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Old 17-03-2015, 19:51   #1
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Best age to cruise with kids

In your experience, what's the best ages to cruise with kids? Let's say the plan is 1 year, 2 if things are going well.


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Old 17-03-2015, 21:20   #2
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Re: Best age to cruise with kids

10 year old girl was a great age. 13 year old girl was at least 1 year to old. Come to think of it a 13 year old girl should go to boarding school.

Boys are different.


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Old 17-03-2015, 21:36   #3
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Re: Best age to cruise with kids

From the kids perspective I don't think it matters much at all up to high school ages. The younger you start and the longer you are out, then the less important it is but if you take a 14yr old out of school, deactivate his smart phone and access to Facebook...well we have seen a few cruise ending disasters with that.

From the parents standpoint, I can think having them be able to take more care for themselves sure makes life afloat easier and being able to send the kids off in the dinghy for some alone time....whew that is nice.

But honestly....go and do it when ever you can because in one year of full time cruising you will spend more time with your kids than most parents spend in 4-5yrs and that can't be bad at any age for their development. Forget the socialization myth....who do you want socializing your kids you or their peers...thats a no brainer!
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Old 31-03-2015, 08:22   #4
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Re: Best age to cruise with kids

I've seen a couple with a one year old. I've seen a couple with a 8 and 11 year old and a cat. I think any age is a great age to get kids started into it. We would like to raise a child on a boat someday.
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Old 31-03-2015, 08:26   #5
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Re: Best age to cruise with kids

Having raised three kids, but not cruised with them, my belief is between say 5 and 12, teenagers are difficult, no matter what. The exception is my Son, he would have been great to cruise with even as a teenager, but not my two Daughters.
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Old 31-03-2015, 10:18   #6
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Re: Best age to cruise with kids

I have cruised briefly with toddlers, and made friends with a couple that were cruising with a 0-1 year old, but IMHO the best age is 6-12, esp after they have learned to swim. That does not include my grandsons, who are 4 and 6 and can do no wrong.
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Old 31-03-2015, 11:05   #7
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Re: Best age to cruise with kids

We've had fun at every age, so far. I say, go whenever you can. To me, sooner is better because your opportunity can evaporate. And who knows, maybe it'll click with your family so well that you figure out a way to make it happen more.

Our youngest was <1 year old when we first took her cruising. That was a blast. We got to spend so much time together, at a time when a perfect day for her was hanging out with both parents. It is so fun to explore the world with a kid that age. We spent days and weeks and months walking around rural beaches and islands in the Sea of Cortez, looking at shells and fish and bugs and plants.

She's now 9, and is more into playing with friends her age and exploring new cities and ruins of old forts and etc. So we go a little less rural than when she was younger. We are taking a ~1 year break for a different circumstance, and she is back to being a landlubber and in school, but is talking excitedly about going back to that life later this year. So -- she's still into it.


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Old 01-04-2015, 07:50   #8
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Re: Best age to cruise with kids

Our youngest son was a newborn when we started and our other son was 3 years old. We cruised for 2 years including a pacific crossing and it was great. There is nothing better for them or you than the close quarters intimacy on board. The youngest learned to sit crawl and walk -That was on a 45ft cat. Now its 6 years later...and we've just bought a 40ft mono. Our sons are now 7 and 10...we are going to go live aboard cruising and home schooling... Anyway... i can go on and on
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:10   #9
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Re: Best age to cruise with kids

"Best age to cruise with kids"

After they have grown and left home!
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:17   #10
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Re: Best age to cruise with kids

Predictable and generic answer, but "it depends on the kid and the parents".

My 12 year old would love to cruise now. She's mature, independent and very helpful on the boat. My 10 year old is really attached to home, family and her friends so cruising now would be tough on her. My 3 year old is very adaptable and could handle just about anything we'd through at her right, including cruising.

Beyond the individual personalities, I think schooling/education is the next biggest factor to consider. Are you as a parent capable and willing to provide the education they'll need at a particular age? Would it be easier for you to teach 4th grad curriculum than 10 grade curriculum? I also tend to think it will generally be easier for younger (elementary aged) children to miss some traditional schooling and then re-enter before middle/high school as opposed to having a middle/high schooler try to re-enter.
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:28   #11
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Re: Best age to cruise with kids

Yes, education of children would be a problem. While cruising might expose them to a lot of great opportunities not available to other children, they would still need the basics of an education if they are ever to continue it or be a success in life.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:42   #12
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Re: Best age to cruise with kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHannabel View Post
Predictable and generic answer, but "it depends on the kid and the parents".

My 12 year old would love to cruise now. She's mature, independent and very helpful on the boat. My 10 year old is really attached to home, family and her friends so cruising now would be tough on her. My 3 year old is very adaptable and could handle just about anything we'd through at her right, including cruising.

Beyond the individual personalities, I think schooling/education is the next biggest factor to consider. Are you as a parent capable and willing to provide the education they'll need at a particular age? Would it be easier for you to teach 4th grad curriculum than 10 grade curriculum? I also tend to think it will generally be easier for younger (elementary aged) children to miss some traditional schooling and then re-enter before middle/high school as opposed to having a middle/high schooler try to re-enter.
Schooling tends to be the number one fear of people heading out cruising with kids. I've yet to hear of a case where they had any issues at all. Each kid and parent is different, but they all find a schooling alternative that works and they excel when they return.

SV Totem has a lot to say on this, and every single episode of the excellent Family Adventure Podcast also addresses the schooling question.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:54   #13
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Re: Best age to cruise with kids

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Originally Posted by svHannabel View Post
I think schooling/education is the next biggest factor to consider. Are you as a parent capable and willing to provide the education they'll need at a particular age? Would it be easier for you to teach 4th grad curriculum than 10 grade curriculum? I also tend to think it will generally be easier for younger (elementary aged) children to miss some traditional schooling and then re-enter before middle/high school as opposed to having a middle/high schooler try to re-enter.
Re-entry was a fear of ours with my son reentering public school in 8th grade and daughter as a freshmen in high school. It was a fear because everyone told us to worry about it, just like "everyone" told us to worry about everything else related to taking our kids cruising. And just like everything else, it turned out to be a non-issue for us. Do our kids fit in? Well if by fitting in you mean they care what clothes they have, what smart phone they have, or what their peers think about them, well then No, I guess they don't fit it! But then again....that's exactly WHY we went cruising to help them realize they don't need to fit in to be happy.

On the education front, my kids are constantly coming home laughing at the public school system. To the hand out grades to the focus not being on education but on not offending anyone, the entire culture has gone mad. Get a grade lower than a B...well No problem little Johnny, just keep taking the same test over again until you get a B. The new Common Core math is a disaster with large number of kids failing....well no problem, the school just sent a note home saying that any kids with a score less than 50% would be boosted up to a 50% test score as a way to help, Oh...that "helps" all right.
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Old 11-04-2015, 16:08   #14
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Re: Best age to cruise with kids

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Don't no if the picture worked but. We are sailing with 3 children ages 9, 7 and 2. Going to be a learning experience. But we are very excited.
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