How does your neighborhood affect your child’s future?

neighborhood affects future

It takes a village to raise a child, and the quality of your neighborhood can greatly affect your child’s future. Children are not raised in isolation: There are relatives, neighbors, school systems, churches, and even gangs that will affect your child’s growth and development.

Recent research shows that where you grow up can increase or decrease your odds of success dramatically (30% increase in earnings, $300,000 in lifetime income, 30% increase in college attendance rate, 25% reduction in rate of teenage birth), but much of the effects lose significance if you move after the child reaches his 12th birthday. In one neighborhood, the rate of incarceration for black males was 45% on the date of the 2010 census, while 2 miles away the rate of incarceration for the same group was only 6% (which is still high, but much better just by moving only 2 miles.) Also, children raised in two parent homes but who live in communities with lots of single-parent households tend to have more trouble in their lives.

Other research shows that the amount of greenery (trees, bushes, grass) in your neighborhood can affect the crime rate, social interaction, and health of the people who live there.

What can you do about it? Move, if possible. Look up your neighborhood on to see how your neighborhood is rated. If it’s not so good, look for somewhere close by that has better results. Then, visit those neighborhoods and compare them for the amount of greenery. You may have to pay a little higher rent . . . or you may not. Be a good gardener by providing the best soil for your child’s growth. Location is one of the environmental factors you CAN control. Moving isn’t easy, but it can create life-long differences for the future of your child, and even the next generation.

You can learn more strategies and activities to help your child become more successful by clicking here to see your options.

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