The Suburbs: a Friendly Kid Factory
By LOUIS-PHILIPPE BAILLARGEON
In high school, people say that you can notice where a kid comes from in the first minutes you talk to him. Their childhood environment obviously has an impact on about everything about them, including their social lives. In my opinion, growing up in a suburb tends to improve your social skills.
According to the Metropolitan Policy Program, the violent crime rate in primary city was 2152 per 100,000 citizen in 2008, which is almost twice as much as the 1143 suburban one. Then, Canada’s population density is 11 500 people per square kilometer in primary city, the suburbs’ one is only 3600. Lastly, the population is more stable in the suburbs.
To begin with, since the primary city is more dangerous than the suburbs, suburban residents tend to experiment less fear toward their neighbors which makes them more likely to interact with each other and build stronger relationships. Kids who are living in Suburbia will be allowed to play outside without their parents younger and will be allowed to stay longer outside the house which gives them more opportunities to develop social skills and friendships. As a result, they are more confident when they go to school and keep these social abilities for the rest of their lives. To sum up, the fear of crime is an obstacle to a child’s social development and since people in the suburbs are less likely to fear crime, kids that grow up there are socially advantaged.
Moreover, the suburbs’ lower population density helps the kids to develop stronger links with their neighbors: they will see the same people every day which will increase the feeling of proximity between them. In primary city, kids will see a lot of people, but won’t talk to them precisely because there are too many people to develop a relationship with; their neighbors are just strangers. In summary, the smaller number of people in suburban neighborhoods makes its habitants feel closer to each other which leads them to become so.
Finally, since there are more apartments in primary city while most of the time suburban people buy a house, these citizens tend to move a lot less often. As a result, their kids have the time to build stronger relationships with their neighbors, enabling them, again, to gain more confidence and to develop a deeper personality. Kids who are growing up in highly urbanized areas, in contrast, often have to deal with being "the new one" and that tends to make them shier. Briefly, suburban stability helps kids to make friends and gain assurance.
To conclude, I think that growing up in a suburb helps you to have stronger relationships and to have better abilities to develop them because you feel safer, closer and stay longer with the first kids that you meet. On the other hand, moving and seeing more people might make you better to develop superficial relationships, to adapt to new environments.