To belive that my children are having a great childhood in London?

(410 Posts)
mrsruffallo Wed 27-Jan-10 13:36:24

Annoying woman at parent and toddler grouip today.
She was noisily proclaiming her intention to leave London before her child turned 5 as it's an awful place to grow up!
I said if not here, where?
There is so much to do, lovely green spaces, much better than being stuck in the middle of nowhere
Turned into quite a lively discussion

warthog Wed 27-Jan-10 13:38:08

i love london. we live near a fab common, lots of space for the kids to play, plus access to loads of activities, theatre, music etc. glass half full n all that

Fimblehobbs Wed 27-Jan-10 13:38:09

I spent a lot of my childhood in London - never lived there but spent most of school hols with various London relatives - its a GREAT place for children.

nancy75 Wed 27-Jan-10 13:38:26

agree with you. my dd is 4 and has been to most of the museums, various theatres, art galleries and loads of other stuff that wouldn't be so easy if we lived in the country side

itsmeolord Wed 27-Jan-10 13:39:13

YANBU. Any place can be good to grow up if the family support is there.

An oasis with freely running fresh juice rivers, free organic food for all and a free private tutor for every child regardless of needs could be a fucking awful place to grow up if the child isn't loved and nurtured.

emsyj Wed 27-Jan-10 13:40:41

YANBU. We moved out of London before trying to start a family for the sole reason that we wanted to be closer to grandparents and close friends for help and support - if we'd thought there was a chance we could ship the lot of them down to London instead, we'd have done that in a heartbeat! We both miss London life and might buy a place there too if we win the lottery...

darkandstormy Wed 27-Jan-10 13:41:52

Don't live in London but another major city, agree with above posters re museums, galleries loads to do, can't stand the "Escape to the country" gang they get right up my nose.

mrsruffallo Wed 27-Jan-10 13:42:01

Good, it's not just me then!
Whenever we go to the Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, Tower of London etc I do think how lucky we are to have this on a doorstep.
Greenwich Park, for example, an amazing place

poutine Wed 27-Jan-10 13:42:14

I don't think London would be a terrible place to grow up at all.

However, schooling can be a problem. In the area of London where we lived, the local schools had a bad rep. We could not afford private schools and we couldn't afford to move to another part of London with better schools.

BarbaMamma Wed 27-Jan-10 13:42:40

YANBU - but to some extent it does depend on where you live. Some parts of London are truly grim, with not a patch of green grass, too many cars and no playgrounds. But there are plenty of kids bored senseless in the countryside, with no public transport to take them around as they get older, etc. IMO, children with parents who take them on regular outings and to different activities will have a good childhood wherever they are.

OrmRenewed Wed 27-Jan-10 13:43:44

Well I guess she's entitled to her opinion. However as with anywhere if you live in a decent area and have enough money, it's fine. I'd hate to have lived in the part of London where DH's grandad lived TBH. Depressing and rundown. Ditto parts of the town I live in.

misssurrey Wed 27-Jan-10 13:43:45

I spent lots of time visiting London from Surrey as a child...there's so much to do, it is indeed a fabulous place for children.

I don't live near enough now to take the children often but visit my sister lots who lives in N London, my childen love the place but I do think there's London and there's London. Personally I'd still live in Surrey and visit when I liked, but I wouldn't like to live there.(which I have done).

CarrieHeffernan Wed 27-Jan-10 13:44:27

I grew up in London and am bringing my kids up here, too.

There is always something to do, see, experience.

We can walk / get public transport anyway (much healthier and more fun than 'country' lifestyles that involve driving everywhere).

The mix of different people, cultures, languages we come into contact with everyday is enormously wide, and I really feel my children benefit from this.

Also, the myth that living in London means no 'fresh air' and freedom annoys me. I spent my childhood - entire summers, in fact - in Hyde Park, St James Park, Holland Park, Hampstead Heath, or tearing up and down the South Bank, or swimming in one of the lidos.

It's one of the greatest cities on earth, and it is what you make it.

Oblomov Wed 27-Jan-10 13:44:31

so during the discussion, what were the lively objections then ?

I am a Londoner, and moved out when my dc were 5 and 3. The main reason for moving - and the only real reason IMO - was that my dh is a country lad, and he was stifling in London. We found a compromise solution, a small town in Berkshire. It's a lovely place to live, yet I still miss London. This town is so white-middle-class, so samey, that despite the excellent schools and facilities, the low crime-rate and the strong sense of community, it lacks the vibrancy and excitement of London. I don't miss the crime and fear of London, but I miss the heartbeat.

JeremyVile Wed 27-Jan-10 13:45:32

Its what you make of it.

My first seven years I lived in the country then moved to london. Although there are great points to living in a city, my memories of the country are far more exciting.

I would much rather bring ds up somewhere very rural but its not an option so I make the most of all there is to do here. Not a big deal.

GypsyMoth Wed 27-Jan-10 13:45:33

i lived in london for a year with my dc in a MOD hostel. all the other mums moaned and couldnt wait to leave,but we embraced it and travelled around and did alot.(others seemed too scared to even venture onto the tube) they also went to a predominantly muslim school which was different for us as we'd been an army family,so had only mixed within forces.

anyway. my dc loved it.they really thrived. this was five years ago,we eventually moved here 50 miles north of london. yesterday dd visited imperial war museum with school and she seemed very popular as she was pointing things out. nobody knew what they were. we're an hours train ride away,if that.

mrsruffallo Wed 27-Jan-10 13:46:43

Knife crime, drugs, hoodies, etc
I don't live in a particularly affluent [part of London. There is a great number of 'disadvantaged' families, but dc1 goes to a local school and has made a lovely group of friends

emsyj Wed 27-Jan-10 13:47:07

Ooooooooooooooooooooooh I love Greenwich Park. I love Greenwich all round, it's got such a sense of community and such lovely buildings etc. We used to live in Blackheath.

Agree on the whole that you need a decent amount of money to live in London and have a good standard of living, but that goes for adults as much as children.

London is an amazing place for children. It's multi-cultural, there's loads to do, lots of green spaces too. I also think children can be independent a lot more than in the country as they can get about by themselves without the need for parental ferrying. Of course there are, as with anywhere, drawbacks but I do think anyone who thinks that the countryside is essential to an idyllic childhood is deluded.

misssurrey Wed 27-Jan-10 13:50:40

My sis is gasping to move away. I think working/living/socialising in London is nice for a while. London is so accessible nowadays that you can live in the country and still visit whenever you like, if you want to. Just because you don't live there doesn't mean you can't be part of it.

Jamieandhismagictorch Wed 27-Jan-10 13:50:50

I agree.

The older mine get, the more I think I'd like us to stay here for their teenage years (which is not at all the way I would have thought about it before they started school).

JeremyVile Wed 27-Jan-10 13:50:52

Agree about the financial aspects.

Listening to someone wax lyrical about London when they are in a naice area and in a decent financial position feels rather alien to someone like me who lived in the roughest parts of S.E london.

gladders Wed 27-Jan-10 13:50:56

people are v sniffy about london generally though -about unfriendly people are, how dangerous and dirty it is etc etc?

personally i love it - have great facilities on our doorstep and so many things to do it's hard to fit them all in!

we did look into moving out a little bit to get a bigger house, but driving home to greenwich one evening decided we actually preferred where we were to some anonymous suburban alternative.....

Erm, got a bit sidetracked, there.

I would happily have stayed in London, and would happily return there with my dc. It is one of the greatest cities of the world!

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