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Old 28-12-2009, 10:45   #76
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James

I spect that those who continued to play near the boundaries became sailers and the majority of them are on this forum.

Hope you and your family have had wonderful Holidays.

John
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Old 28-12-2009, 11:57   #77
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After reading this thread I get the impression some think it is best to "protect" kids from outside influences. Well, some of them maybe, but the fact is they will have to live in the world we have, not the little ingrown world of a boat. I don't think my kids avoid "bad" paths by never having been exposed to them - they do that by having good values modeled for them by their parents. I can think of kids who were entirely sheltered and ended up somewhat bewildered when first on their own in the world. That isnt my goal - it is to equip the kids to make their own decisions and to navigate their own way. One of them loves boats more than anything. One never sets foot on boats. Both seem very happy. As far as I am concerned if they are happy then I have done my job well.
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Old 28-12-2009, 12:56   #78
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We took our kids with us on our circumnavigation, and they regard it as the high point of their lives. No TV, no cell phones, no troublesome peer pressures, and lots of positive adventures. Our kids are still our best friends.

If I had to do it over again, I would do the same thing. No regrets.

The amount of mental toxic waste in the twenty-first century is enormous. Mind pollution from the media is at record levels. I regard television as a weapon of mass destruction, and most children watch it 5 hours a day. Children listen to the parents for minutes each day, and watch television and the media non-stop for hours every day. It's no wonder that kids go adrift and have more than a little confusion in their mind.
Actually, they're watching less television these days, but O.D.ing on other kinds of media (video games, Internet) can be just as damaging for social development, I think.
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Old 28-12-2009, 13:02   #79
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After reading this thread I get the impression some think it is best to "protect" kids from outside influences. Well, some of them maybe, but the fact is they will have to live in the world we have, not the little ingrown world of a boat. I don't think my kids avoid "bad" paths by never having been exposed to them - they do that by having good values modeled for them by their parents. I can think of kids who were entirely sheltered and ended up somewhat bewildered when first on their own in the world. That isnt my goal - it is to equip the kids to make their own decisions and to navigate their own way. One of them loves boats more than anything. One never sets foot on boats. Both seem very happy. As far as I am concerned if they are happy then I have done my job well.
But these folks are talking about exactly the opposite. Taking a young child on a world tour via a cruising boat is much more responsible than limiting their world to a particular geographic take on a particular (western) culture.
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Old 28-12-2009, 15:43   #80
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sneuman you misunderstand me. I am all for taking the kids to as many places as I can get them to. It is very good for them. But I dont think that the way to arm them against the more pernicious aspects of popular culture in the US is to never let them see it at all. Rather, it is to make sure that their own values and home life give them more attractive alternatives.

After all, my kids are in fact Americans and are going to live in the USA. They are not going to be able to make a living cruising (much though one of them might want to) so they will have to live in the culture we have, with all of the plusses and minuses it has. Having some experience of what that culture is, and how to make your own way through it is a good thing in my book. Just to take an example, though the popular culture wants them to eat junk food all day every day, they dont do that. Not because they havent ever had it but because they have learned that they feel better when they eat better. Similarly, they dont veg out in front of the TV all the time because there is too much other fun stuff to do - but that isnt because they never did it - in fact there are occasional days where vegging out isnt such a bad thing to do - but most of the time books are far better and more entertaining than the mindless dreck on TV if they are looking for indoors stuff to do.

I guess it comes back to my mother's mantra "Moderation in all things"

But I sure dont follow that when it comes to sailing. Oh well. Nobody is perfect.
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Old 29-12-2009, 19:23   #81
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That experiment about the fence doesn't surprise me. Fleas in a jar: put them in without a lid, they jump much higher than the top of the jar. Put on a lid and they bang into the lid for a while and then only jump as high as the confines put on them. Remove the lid and the fleas will continued to be bound by the limitation previously put on them.

I think people (kids too) are a lot like this. Tell them they can only go so far and they will only go that far.

If you can believe in people they will have reach MUCH great potentials.

(I am not going to touch the climate change comment - except to say I am an engineer and have been concerned with the impact of humans on the environment and studying the effects for 20 years now)
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Old 23-01-2010, 15:16   #82
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“Toughness , troublemaking, domination, coolness, and interpersonal bragging and sparring skills."

Sounds like my neighbours when (and before) they get on the ICE; real pity some people will never seem to mature out of these behaviours!
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Old 22-04-2010, 19:19   #83
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I just discovered this thread, and I think there are some great points put forth here. We have also given up on the television (prime time), but we do have videos that we purchase and enjoy. I have just taken the internet away from everyone since my son was looking up something to do with wrestling and some pornography pictures popped on the screen much to everyone's surprise. Some things just aren't worth risking your child's morality and innocence over. We are just getting into sailing vessels and are looking forward to our cruising adventures with our children.
Roger
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Old 04-05-2010, 13:02   #84
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Negative effects of TV watching!!

