean I was extremely unsophisticated compared to my classmates when I hit college. It literally took years for me to catch up socially, although I did fine academically. (Stop assuming the worst about people and their motives, btw. You do realize this is an anonymous internet forum and you don't know me).
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by ryuns »

I think the answer to nearly all parenting questions is: If you care enough to ask the question, then the answer probably doesn't matter anyway. In other words, the kid's coming from a good home and will probably do fine.

Now, maybe there are smaller scale debates to have. Eventually if we have kids, which will probably dictate a house with a second bathroom and a little more space, we'll probably have a debate about whether to move inside this school's boundary or that school's boundary in the same city, which would be largely immaterial to our lifestyle, except for a slightly higher mortgage bill. But a debate about a rural setting, an urban setting or a suburban setting? Forget it. That affects your life hugely, and having a kid can't dictate that to me. Maybe that's massively selfish, but it's something so broad that it's impossible to know whether it will benefit or harm the kids long-term, while I can know with much more clarity the best decision to make for our own lives and careers at a given time. (I know this is one of those "all things being equal" questions, but I don't think all things are ever equal enough that the hypothetical answer should sway your decision-making.)
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katnok
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by katnok »

Thanks to everyone for your experiences, opinions and suggestions.

I guess I can make the following generalizations from the replies:

1. Majority do not see growing up in a small town as a drawback
2. Parents/parenting and schools are more important than the size of your town or city.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by VictoriaF »

My "vote" is for a large city and for the importance of the peers.

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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by btenny »

Rupert I sort of know what you are talking about. Growing up on a farm out in the country is just different. I went to school thru 3rd grade in a school with 12 kids and 8 grades. My sister road the bus 45 miles to high school. My Mom loved it when we moved to "a real town" where there were maybe 15K people and a grade school right in town maybe 3 blocks from my house and a high school 4 miles or so away. But when I went off to college at 16 it took a lot of adjusting on my part to the things other kids did and knew who grew up in the big city where I went to college.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by celia »

If one type of place had a definite advantage over the other, wouldn't most people with kids move there?
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by mathwhiz »

I grew up in an extremely rural area and was socially handicapped. By that I mean I was extremely unsophisticated compared to my classmates when I hit college. It literally took years for me to catch up socially, although I did fine academically. (Stop assuming the worst about people and their motives, btw. You do realize this is an anonymous internet forum and you don't know me).
Considering what many college kids do in college, perhaps being "unsophisticated" and a little sheltered isn't such a bad thing. Of course, drug and alcohol abuse and promiscuity happen in rural areas too especially meth.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by jon-nyc »

I could add a response in the format:

"Conclusion: X
Supporting personal anecdote: Y"


But I'm actually rather curious if anyone is aware of any data that can help answer this (empirical) question.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by livesoft »

jon-nyc wrote:But I'm actually rather curious if anyone is aware of any data that can help answer this (empirical) question.
That would be politically incorrect if it came to a conclusion that some folks didn't like.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by btenny »

I don't know about small town vs large town but I do know about different "types" of cities and towns.

There are lots of different types of big cities. Phoenix/Scottsdale Arizona is a wonderful big desert city with pro sports and big govt and colleges and orchestras and aerospace stuff and tons of night life etc.. But it basically is just a big small town. It doesn't have 5-10 giant big companies like Wells Fargo or NBC. It only has maybe 15 high rise buildings. It is just a lot of nice small businesses and tons of people and suburbs who enjoy the dry desert climate. All in it is not very sophisticated versus say New York or San Francisco. Kids grow up here wanting to be game programmers or golfers or air plane pilots.

Whereas kids who grow up in New York or San Francisco have tons of big businesses to pick from to model their future career. They can be a stock broker or banker or hedge fund manager or fashion designer or tons of other occupations available in the big companies and big businesses and tons of cultures that exist in those cities. Kids who grow up in NY or SF jsut learn more about the world early versus say a kid from Phoenix....

Similarly there are hundreds of small towns in America that are nice places to live and grow up but not well known. Cities like Flagstaff Arizona or Davis California are both great small college towns. Kids who grow up in those towns are likely to have college goals. Where as kids who grow up in South Lake Tahoe California or Truckee California or Park City Utah are likly to be ski kids. All three are great resort towns with great ski areas next door.

