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Raising kids in Indonesia

Hello everyone,

How is raising kids in Indonesia different from raising kids in your home country?

What are the activities that your kids seem to enjoy the most in Indonesia?

Do you feel that the country is "family-friendly"?

Do you recommend Indonesia as a good place to raise kids? Why or why not?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

1 - Medical bills have to be paid as there's no free NHS out here so make sure you can either afford to pay or have insurance to suit.
That also applies to giving birth - nothing comes free.

2 - Schools vary from very rubbish to amazing, prices ranging from free to very expensive but absolutely amazing places. The British school in Bintaro costs a bomb but the facilities you get are out of this world - plenty of places like that to be had.
Mid range starts at about a million+ per month for a mostly English speaking place and moves up to a few million/month for an almost all English place.
Expats from places like Japan or India have the option of special schools that follow those countries' curriculum. I've seen the Japanese school and can report it's pretty great.

3 - Days out. Loads of swimming pools that cost pretty much nothing and have no time limits to care about.  Shopping centres have play areas but the best I've found are always in the cheaper and older malls.
The kids like them better and they're a lot cheaper so no losers there.
There are also plenty of parks to go at and, for a more interesting day out, a safari park or special entertainment places such as we find in Ancol.

Indonesia is a good place to bring kids up, much of this being the very low rates of drug abuse so a hell of a lot less crime in general. The country is generally safe and there is little to worry about.
Kidnapping happens but it's quite rare so a careful eye is plenty to avoid a problem.

It’s pretty much people/ child friendly and a lot depends on your lifestyle as an adult and interaction with children, basically it’s what you make of it
As previous post, no nhs here so everything has a cost in Batam baby vaccinations cost between Rp1,100,000 - Rp1,600,000 monthly until the child is around 9 months (mines almost 8 months so can’t comment for later) depending if you want European or Asian vaccinations
I’ve heard costs of births between Rp5,000,000 upwards of Rp25,000,000 depends on what care is required/medication and room type and nights in care etc, our was closer to the higher end rather than the lower due to type of care needed for mum and rug rat
But for the same care in the uk would have been Rp200,000,000 (was our first choice but restrictions prevented this happening)

Expat schools here ( mine is to young yet)
Depends on age,  3 years -5years is between Rp20-30,000,000 per year teenagers between Rp50-70,000,000 per year (high end includes registration fees etc and subtracted from following year) these follow uk or Australian schooling and 100% English speaking
My only gripe is with expat/ multi national schooling is religion is forced upon them or should I say “no choice” (it is here anyway)

Crime is usually low but I have noticed an increase with less work in the yards, this has varied from burglary to bag snatching and becoming more common sadly
Drug use seems to be getting less and less (was lowing and an expat market more than local market)
Lots of activities to be had from pools, malls play areas, various martial arts/ sports clubs clubs, cinemas etc
Quite a mix of nationalities on our estate and security is good
Only thing I don’t like with raising kids and it’s a recent topic is road safety and lack of safe pavements, virtually no safe places to cross a road, in fact locally I can honestly say they aren’t any
Locally when we go to one of the many malls shopping with our son is occasionally I do get angry when strangers men and women want to take a selfie with MY baby, only way I can write this politely is p___ off you blah blah, really gets to me, thankfully some malls must have a policy similar to laws in Europe that this is not allowed as security have been quick to quash the situation
Comparing the UK to Indonesia they both have plus and minus points to both countries
I think most under 16s here are much more polite and better mannered and it’s quite refreshing to see kids being kids and not wanna be gangsters or glued to an Xbox every given hour and giving cheek that is a minority in the uk but in every town and city, I think families seem greatly bonded here and lots more respect to elders
Know  kids here seem to respect families positions and understand things better than the uk, not I want want want and are not as greedy or demanding (not that my now grown up kids in the uk had ever been raised like that)

My kids are in local schools

My youngest is in a TK which is 5 million for the first year and then 500k a month and its enough as he has developed great spoken Indonesian (he is already fluent in English ) and it is giving the start we feel is appropriate.
My step son started in Catholic boys high school and my wife managed the yearly and monthly fee down from 50 million a year half that and also a large chunk of the monthly fee.

