As for me, I grew up in “the Thumb” area in Michigan. VERY rural- a town of 1200. Three towns’ worth of kids went to my junior/high school, and my class size was 105.
There was (and prolly still is) one street light in my town, and it just flashed at night. When my mom had overdue library books, the librarian called my grandma. My mother was 40 at the time. One time I shoplifted with one of my friends and my parents knew about it before I even got home, and I came straight home from the store.
There’s not much to do there, except drink and cruise the one main street on weekends. It wasn’t a bad place to grow up, quite the contrary.
However, I wouldn’t want to live there as an adult (nothing to do) and as for raising kids there, you do grow up rather naive and it’s rather clique-ish and hell if you don’t fit in. I’d rather raise them in a medium-sized city, like oh, say… Tucson.
I spent most of my years in West Lafayette, IN–where Purdue University is located. It’s a middle class area, not too affluent, no problems with gangs or crime (at least when I was there). Plus, the town has a very diverse population. I rather enjoyed my time there, and I think it was a great place to be raised. I would definitely consider raising kids there.
The town I’m in now is full of rich snobs who think they’re entitled to everything and judge you based on your possessions. I would definitely never raise my kids here, for fear that they’d turn out to be spoiled brats.
I grew up in Glendale, California, and yes, I think that I’d raise my (hypothetical) kids there. It’s not a bad town, (both my elderly aunts still live there). Though perhaps I’d prefer another smaller town in Northern California . . .
I grew up in Chicago, in a section flanked by Oak Park and Elmwood Park. If you saw the movie Backdraft, that was my old neighborhood. When I lived there, it was a pretty decent neighborhood - almost all single-family homes, loads of other kids and ethnically split evenly between Italians and Greeks. I would gladly bring my kid up there, if I could go back to that time, but not now. Most of the houses have been chopped up into smaller apartments, street traffic has increased by at least double and the closest elementary school has become a mini-war zone.
I grew up in Orinda, California, and I would have loved to raise my kids there, because it would have meant that I was much better-paid than I actually am… good-sized houses there start at about $500,000…
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta.
Will definitely raise the kids-in-potentia here. It’s a wonderful city - though it is struggling with some growing pains. (I believe we’re very near a million folks, if we haven’t passed that marker yet). Near the mountains, air’s still clear, drinking water is fine. Lots of parks and trees, and you can still wander around downtown at night without much concern.
Having said that - if I could turn back time and take a different job (I work in the oil industry, which up in Canada limits you to Calgary pretty much) I would seriously consider moving to Vancouver. I love that city.
Ringwood, NJ, a semi-rural town of 12,000 in Passaic County. Would I raise a child there? Not if you paid me a million dollars. Small town life just isn’t for me anymore, I’m afraid. My kids might turn out ok, but I would go insane.
I actually did raise my kid (partially) in the same town I grew up in. Mostly, upbringing has to do with people; not places. But as a place, it sucked…no culture. He now lives in Chicago. I think I’d probably raise a kid in the city if I had a second go-round at it. I mean, we went to the city, but it’s different than living in it.
I grew up in El Paso, Tx, and later lived in Houston. I would be okay with either of those as places to raise a child – in fact, my son was born in Houston, and was a teenager by the time we moved out. They’re both fairly cosmopolitan places, with friendly people.
Where I live now, in New Hampshire, I’m less certain I’d like to raise a child from birth. The attitudes seem rather parochial to me up here sometimes, and I’m glad my son was exposed to Houston in his formative years instead.
I grew up in Palos Park, Illinois, one of the SW burbs of Chicago. To be honest, I don’t know if I’d want to raise my child there; it’s a beautiful town, a wonderful area, gorgeous houses and scenery, and boring as all get out. Right now, I’m raising (and have spent most of his life raising) my son in Palatine - and it seems just right. For us, anyway.
I grew up forty minutes east of Cleveland in a suburb that was fairly rural. It was an okay place, very pretty in the fall, and it got a ton of snow (almost 150 inches from 1995-1996). I don’t see myself raising my future family there though. I’d rather live a little closer to the city, and sometimes my hometown just felt like a clique of all the families that had lived there the longest.
The most important thing I’ll look for in a place to raise a family is sidewalks. My house was on a sub-development off a main road with no sidewalks and no way to go anywhere outside the sub-development by walking or biking. I’d rather my kids were able to walk to town or their friends house or the park.
I’m from a Northern New York town of about 300 people. My class size was 112, but there were about 6 or 7 towns included in the school. That was one of the largest classes ever, too.
Your town sounds exactly like mine. Everyone knows who you are and gossiping is a favorite pasttime. Drinking is the only thing to do there, too. But I would move back there in a heartbeat if my husband and I could find jobs. Raising kids there is a dream of mine, which will never happen.
I would rather not raise children in the town I grew up in and currently live. It was much worse when I was a child, but the incoming diversity is not stopping the flow of close-minded opinions/values. I suppose that if I weren’t a catholic with liberal ideas and morals, this could be a great place to raise my kids. However, I don’t like the idea of them becoming anything like a great number of people here. It seems that this area is made up mostly of trash and upper class; if you happen to be middle ground, you pick the side you want to emulate. Nobody loves themselves here, only what they have acquired, be it a prison sentence or a convertible PT Cruiser.
(OK, that was probably a big exaggeration, but I hate this town. The answer is still no.)