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Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

Old Nov 9th 2019, 11:09 am
  #16  
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Default Re: Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

Originally Posted by gemmy1203 View Post
I personally know a young child and two teenage girls on their way home from school that were about to be kidnapped/raped and a member of the public has intervened and this is all in the last 12 months. I find it hard to believe that even in Toronto this a regular occurrence?! When I visited my sister in Canada the main news on the radio for several days was someone’s car being broken into!!
It may not be a regular occurrence, but the only place I've ever been a victim of crime was Toronto, where I was grabbed and assaulted on the street. There's no way I personally would move to Toronto with children, but then I also wouldn't move to London with them either. We just wouldn't be able to afford the life we want to give our children in a city, and they wouldn't have the same freedoms and opportunities.

You're obviously in a different situation from the OP though, as you have family in Canada and have visited, so know it and love it.

Last edited by christmasoompa; Nov 9th 2019 at 11:35 am.
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Old Nov 9th 2019, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

I have four sons. Two grew up in south east UK the other two in Canada. I don’t see a huge difference in them in their approach to life. The younger two seem more chilled but that could just be their younger age. Life hasn’t gotten to them yet?
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Old Nov 9th 2019, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

Originally Posted by gemmy1203 View Post
To be honest our main reason for the move is a better quality of life for our children. There is no way Toronto is on par with London.
We live in the middle of London in a teeny tiny 900sq home, we are lucky enough to have small courtyard garden (enough space for BBQ and a small table and chairs and that is it!). Very few of my children’s friends have the luxury of outside space and there are definitely no swimming pools!


I think you're conflating a couple of posts here. If you compare, say, Camden Town and Cabbagetown you will find that the owners of swimming pools in either place are fabulously wealthy and likely brought their money from someone else. If you compare dormitory towns, say Reading and Oakville, you will find that people who have lived there for a long time can afford a pool either because they've earned the money or because the increased equity in their houses allows them to finance it. It's certainly true that, if you live in Camden now and move to, say, Ajax, you'll get more house but you could equally well move to Canvey Island. The days when one could sell up in Kilburn and move to one of the better family parts of Toronto, say Leaside/High Park/Beach, are gone.
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Old Nov 9th 2019, 2:16 pm
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Default Re: Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

I can't offer a London (UK) / Toronto / Vancouver perspective having never lived in those cities, but my overall experience is that youth/teenagers in Canada (or at least the parts of Ontario with which I am familiar) are generally happier, healthier and more respectful than their UK counterparts.

I've never really witnessed the yobbish behaviour to which you alluded since moving to Canada, although I certainly saw it when I lived in the UK, and also again on visits back there. I've often pondered why this difference exists and I think there are few factors.
The most obvious is the deeply-ingrained alcohol culture in the UK and the ease with which younger people can acquire it. Sure, people like a drink in Canada but it's somehow more contained. It's also pretty expensive to get properly pissed, so that might be a factor! As others have said, you are more likely to walk past someone smoking a joint here, and a stoner is hardly likely to pick a fight with you.
Also I have personally found that Canadians are far less belligerent than Brits generally, across the age spectrum. Maybe that's just a cultural difference?
Again, just speaking personally, most Canadians I've met also love their country and what it gives them whereas Brits tend to wear their discontent on their sleeves. Again, this may be somewhat cultural i.e. more superficial than real - but it's better to be around optimists than pessimists!

Of course, wherever you live in "the West", teenagers will be faced with the same pressures, temptations and challenges - and Canada is no different. If your family are outdoors types, then Canada has a lot to offer and this can only aid your mental health. But this would also involve embracing potentially extreme winters (in Ontario) and often buggy, humid summers.
I personally prefer the climate here due to the increased sunshine levels over all the seasons, but I get that it's not for everyone.

It's not a decision you should to take lightly obviously. Work/life balance here still lags behind most of Europe for example, even allowing for both your careers. The golden rule is that the pull always needs to be stronger than the push.

Good luck, whatever you decide.
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Old Nov 9th 2019, 4:06 pm
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Default Re: Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

At the time of my daughter's emigration from Canada her partner was a trauma surgeon (they met across a bleeding body). He had come to Canada to do his residency (or whatever it's called). They moved to the UK (though that was not his country of origin) and he got a job doing the same in Romford. About a year later I asked him how it was going and he said he was enjoying dealing with stabbings; all he got in Toronto was shootings. It takes all sorts. There's something in that though, the violence is there in both places, it just comes in different flavours.
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Old Nov 10th 2019, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

I have lived in a smallish town in Alberta half an hour outside Calgary and brought up two girls who are now 19 and 21 (9 and 7 when we moved here). Was it better for them? Who knows?! Was it worse? No idea....

We’ve had a ton of health and mental health challenges to work through. We’ve been able to access excellent care sometimes and had to find and push for it other times. When we were having a shitty time, I very much questioned our move. Would things have been different back in Surrey? Honestly, you can never really know. You do your best, with the best information you have at the time.

i would agree with Christmaso though and say you probably should have a reasonably strong reason for wanting to be in Canada. I don’t know that we did actually but it’s worked out pretty well. Family and friends with similar age kids report similar issues. Anxiety is a huge generational problem, and at one point one of my daughters told me you’d be hard pushed to find any girl at school who did not have anxiety. I pity the school counsellors who are overwhelmed.

Kids drink with equal skill and volume here. A lot is done hidden away in friend’s basements though, or ours..not on the high street - partly due to the weather and that you can’t drink in public...kids smoke weed like champions. Hard drugs are around if you want them, I generally do not fear for my kid’s safety however, re stabbings and shootings. Other drivers however is a real fear.