School fees take up a lot of our salary but we are OK with that. Both the boys have private health insurance and there are things in place for education as well and also longer term savings.

They are both in BPJS as well if needed.

Both the children are surrounded by family so they are well looked after and we are happy that this happens. I am not sure about how that compares to the UK but the family thing is more.

They aren't really allowed to play outside, given where we live but my youngest mixes with all the kids when at grans and thats good (apart from the cough he came back with) and at school there is no concern.

The most annoying factor is when the schools see I am native, and therefore a rich king compared to the local fathers and so try to increase the school fees. Luckily I have a wife who take 0 shi*t from anyone and has managed to drive down the fees but its still annoying. In the local area I am just ignored so thats good.

A trip to the Doctor, a good doctor, is around a million which can be reimbursed and so again I can't complain.

I guess the only thing I miss is grass and access to grass as where I am there is none and no parks so its hard to have my boy run around,  however we take into the city parks when we can. Swimming is more annoying as he is a little sod to get out of a pool, puddle or bucket of water so we are more careful. At the end of the day he is overly happy all the time so its pretty easy to keep him going. I hate taking him to malls but playzones at McD or KFC early in the morning are pretty fun for him, until I have finished my coffee then its time to move on.

Ah, vaccinations
Most standard jabs are available at local clinics and the things are generally cheap.
The hard one is MMR as there were issues about it being haram and that messed the job up.
It is available and there's a thread about a suggested place in Jakarta that I can personally recommend as I used their services.
They can speak English so that's a bit of a bonus for many expats.

The disease outbreaks forced the government to act so a cut down version of the vaccine was given free to all schoolkids.
The clinic is better as it has the real deal.

Post 11
http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=679929

I had better not express my feelings if it's going to get slammed.

I like the social aspects here, and dislike those in the UK.

I was telling my niece about the food stalls that appear at 5pm during the month of Ramadan, she responded by telling me about the drug dealers openly selling on the streets of Doncaster.

I'm 100% sure which place I prefer ....... and it isn't England.

Regardless of your opinion of drug use, the fact is there's a terrible amount of crime caused by the mess and I would prefer my kids to grow up away from that rubbish.

That alone makes me disagree with the above post.

We are a drug free family, but I always keep seeing references to drugs here in the Indonesian forum :(

Is it possible to not always talk about drugs?

The vaccinations and prices are pretty much box standard here give or take minimal Rp only noticeable difference I see that some (not all) vaccinations are with Asian ones some get 2 injections whereas the European ones are one jab
I remember reading up on vaccinations/ mess up some time back in various parts of Indonesia
I did a little research on the manufacture and exporter in Europe (just me always trying to confirm things) and it’s a main supplier for the NHS and so forth, the tab they gave me for his book you can trace back on the website and actually says Indonesia from the distribution side, date of manufacturing/ expire (I’ll be honest my friend showed me I’m useless with such things)
I was shocked at the prices to be honest but my son recently started at York university and he had to pay (dad did) some are £80 other over £100 (going into medical side so needs certain jabs and could get them for free at the uni but he’s a ***sy when it comes to getting injections)

The local school my step daughter attends is pretty good, I think we pay about Rp2 or 3,000,000 per year
English  was probably my worst subject (not that you would ever guess haha) her English teacher sends the homework home to me in an envelope to proof read the question sheets for the following week (don’t ask I’d be explaining all week) one or two alterations etc

In return I get to drive into the school to collect and pick up the stepdaughter with no restrictions(her school must be in the worlds worst location for parking and road safety)

Totally agree with your niece Fred and can confirm the same in Liverpool, Southport and the lovely Lake District,

They will always be things I will miss from the UK
My season ticket for Anfield for one, the banter before, during and after games, but then again when my son is older I have a 22,000km round trip to make for his first (probably last) game
Then again I made a choice to stay here and raise my family here, like I said in an earlier post it’ seems closer/ just sort of more family here, more respectful kids

abdulkhalil :

We are a drug free family, but I always keep seeing references to drugs here in the Indonesian forum :(

Is it possible to not always talk about drugs?

The lack of drugs is  a big draw for me as I come from a place infested by dealers so I've seen the differences close up, and those differences make this a good place to bring up kids when compared to the UK.
Valid issue.

