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Michael Ray

Any Teenagers and Young People?

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My wife and I have a 16 yr old daughter, and she really is upset about us making plans to move to Lake Chapala. You know how important friends are to teenagers. Just wondering, anyone know if there are many High School age kids in the area? If she could meet a few, it would really help her over this trauma! I really know how she feels, my Dad moved me from a large city to a small rural town my senior year. I thought my world had ended. Any advice, observations or experiences appreciated!

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I assume you mean teenagers from places like the US or Canada as obviously there are lots of Mexican teenagers in the area.  Assuming you enroll your daughter in a bilingual school, she should meet both foreign and Mexican classmates to make friends with.

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Sorry, yes I did mean kids she can converse with, we are working on her Spanish, this is her second year. I wasn't aware of any bilingual schools. That would really help her language skills, going to a bilingual school. Thanks. 

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I'm sure I will get beat up over this entry, but my "advice" would be to hold off on the planned move  -- if at all humanly possible -- until after your daughter graduates from high school.  My "observation" is that Lakeside is not a place where teenagers are provided ample opportunities and peer role models to thrive.  (Of course there will be exceptions.)  Teen pregnancy and drug abuse are at alarmingly high levels here.

 

 

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5 hours ago, MexSeekin said:

I'm sure I will get beat up over this entry, but my "advice" would be to hold off on the planned move  -- if at all humanly possible -- until after your daughter graduates from high school.  My "observation" is that Lakeside is not a place where teenagers are provided ample opportunities and peer role models to thrive.  (Of course there will be exceptions.)  Teen pregnancy and drug abuse are at alarmingly high levels here.

 

 

You won't get beat up by me MexSeekin.

A move at this stage of life for a 16 year old female could be disastrous in so many ways, especially with the language barrier. I had  Spanish classes throughout grades 1-12 and two semesters in University and I still struggle to communicate, so please don't think two years will make it possible for your daughter to make friends. Don't be selfish. Put off your dreams until your daughter is finished with school and well on the way to achieving hers. 

 

 

 

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I guess it kinda matters why the move is happening: If it's work related, lotsa families move all over the states and world. IBM, military families and Methodists Ministers are faced with this all the time.

While change can be hard on each family member, it is not impossible. Under these circumstances, everyone copes.

If the move is based on a desire to see another culture for a few years like Tim Ferris promotes in his book "The 4 Hour Work Week", then I would say maybe delaying the bug out for a year.

The other piece of this, unless you are living in a motel or an RV, making a move of this magnitude generally takes a fair amount of time to pull off. If you are in a house you own, it's hard to imagine you could accomplish the move before this year's school session is over anyway. If she's 16, I am guessing she is a rising Senior...problem somewhat solved.

Just some random thoughts.

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IMHO the language barrier would be the least of your worries about a 16 year old girl. There are no "woke" 16-19 year old males in the area. Neighborhood gangs abound and with them come the usual problems they create NOB. Nobody can know in advance for sure, but again, IMHO, you would be subjecting your daughter to a whole bunch of stress that would have nothing to do with communication or missing friends.

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Under these circumstances, everyone copes.” 

This is not  true. Sometimes people don’t/can’t cope with a move like this at age 16. But, the OP knows his daughter and we do not. He knows his family’s bonds, how the individuals cope as a unit and individually, their weak and strong points. We do not.  

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There are lots of great kids in the area with who go .to bilingual schools and plan on college.  They are well adapted and learn the language well being immersed in Spanish.  A family that I know have several kids in school and they are so proud how all the kids speak Spanish and are part of the school.  Most kids in bilingual schools appreciate their learning experience and have goals of college.  Just go to the prepatoria school in Chapala. It is part of the university of Guadalajara.   When they graduate, they do plan on going to the university.   I know a group of kids going there and have goals of becoming doctors, arquitects, etc.  

Your daughter will assimilate and will have lots of friends and will be with kids that have future goals of higher learning

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There are kids Mexicans and foreign going to private bilingual schools  and the prepa in Chapala who speak English, Those kids are not gang members, there are kids who wany to have a career. I know several boys who are gong to the prepa , one other just about to go to the university next year and several in University and they are nice kids who want to be professionalsl laters on in life.. There are good teenagers around, not all are gang members...Only people who are not around kids would say that..

I learned Spanish at 53 and I was ok after 3 years so a kids wanting to learn will not be bad off after 2 years of Spanish in high school. I went to school in Germany at age 11  after one year of German , it was  a little difficult but kids adapt, I also went to school   to in England at age 16 after 2 years of English and that was tougher but  I survived.. In both cases I live with a family who did not speak my language so kids adapt but it all depends on the kid.

Where  there is a will there is a way , it all depends how willing is your daughter to adapt rather than on the schools here or the number of US kids . Do not look for US kids, look for kids who can speak English or want to learn and she will find friends. I know severalMexican  teenagers who go to both private schools or the prepa in Chapala and can speak English not all kifs in the area are gang member and good for nothing .

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11 hours ago, Michael Ray said:

My wife and I have a 16 yr old daughter, and she really is upset about us making plans to move to Lake Chapala. You know how important friends are to teenagers. 