My girls have so far not been able to leverage an excellent high school education here. Down to health, the school, anxiety. But they will be fine, they will carve a route for themselves, I have faith - and through all the bumps so far, they are essentially good kids. As were most of their friends. And that’s where the two countries wouldn’t have much to pick between them.
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Old Nov 10th 2019, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

What a really interesting thread. Our boy was 11 when we came here and will turn 19 in January...I don’t know what we celebrate at that time...he has already voted...I suppose it’s just drinking and smoking legally

I can’t help but think that the main difference is where you come from and where you go to. Before I had a child, when living in the UK, I had a house in Stratford E15. I was single and worked overseas mainly on a contract basis. I can’t imagine that I would have wanted our son to go to a local school there, or that my working hours and commute if I lived in London would have helped our family life. We lived in an idyllic French village for the first 11 years of his life and he went to a private school, but when we moved to Canada a six bedroom house with river frontage would not have been able to get us a two bedroom apartment in Vancouver. For various reasons we ended up in NB . Our son has flourished, flowered and will make the world a better place, I hope. There have been a few hurdles en route however...self doubt and a bit of self harm and a flurry of eating disorders (all on the social anxiety spectrum) - but they may well have been on the play list if we hadn’t moved here. He has friends who are doing well and some who seem to have made appalling choices.

I can’t agree more with the posters who question your reasons for coming to Canada. It’s not a bad place and the natives are friendly, but the climate can be horrid. If you are a ‘family’ it’s a pricey move to make, without housing etc, it’s going to be $25k minimum, which if you find it all ghastly and return home again, is a bit eye watering. I married a Canadian and I have zero regrets for having done so, he wanted to go back to Canada and it has turned out OK. I also see posters on BE who have moved heaven and earth to come here and see Canada as a land of milk and honey and love every single aspect of life here, and I think for them it probably works out alright too, as they have such a gung ho, can do attitude. If you have any doubts at all don’t do it.
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Old Nov 10th 2019, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
I

One of my children decided to stay in Canada and is, in a way, trying to provide her childhood to her children; she has a higher paying job than I did and her husband even more so. They're not struggling, the children skate and swim and all the age appropriate stuff and they've been leveraged into the most academically promising facilities. Buying a house is beyond them though.
From what you've said, it sounds like it shouldn't be.
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Old Nov 10th 2019, 8:14 pm
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Default Re: Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

Why are so many teenage girls dealing with anxiety issues? Is it the internet / social media? I don't recall this level of anxiety when I was a teen in the 80s ??
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Old Nov 10th 2019, 8:20 pm
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Default Re: Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

I have to say, proper 'parenting' seems to be the norm in Canada which I saw as being the exception in the UK. I just saw at least half a dozen examples of parents teaching their kids why and wherefore at the local rink rather than letting them run riot!
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Old Nov 10th 2019, 8:22 pm
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Default Re: Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

Originally Posted by Hurlabrick View Post
I have to say, proper 'parenting' seems to be the norm in Canada which I saw as being the exception in the UK. I just saw at least half a dozen examples of parents teaching their kids why and wherefore at the local rink rather than letting them run riot!
Confirmation bias.
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Old Nov 11th 2019, 4:30 am
  #27  
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Default Re: Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

Originally Posted by Shard View Post
Why are so many teenage girls dealing with anxiety issues? Is it the internet / social media? I don't recall this level of anxiety when I was a teen in the 80s ??
I think it must be.
My Daughter is 16 and she spends far too much time on her phone 'liking' other peoples Instagram posts. It is tough being a teenage girl these days, there is so much more pressure now compared to being an 80's teenager. When we went to the Philippines earlier this year we made a deal to only have 1hr of screen time per day, and what a difference it made. It was so nice playing board games etc and socializing in person instead of everyone staring into a phone.
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Old Nov 11th 2019, 5:03 am
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Default Re: Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

Originally Posted by Shard View Post
Why are so many teenage girls dealing with anxiety issues? Is it the internet / social media? I don't recall this level of anxiety when I was a teen in the 80s ??
Originally Posted by Danny B View Post
I think it must be.
.
From what I observe here in New Zealand and what I know from pals in the UK and also around the world, I think this is likely the case.
Always on demand. Always on alert. Always accessible.
So may ways to need to fit in. So many ways to not be so.
Never just being . Never being free or truly private.

Parents. All parents have something of a Morton's Fork to face these years .

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Old Nov 11th 2019, 5:43 am
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Default Re: Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

Probably plays a role. Social media in general isn't healthy even for adults, probably even worse for youngsters.

It's also more acceptable today to speak about having anxiety or other mental health issues vs the past, so maybe in the 80's teens suffering stayed quiet about it.

Originally Posted by Shard View Post
Why are so many teenage girls dealing with anxiety issues? Is it the internet / social media? I don't recall this level of anxiety when I was a teen in the 80s ??
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Old Nov 11th 2019, 8:48 am
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Default Re: Child and teenage wellbeing in Canada vs UK

Originally Posted by BEVS View Post
From what I observe here in New Zealand and what I know from pals in the UK and also around the world, I think this is likely the case.
Always on demand. Always on alert. Always accessible.
So may ways to need to fit in. So many ways to not be so.
Never just being . Never being free or truly private.

Parents. All parents have something of a Morton's Fork to face these years .

My ‘theory’, other than the effects of social media mentioned, is that many children these days are being brought up differently, often due to financial pressures with both parents working and less regular family time around the dinner table. Looking back, I think issues being talked through on a casual basis taught resilience and coping strategies, without one being aware of it. Perhaps parents were more aware of issues, and children could voice concerns more easily?
As a child, we sat together for hours each day, around the table, watching TV together etc - largely because there was nothing else to do - I don’t remember deep meaningful discussions but I do know there was plenty of opportunity to chat about whatever.
Gross generalizations I know but life is so different to even 20 years ago.
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