Did your perception of your area change when you had a kid?

Discussion in 'Films, TV, Music, Books, Etc.' started by GRColin, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. GRColin

    GRColin Rookie

    Jan 27, 2001
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    When I first moved to Oregon, I really didn't quite know what to think. I gave up beautiful winters with the sun glistening off the fresh snow, living across the street from a lake where I could sit on the dock fishing with a quiet Russian guy who barely knew English and drank shitty Molson Canadian. I moved to a state full of people who spoke like they were extras from the O.C or the Hills and it rained all the time. Orange wasn't just for Cheetos it was a skin colour.

    Then something happened. All those people went away. I'm assuming they got skin cancer and died. Or something. And the more I spent my time here the more I really started to appreciate the culture here. There's still too many hipsters and know-it-alls for my liking and as much as Portlanders pride themselves on diversity it's fairly nonexistent when it comes to racial diversity. But as a father I couldn't be happier with where my daughter is being raised. I realized this today. She said something, I can't remember what, that triggered that thought in me that I'm really fortunate to be where I am. She doesn't have to worry about odd looks from strangers if she wants to play with boys toys, she has never questioned same sex couples showing affection - Although one time she asked why two women were getting married and I told her because they love each other and she simply responded with "oh. That's nice" or something to that effect. It seems as though any thought or idea or interest she has, there's a program somewhere here to help foster that and encourage her to grow and explore. We're fortunate enough to live in an area where nature is all around us and if I ever realize we're spending too much time inside there's always a new adventure either a walking distance or a drive away. I guess it's nice to know that for the most part, there's really nothing else I could ask for as a parent. The rest is up to me.
  2. Bretimus_v2

    Bretimus_v2 So tired.

    Jan 30, 2009
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    I remember visiting Omaha for the College Wod Series when ASU made it way back when in the 90s. I firmly said to my dad as we got on the plane, "Let's never go back."

    But as an adult, I have to say I love it here. We live in a predominantly white neighborhood with older folks who have welcomed having kids running around again. Seriously, my half breed offspring run around acting like crazy people with their black friend. Our two families definitely change the demographic but I look out to see neighbors bringing treats out or purchasing lemonade when my kids have set up stands. I miss the Arizona desert and the Utah mountains but Nebraskans are some of the friendliest people I have met.
  3. Sourdeez

    Sourdeez Rookie

    Feb 12, 2012
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    Mine changed when I found a girl I would like to protect. Not just from criminals but also the police.
  4. WickedLiquid

    WickedLiquid Regular

    Mar 18, 2009
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    Straight outta Compton! Crazy motherfucker named sourdeez!
  5. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jul 2, 2006
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    I don't have children, so obviously I can't say much, but I would like to try and comment from a different perspective, that of a sports coach.

    I'm a volunteer coach. I teach kids judo three times a week for over two years now. Two days I work with one of my closest friends, the head junior coach (while I am the assistant) and once a week, I take the kids myself. Our students range from ages six to twelve years old. We have an average of at least ten kids on the mat per session, while the most we've ever had is nearly thirty.

    As a coach, I have to make sure the kids are in a safe environment and that they're having fun, but I also have to make sure they behave, are disciplined and do the exercises correctly. I exercise with them (warm ups and such), I teach them techniques, I coach them when they compete at a competition, I sometimes drive 'em around if we travel to different locations for competition. I have established connections and positive relationships with their parents. They are great people, parents and kids.

    Ever since doing this, my concern for the kid's safety has grown a lot, and it horrifies me to hear some stories. Three of our boys are brothers, we call 'em "the horde", they told me they were playing on their bikes in their suburb outside of their house, and suddenly an older boy comes at them, abuses them and chases them with a knife. I just thought "what the f-" but the matter did get sorted through the families... but I never went through -that- when I was a kid.

    One of our boys is going through some bullying issues at the moment, so it's difficult to hear... but I try my best to help him and give him the best advice I can, because I went through some real bad bullying too when I was in school.

    Where I live has become increasingly unsafe over time. Crime seems to be going up, bullying gets worse and this place isn't as safe as it used to be. My parents said that a long time ago, you could leave your front gates and doors open at night and you'd be okay. Nowadays if you did that, God knows who will walk in and what will happen.

    The future of our kids concerns me, I just want them all to be safe, healthy and happy. I want them to do well in judo but at the end of the day, I want them to do well in life. They all come from good families (I think), so I'm sure they'll be okay.

    I think I've grown a bit more cautious and protective and I've become a bit more aware of where I live, the people in it etc. ever since I started coaching. It didn't happen right away, but it did grow over time. I also try and keep myself well behaved because, well... I'm trying to be a role model, I suppose, try to maintain a positive image. So I try and do the right thing - don't smoke, no drugs, don't drink alcohol very often (especially in front of kids at social events), I exercise regularly and I go to judo as often as possible.

    I'm not a dad, I don't have kids of my own but I care about our students, our kids.
  6. KurtCobain94

    KurtCobain94 Rookie

    Jul 25, 2001
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    This is a great topic. I come here every few months or so to see if there is anything that catches my eyes and this relates very close to me on numerous levels.

    I have 2 kids, a 3 year old boy and a 1 year old girl. Before the first kid was born, my wife and I lived in a fairly old and bad part of town because rent was cheap and we spent on money elsewhere. Then we started thinking about the crimes we saw, the cop cars, the neighbors, or even things like how busy traffic was on the street.

    We bought a house on the north side of town and pay significantly more a month, but we own the house and the neighborhood is superior to where we came from. We aren't paranoid or nervous about him being in the yard with us, we have good neighbors that we can associate with, it is just so much more pleasant for a family.

    Then there is my career. I teach in a low income, high crime area of south Dallas. I love the school and kids I am at, but as I see the things they go through on a day to day basis, it kills me to see what the residents of that neighborhood have let happen to their area. It really us a travesty.

    My family lives one town over from Dallas. And seeing the area in which I work, and the neighborhood we move out of, it has got me involved with local politics. I've met with and consider a couple city council members to be be associates of mine. We communicate about concerns we may have with the city, I attend open town hall and city council meetings if there is something I need to speak about. I do this because I don't want the bad neighborhood we used to live in to spread and bring the rest of the city down. I want to keep this positive atmosphere for my family. And I want to help improve the area we moved out of.

    So yes, having kids changed a lot of things for me about where I live and how I view the communities.

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