Bang on Fred

Yes guys, we all choose to live here and we all bring up our kids here. We all live in Indonesia.

I didn't move here to get away from drugs or worry about my kids getting drugs. Actually I never saw drug users in the UK but I know it happens. Just don't like to see drugs brought up all the time. It's like are we all so dumb that we might try to smuggle them and we need constant reminders not to do it? I don't think so.

And I am not disgusted with the UK, America and Holland because they have lots of drug users.

Look, if you want to keep pummeling on about drugs then it's up to you. You have first hand experience with drug addicts and it has affected you and your life. But most of us don't have your experience and and haven't lost a close relative to it so we just don't have any interest to keep seeing it brought up in the threads.

Ah...I'm out of here....

No offence intended mate, but i think it’s been mentioned in this thread within context, as far as am aware it’s worthy to be mentioned due to the actual question (just my opinion)
Again no offence intended but you have probably mentioned more about drugs in your previous post than all the previous posts put together

Ironically my experiences here are quite the opposite. I have seen more drugs and been offered more here than in the UK and in far less time.

From random dealers approaching you in Bali to nightclubs in Jakarta where there were rooms with tables with special dishes laid out for your pleasure.

The parks at night in some parts of Jakarta are known for dealers and all this bubbles under the surface.

That's not to say I have ever partaken because I haven't nor appreciate those that do or have but I think it's fair to say that there is a problem with most illegal substances here and it does need some rational dialogue to solving it. But, the thread is about raising kids and having mine happy is more important than worrying about society's problems which I clearly cannot or will not be able to fix.

A lot depends on the way you bring up your children. It was the same when I was growing up. I have four grown up kids in their twenties in Europe and none of them are involved with drugs nor have they ever been. They get on with their lives and are just not interested. And here my young kids are loved, happy, inquisitive, know all their half siblings, bright and they go to an international school where drugs do not appear. It's all in the environment, at home and outside. There have been no drug issues with any of my family ever.

To Gwmeath: No offence taken. I was actually talking about drugs being brought up in many threads here in the past, over the last couple of years. I don't see it in other country forums or in TripAdvisor forums. I know this is an issue close to Fred's heart and he told us all why quite some time ago. But I just think there's no need to always mention drugs here.

lukereg :

From random dealers approaching you in Bali to nightclubs in Jakarta where there were rooms with tables with special dishes laid out for your pleasure.

The parks at night in some parts of Jakarta are known for dealers and all this bubbles under the surface..

In a previous thread I asserted those tourist/expat bar areas were dangerous.
I believe that confirms my opinion.

Whilst places like that have issues, drugs are limited to a vert few and that means a lot less drug related crime, something I like a lot.
The other is the low take up of alcohol use, that meaning drunken fights and generally dangerous drunken behaviour is equally limited - except of course in Kuta, some crappy parts of Jakarta and other cities. There are still some problems but these are far more limited than in the UK, thus I believe Indonesia is a better place to bring up kids.
There was a drink related killing yesterday in Tangerang, but alcohol fuelled violence is very rare here except in the toilets named above.

I never come across drugs or alcohol related fights or stabbings or any of this stuff. I mean here, overseas, everywhere. If it happens only in certain areas, well, I suppose I never go to those areas.

But I think every country in the world has drug issues. Drug related news in Indonesia seems very common, both in the news and here in this forum by posted news articles. I heard somewhere that there is a drug epidemic in Indonesia, could that be true? I honestly doubt Indonesia is safer than other places for drug related problems.

I still believe it's all to do with the environment that you bring up your children and the family values that you teach them.

Gwmeath :

Bang on Fred

Aside from drug related issues, which I believe are also a major problem in Indonesia, there are other problems that I consider make Indonesia less safe for kids. These include crazy motorcyclists, bad car drivers, worries about your children being abducted, pedophiles, food poisoning from bad street food, inadequate doctors and fake medicines, dengue fever, typhus etc.

I think most of these issue are more serious in Indonesia than back home. For the pedophiles and abduction, my wife and I try to be alert at all times so that opportunities for our children to get abducted does not happen.