So small town versus large town is not the issue you should really think about IMO. You should think about what and how you want to live your life and what you want your kids to grow up doing. Do you want them to be stock brokers? Ski kids? Golfers? Technology wizzes? Make your choices carefully......
stan1
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by stan1 »

celia wrote:If one type of place had a definite advantage over the other, wouldn't most people with kids move there?
Not quite that simple. Jobs are a main reason parents don't live in small towns and rural areas, but if the parent is lucky enough to have a stable job that can support the family in such a location the lifestyle can be rewarding. Kids get a different experience from having a horse and chickens in the yard than they do from going to a museum every weekend; key word is different -- not better. If your kid grows up to be a teacher at the high school she went to, is she a failure? I think some people would believe so.
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bengal22
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by bengal22 »

If rural life wasn't better why would Eddie Albert, Eva Gabor, and Arnold the Pig move out into the country.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by beachlover »

For sure, parenting, peers, schools, creative opportunities, role models and community expectations all may factor into your kids' success. Lots of variations on those to be found in both small and big towns. For what it's worth, we've been very happy to have raised our kids in university town. While not rural, it still has a small town feel and quality of life, an overall educated populace and good public schools. While it admittedly doesn't hold a cultural candle to somewhere like NYC, it still offers a diverse community and array of opportunities not easily found in many other towns of similar size. Overall, I think it has served our kids and their peers well as they've struck out on their own in the world.
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StealthWealth
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by StealthWealth »

Never bet against a farm boy...
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by denovo »

wilpat wrote:
aquifer wrote:Not to pick on the OP at all, but I've always found it amusing how people define "small town". I was raised on a farm near a town of 700 people. There were 29 kids in my class, a fairly large class at the time. A "city" to me was a town of about 20,000 which was 45 miles away. It's all a matter of perspective of course. :happy
Me too! My hometown had a population of 639 in 1939 and when I was there last year the population was 695.
We had our own method of population control --- every time a woman got pregnant a man left town! :wink:
I am going to remember that joke for cocktail parties.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by denovo »

Ancedote of course, but I knew a girl who grew up in a small town and then she was 18 she went to an out of state big state university in a large metro area UC-Berkeley. She felt overwhelmed by the situation and dropped out after one semester.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by 22twain »

bengal22 wrote:If rural life wasn't better why would Eddie Albert, Eva Gabor, and Arnold the Pig move out into the country.
If rural life was better why would Jed Clampett and his kin move to Beverly Hills? :P
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Jay69
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by Jay69 »

You can have the best of all worlds :wink: We live on a few acres in the outer suburbs, population 17k with a fair amount of active farms still in operation. About 20 miles from a big city with all the fancy museums and a sport venue for every sport, etc. Have been very happy with the public schools.

The only thing I will add, if you feel sports and after school activities are important, living an area where you can get your kids to those activities without spending 2 hours in the car every night is a good thing. Being close to the outskirts I see 2-3 times a week some parents drive about an hour to get the kid to practice, I'm so glad we can be their in 15 minutes. Most of those long distance kid drive times only last about 3-4 years then they are burned out and done.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by white_water »

There is a pretty large body of research to show that much ( though not all) academic accomplishment is based on:

Time on task ( kids get better at math by doing lots of math, or reading,etc)
Teacher's relationship with the student.
Parent's attitude toward education, ( in later studies refined to educational achievement of the mother.)

None of these are dependent on the size of the town. The question is where the scenarios above are more likely to happen for your kids.
For my own two, it was small town America.
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by diasurfer »

I think kids face extra challenges if they live in a very rural area, or in a very large city (assuming their parents are not especially wealthy). Anecdotes: I've known people who had a hard time leaving the farm, and people who never really moved beyond the fact that they grew up on the Lower East Side.

Since most agree that parental involvement is a primary driver, and happy parents make better parents, perhaps it's best to ask where would the parents rather live?
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Re: Raising kids in a small town vs. big city/suburbs

Post by ryuns »

Jay69 wrote:You can have the best of all worlds :wink: We live on a few acres in the outer suburbs, population 17k with a fair amount of active farms still in operation. About 20 miles from a big city with all the fancy museums and a sport venue for every sport, etc. Have been very happy with the public schools.

The only thing I will add, if you feel sports and after school activities are important, living an area where you can get your kids to those activities without spending 2 hours in the car every night is a good thing. Being close to the outskirts I see 2-3 times a week some parents drive about an hour to get the kid to practice, I'm so glad we can be their in 15 minutes. Most of those long distance kid drive times only last about 3-4 years then they are burned out and done.
I always wonder to what degree it's healthy to simply limit a kids' options based on logistics. I grew up playing soccer, because that's what was there, and then I ran cross-country and track in high school because, of the options presented at my high school, that's what I was best at. I didn't play ice hockey (hockey in the parking lot was a different story). But I did have a friend who really loved hockey and would drive (or be driven) about an hour to play real ice hockey. I don't think he plays anymore. The kids who had to go to the special gymnastics school, they don't do gymnastics anymore. If I had kids, I could drive in rush hour traffic to the 'burbs to sit through ice hockey or we could ride our bikes to the local park for soccer practice. The Olympics would probably be rather boring if everyone had this attitude though :)
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