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Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our family

Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our family

Old Feb 12th 2020, 12:08 pm
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Smile Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our family

Hello
I have always had a fascination with New Zealand, even though i've never visited. I visualise New Zealand being a place where kids play on their bikes, have less screen time and generally spend more hours outside than we do here in the UK. I wondered if this is actually true?! I find that so many kids in the UK spend hours inside and as my children are grow, i'm becoming more conscious of how much time they spend outside. I'd love to hear from families in New Zealand to get your perspective on this. Thank you so much!
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Old Feb 12th 2020, 12:13 pm
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Default Re: Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our fa

Originally Posted by Dj1234 View Post
Hello
I have always had a fascination with New Zealand, even though i've never visited. I visualise New Zealand being a place where kids play on their bikes, have less screen time and generally spend more hours outside than we do here in the UK. I wondered if this is actually true?! I find that so many kids in the UK spend hours inside and as my children are grow, i'm becoming more conscious of how much time they spend outside. I'd love to hear from families in New Zealand to get your perspective on this. Thank you so much!
I've got two teens in the UK who spent very little time on screens and spent the vast majority of their time outside. I've said it before and I've said it again, if your family isn't the outdoorsy type then moving to another country isn't going to change that!
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Old Feb 12th 2020, 12:22 pm
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Default Re: Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our fa

Thank you for your message. We are very much the outdoorsy family which is why i struggle. Maybe its living in Surrey where parents are too worried to let their kids play outside or they get carted off to their various activities. I find that we are often the stand alone family who do let their kids play in the street. It would be good to be amongst like minded families and wondered if New Zealand may reflect our values more....
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Old Feb 12th 2020, 12:30 pm
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Default Re: Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our fa

Originally Posted by Dj1234 View Post
Thank you for your message. We are very much the outdoorsy family which is why i struggle. Maybe its living in Surrey where parents are too worried to let their kids play outside or they get carted off to their various activities. I find that we are often the stand alone family who do let their kids play in the street. It would be good to be amongst like minded families and wondered if New Zealand may reflect our values more....
I can't see how moving to NZ is suddenly going to change things tbh, teens are generally the same the world over and Instagram exists there too! But why do you need to be around other families doing the same for your kids to be outside? Mine are too old to play on the street now but they've never done that as we live too rurally, we don't have neighbours they could have played with. But they're still outside all the time - in the garden, take the dogs out for walks with friends, and they both have lots of activities outdoors each week (i.e. son does 4 sessions of rugby a week, plus tennis, etc).
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Old Feb 12th 2020, 12:43 pm
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Default Re: Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our fa

Originally Posted by Dj1234 View Post
Hello
I have always had a fascination with New Zealand, even though i've never visited. I visualise New Zealand being a place where kids play on their bikes, have less screen time and generally spend more hours outside than we do here in the UK. I wondered if this is actually true?! I find that so many kids in the UK spend hours inside and as my children are grow, i'm becoming more conscious of how much time they spend outside. I'd love to hear from families in New Zealand to get your perspective on this. Thank you so much!
As christmasoompa pointed out, I doubt it has anything to do with the country alone. I live in Ireland and just like New Zealand you'll find that a high percentage of the population actually live in the capital. And those kids who live in the countryside might not even spend more time outdoors, so it really depends what they are interested in. You can play football anywhere but moving to a rural place doesn't mean the kids will suddenly start kayaking. We have kids in our neighbourhood and some go out on their horse every day, while others just aren't bothered about riding. You also have to consider that some of the country roads might be more dangerous than an estate near the city, so some don't cycle at all unless it's a green-way.
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Old Feb 12th 2020, 8:07 pm
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Default Re: Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our fa

as others have said it not about the country. Mine used to play out in the uk when we lived on a cul de sac, didnt when we moved to a street. My kids did more sports in the UK then they have available to them here, distant is a factor. They did fencing in the UK, nearest fencing club is 1.45 hr drive away and on a school night not good.

But before you even think about what your kids could be doing with their social life do you have the criteria to uplift a visa to start with?
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Old Feb 13th 2020, 9:39 am
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Default Re: Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our fa

Just a load of rosy-eyed baloney really; kids here spend just as much time playing with phones and 'devices' to the point we now get constant PSA at every break telling kids to go out and play more. Some do / some don't get out on their own but you have to realise that some kids have it really tough here; it's not unusual to see tiny dots of primary age kids walking / biking to school on their own with no coats, drowning under the weight of big massive backpacks, wearing sandals or no shoes in winter. Most kids I know get ferried around by parents to school and after school activities and organised sports on weekends. There doesn't seem to be any spare time for 'playing out'.