I know that Yorkshire is well know for pedophile rings, so I don't blame you for leaving that place. And with the drug problems that you tell us about I think moving away from Yorkshire sounds like a good idea.

Our decision to live in Indonesia has never been for our children's safety, but more for us to experience living in another country. If the decision was based purely on what is best for our children then I very much doubt that Indonesian would be on our shortlist.

abdulkhalil :

I still believe it's all to do with the environment that you bring up your children and the family values that you teach them.

Most of bringing kids up is the way they see the world in their early years, and social problems can taint the result.
Drugs are a massive problem in the UK and other places but still almost nothing here. That isn't to deny there isn't a problem, but it's tiny when you compare it to my old country.
I dislike dealers and have actively done my bit to get a couple locked up, that being a small contribution to keeping my and all kids a little bit safer.
It isn't just the drugs, it's the crimes committed by dealers in order to keep their patch and the petty crime committed by users in order to get their fix.
That's minimal here and I like it that way because I want my kids to grow up in a place with as few social issues as possible.

In five years I’ve probably witnessed 3 incidents (handbags at dawn) and that has been in kampung bule, let’s face I won’t be taking my kids down that way, the skirts are to low for a 7 month old!

I usually join my friends on a Friday down that way and it’s a pretty safe place, drivers, security etc always look out for you and that is what I like about Indonesia once your known people look out for the foreign bloke that’s one thing seldom happens back in Europe
My thoughts on Europe without getting overly political is it’s turning extreme and extremely racist and I don’t want my family exposed to that

Alcohol or drug related crime as previously mentioned I’ve never really witnessed here but I’m always vigilante just like any place really
I’m aware Indonesia is not this perfect oasis and it’s what you make of it
But I joined this site for advice and to offer it (though very limited)
And I for one totally appreciate people’s input with crime, crime related topics and sharing personal experiences and general daily life sadly for far to many drugs is part of life for many at some stage children or young adults will be exposed to the above mentioned it’s how we educate them through our experience that counts, therefore I’ve learnt a lot on this thread

abdulkhalil :

Aside from drug related issues, which I believe are also a major problem in Indonesia, there are other problems that I consider make Indonesia less safe for kids. These include crazy motorcyclists, bad car drivers, worries about your children being abducted, pedophiles, food poisoning from bad street food, inadequate doctors and fake medicines, dengue fever, typhus etc. .

The roads are a mess and are unlikely to improve for a very long time - a valid downside

Abduction is a problem but a tiny one, but something we almost experienced. Had my wife told me in time the nasty little bugger would have been in a pool of blood but she didn't tell me in time.

Bad food is all over the world - ever had a bad stomach from a street hotdog?

Diseases are all over the world but the chances of your kid being shot in a school playground here is minimal - Fair swap?

abdulkhalil :

I know that Yorkshire is well know for pedophile rings, so I don't blame you for leaving that place. And with the drug problems that you tell us about I think moving away from Yorkshire sounds like a good idea.

Rotherham had a problem with about 20 or 30 B*ds but that was shown up as a massive mass rape by Pakistanis, something that just wasn't true. There were also a few local 100% white English involved but they hardly got a mention and the local council were nothing short of stupid, taking the view perceived racism was more important than hammering pervert rapists.
Social and political conditions played a part in that and those conditions don't exist here so that's also a bonus.

There is a problem here that is a serious downside, that being religious extremism, something that we all have to watch out for.
We do have a minority that hold the opinion blowing things up and shooting innocent passers by will get them a seat in heaven so we do have to take some care these moronic ideas don't spread into schools if an especially stupid teachers gets these daft ideas moving.
The vast majority of schools have no problems, most teaching Pancasila and generally being nice to people.
I did have to add a few words of advice to my daughter's religion teacher who was pushing an agenda that bordered on extremist views but he no longer works there, leaving a short while after I complained.

Well I respect your opinion and Gwmeath's too.

Just giving my own point of view (my son also almost got abducted once). We all have different backgrounds and different lifestyles here, different expectations and different reasons for living here. I haven't given up on moving back to the UK, although there are one or two other countries I might want to move too before then.

Yes, agree, religious extremism is always something we need to watch out for because kids are easily influenced.

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