Perhaps a visit to a local school here with your daughter before you make a final decision (assuming your move is not required by your job).  

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This is about the parent's moving here. What about the 16 years old college planning in possibly 2 years from now? A teen at her age should have some priorities when it comes to parent's moving, esp. out of the country.

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What has your daughter done to make you want to do such a cruel thing to her?  Unless this move is being forced on you, give it up.  She will never forgive you.

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If it were me and it certainly is not, the advantage of learning a new culture and language are huge pluses for a teenager and will expand her mindset incredibly. Life really is so full of changes and helping your child to have the ability to adapt is one of the most important jobs of a parent in my mind. I have always felt that the role of a parent is to prepare a child to stand on their own two feet. Of course there are wonderful teenagers Lakeside just like everywhere else in the world. There are no doubt unsavory characters also just like any American school. Just be vigilant as we must be as parents wherever we raise our children. 

We moved to a rural area when my oldest daughter started high school and she hated it for a while. Soon she loved living there and is now 34 and thinks it was one of the best decisions we ever made. You just never know how things will work out but sometimes you still need to take that step:) 

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16 years old lady will have a new set of friends in a foreign country which language she does not speak. Without  knowing the reason for OP's decision to move at this point in their lives I think 16 is a worst age to move her . If she would be 6 years  I would say go for it . Kids adjust easy and at that age we can still protect and influence them. . 16 is a rebellious age . Unfortunately parents have no idea or no influence what friends their teenage kids choose. 

If it was me I  would not move with 16 years old girl to a country which culture and customs I am  (or her) not familiar with and do not speak the language.   I would feel that it is my responsibility to let her to have her "sweet sixteen" ...to to finish her education and start her own life  ........ unless....... I could not have that choice.

I understand that sometimes it is easier said than done but realize that we have to live with consequences of our actions (good or bad) for rest of our lives..

That said, there are relatively good schools in the area and the permanent disruption of her present life could even be a " good thing'....I just (personally) would not do that at her age.

As always, these are only my thoughts on this matter.

What ever the decision....all the best..

 

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Well, there are plenty of expat kids in the area and a good handful in the Chapala Preparatory School here, my nephew included.  The only caveat being that most were brought down when they were younger and were given time to assimilate.  There are also plenty of Mexican-American children here who were forced to relocate back to México and also are having to learn Spanish.  Also, many Mexican highschool age kids can speak pretty decent English.  16 is a difficult age but I also see the many benefits that a teenager will get from living abroard for several years.  And regarding drugs and violence, my opinion is that it is much worse for kids in the States than down here.

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Michael Ray, she will eventually thank you.  What an experience.  My family moved to another country with 5 kids.  We are eternally grateful. Do what your heart tells you.

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All ages are difficult or can be difficult , it depends on the kid and her willingness to move and experience something diffferent.. In our family we were 3 .. I could not wait to move and loved it from a vey young age. my sister was ok with it and my brother hated it.. Each kid is different.

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Never saw so many ridiculous opinions…….

Bring you daughter, and I would be willing to bet she will adapt and assimilate faster than you will. Having had experience with children and grandchildren moving from one country to the other and back, their so called trauma is very short lived.

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30 minutes ago, slainte39 said:

Never saw so many ridiculous opinions…….

Bring you daughter, and I would be willing to bet she will adapt and assimilate faster than you will. Having had experience with children and grandchildren moving from one country to the other and back, their so called trauma is very short lived.

Now now Slainte, opinions are opinions and usually based on prior experience. Glad yours were so positive.

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I¨m glad you said "usually" as I was having a hard time imagining all these people posting, had related actual experiences that they were the principals of. My only defense is, that, exceptions to the rule, never realize they are   :017:  …….or something like that.

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The only 15 YO gringa that we actually knew who moved down with her parents lived a nightmare existence until the parents finally moved back to Oregon. No matter who she wanted to see or "date" didn't matter. She was identified as the property of a gang member who made sure nobody else came near her. Pleas to the school, policia, neighbors did nothing. The family moved 3 times to escape this guy to no avail. She was tall, blonde and that was that. Intimidation, numerous break-ins to wherever they lived and threats galore finally made Ron, Beverly and daughter Veronica (Ronnie) flee in terror. Ron was a drummer on the local scene. Our Mexican employees said the family did the right thing. Obviously doesn't happen to everyone but it sure made an impression on us. They endured for at least 3 years and Beverly worked for Laguna RE (Beverly dos was how she was known) and Beverly and Allyn also tried to help the family to no avail.

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2 hours ago, slainte39 said:

Never saw so many ridiculous opinions…….

Bring you daughter, and I would be willing to bet she will adapt and assimilate faster than you will. Having had experience with children and grandchildren moving from one country to the other and back, their so called trauma is very short lived.

You are shallow and offer lame advice.  No teen would EVER want to live lakeside.

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This is no place for a happy, well-adjusted, Caucasian teenage girl.

We have been here for ten years, live in Ajijic village and raised a daughter in US.

patti

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