Last edited by Bo-Jangles; Feb 13th 2020 at 10:12 am.
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Old Feb 13th 2020, 10:15 am
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Default Re: Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our fa

Originally Posted by Bo-Jangles View Post
but you have to realise that some kids have it really tough here; it's not unusual to see tiny dots of primary age kids walking / biking to school on their own with no coats, drowning under the weight of big massive backpacks, wearing sandals or no shoes in winter.
Yes the UK also has high child poverty rates and I suppose even in NZ you can't escape the problems https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-issues-report
Might be linked with child poverty, even though people might say it's just the way it is.
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Old Feb 16th 2020, 5:16 am
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Default Re: Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our fa

It depends on where you live and mostly what your children are into! We live in a cul-de-sac so when my kids were little they were outside all the time, they walked to school both here and in the UK. Now my teenage son still spends his life outside - cycling down the river track, swimming in the river, cycles to friends houses, to football etc etc. He cycles his BMX to the local skate park nearly every day. Yes, we live in a small town where there's very little traffic. He has had an idyllic easy outside lifestyle - far more than he would have had in St Albans, Herts. So for him, it 's given him the lifestyle he wanted. BUT - he's not interested in computer games and never has been. It's more about where we live and his interests rather than NZ vs UK. I'm sure there are parts of the UK where teenagers also live an outside lifestyle, although the small population/lack of traffic make it more possible here (unless you're in Auckland or other cities).
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Old Feb 16th 2020, 6:08 am
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Default Re: Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our fa

Concur with the others . . . and the motive given for investigating this move has been, historically, a big red flag.

New Zealand is not 1950s Britain . . . your kids aren't going to relocate and then suddenly ride their bikes everywhere, say "please" and "thank you" and get sheltered from the modern world.

The best thing you can do to ensure a good future for your kids is make sure you are living in an area where they can have easy access to good employment opportunities with reasonable incomes.
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Old Feb 16th 2020, 8:52 am
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Default Re: Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our fa

Carcajou, well said

The Ancients knew this as we can see in today's lesson in Latin - https://www.latin-is-simple.com/en/v...ry/phrase/253/
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Old Feb 16th 2020, 11:04 pm
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Default Re: Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our fa

Originally Posted by Dj1234 View Post
Thank you for your message. We are very much the outdoorsy family which is why i struggle. Maybe its living in Surrey where parents are too worried to let their kids play outside or they get carted off to their various activities. I find that we are often the stand alone family who do let their kids play in the street. It would be good to be amongst like minded families and wondered if New Zealand may reflect our values more....
Unlikely that a move to NZ will make a difference . Maybe a move within the UK might or looking for a group of parents that share your interests.

Kids don't play in the street here and we live in a village. In fact they don't play out in the roads and streets throughout the wider area. Some may bike to school . Most are ferried by busy parents dropping them off before work and the like. Most all are in after school activities. Mountain biking tracks abound or family cycle tracks but kids wouldn't be using those as a part of every day play. Kids here are into their phones and pc games just the same as anywhere else.

Oh and... beware the fascination. Instead look to what you have.
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Old Feb 18th 2020, 6:06 am
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Default Re: Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our fa

We moved in October with a 7 and 10 year old and I would agree with the majority of posters - it's no better here. My 10 year old and her friends are obsessed with Tik Tok and Roblox and my youngest still wants to watch as much TV as he did at home. Ours actually played out and rode their bikes in London but don't here - we live on the North Shore (Auckland) in quite a hilly suburb which makes bikes a bit of a pain, and the school zone is much larger than it was at home so their friends don't live close enough to visit by themselves as they were starting to at home where friends were a couple of streets away. There are a lot of formal sports opportunities but, as I am finding at the start of a new term they are all encompassing, taking over most nights and weekends. We did a lot of sports in the UK but it seemed to fit in better somehow - for example, football was once a week at school straight after school, but here 'soccer' for my son will be training Wednesday night with weekly matches at different locations on a Friday night or Saturday morning. He's starting water polo with Saturday afternoon training and Sunday afternoon matches and my daughter's rugby will be Monday training Saturday morning matches. She wants to do netball but it's on a Wednesday night..... A lot of families do 4-5 sports per child leaving little time for free play and play dates. It's nuts! And, due to the lack of public transport, we'll be doing this until we buy them cars. In London my friend's 13/14 year olds were travelling by themselves on buses and tubes. We know one family who have an Uber driver every night from 3-5pm just to make it logistically possible!!
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Old Feb 19th 2020, 8:40 pm
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Default Re: Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our fa

I've found it's easier to spend time outdoors in NZ. We moved from Devon to Tasman 3 years ago, and the weather is so much better, so that, along with less people and lots of parks and cycle tracks, means we do more outdoors. I also enjoy it a great deal more. It very much depends on where you choose to base yourself.
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Old Yesterday, 2:59 pm
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Default Re: Do your kids play on their bikes?! Choosing the best country to raise our fa

Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply to my thread. That's all pretty reassuring and it does sound like the UK isn't too bad after all We hope to visit New Zealand soon as it's always been a dream of mine.
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