Kids' TV time linked to school woes, bad habits - CNN.com
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Old 04-05-2010, 14:08   #85
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Our kids have basically been on board or lived aboard since day 5. We currently live aboard and have owned a house between the last liveaboard and cruise. My kids are 6&9. I am a strong proponent of cruising with children as many of you likely know.

That being said, I would not put down the importance of social skills. My oldest is awesome around adults. He can speak with the same vocabulary level and probably has out-read most of them. He was reading Moby Dick at 8 years old. He has finished most of the Jack London books and has read many other very complecated books for his age. He finished all of the Harry Potters at age 7 or 8. We rarely meet other adults (esp cruising adults) where they do not comment about what a mature young man he is and how well he can carry on a conversation. BUT, AND THIS IS A BIG BUT I WANT EVERYONE TO READ: Put him in a room with other kids that have not been exposed to this lifestyle, and he might as well be speaking another language. It is somewhat similar to my 6 yo, who was reading at a 2.4 grade level the first day of kindergarden,

My point in telling you guys this is that in everything, there are tradeoffs. It is like a boat. There is no perfect boat, only what you feel is best for your needs. Before you go and throw your kid or any kid on a boat and take them cruising to straighten then out, I suggest a long look in the mirror first. You better make sure you have your priorities straight and are prepared to deal with the repercussions. We have not even discussed the safety aspect.

The bottom line is that at some point, unless you are independently wealthy, your child will have to integrate back into society. He will have to learn to deal with those children that grew up with tv and malls and other things. I survived it. Most of you reading this did too. I hope my kids do go out to a party(s), sit around with the guys and do things teenage kids do, have a girl friend and get a kiss when the teacher is not looking, and most likely learn how to stand up for themselves and win (and lose) a fight. There are so many things that are critical to a childs development to make them the men and women of tomorrow that cannot be learned from a boat - and certainly not from mom and dad. Intersting thing is that when our kids get around other boat kids, it is a perfect match. Get around other kids... well, there are social issues and fights. Sorry - this is the real world picture I am painting. I know many of you have raised your kids and have not experienced this... but many I know have. I am certainly not the only one.

Now, would I change any of this? No. I have been blessed with an opportunity that I feel very, very few children (or adults) will ever witness. I also do not down play the beauty of different cultures, nature (at its best and worst), and the strong bonds that living and cruising with children exposes me and them to. We have fun together. But my wife and I have also kept in mind that at some point, we have to allow them to become their own men. For us, that is allowing them to do the things I think are rediculous (like going to a mall, God forbid) but they may not at that age. I at lest have to give them the opportunity to be exposed to the things that I was. I can only hope that through the friendship and exposures we have given them via our sailboat and travels, they will be the better for it and be able to handle it better in the long run. The short run may not be easy. Again, it is a tradeoff.

Anyways, I am just putting out my opinions which I feel, after reading thisw thread, a great many of you will dissagree with (even those that have been there too). But they are my opinions and are based on real life, first hand experience.

Brian
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Old 04-05-2010, 16:01   #86
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Brian,

I think you bringing up some good points. We have sailed with our children since shortly after birth too. As we have not lived aboard and home schooled I cannot speak to the issue with the direct experience you can. I do feel I can speak to my experience with home schooled children and the differences that I have seen arise. (Our children are in mixed public school/home school arrangement and we have many friends who have home schooled.)

What I have observed is home schooled kids tend to be exceptional in many ways and they are often ‘different’ from the mainstream kids. The kids tend to be much more like their parents and much less like the generic mainstream norm. Although most of the homeschoolers I have known tend be just fine in high school when they do go.

As you say, like choosing a boat, every parenting choice has different pluses and minuses. In our personal situation, we can only cruise for about 1-2 months a year for the next couple of years, we still wish (and are committed to) home schooling for a least a year (living on a boat full time exploring other cultures.) I really, really hope to start the full time live-aboard thing before my oldest is 10 years old. The reason I will choose this is because although there will be some positive social things that are missed out on, there will be sooooo many positives gained (in my opinion).

In the meantime, my kids are getting there fill of public school, swimming lessons, soccer, ski lessons, music lessons and gymnastics. We are committed to making the choice to forego the regular ‘life on the hard’ school and activities at some point in the future for as long as possible.

Of course as can be seen in this thread some of the drivers for this choice are the obvious negative influences that are so prevalent in our society. I do not want my kids watching TV and playing video games. The kids at school are often talking about this stuff and it is a big problem in my book. I know that having the kids around their parents a lot and not in school will make them a bit odd. We hope that the pluses that they will experience cruising will hopefully serve them. It is partly for them that we make this choice and partly for us but most importantly we want our family to be connected in a deep and meaningful way and our kids to be surrounded in love and have confidence in themselves.
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:43   #87
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Every parent has to make that decision. I find more kids fail because of neglect than location. You can neglect them on a boat too. I have examples of that, unfortunately, even on FMB where we base out of.

A boat is not the only way to get a kiddo exposed to nature and expand their cultural environment (I did it travelling and deep woods backpacking when I was a kid), being as this is a cruisers forum, we can focus on that.

You will most likely like living aboard, as long as you can deal with the space issue. I would urge you and your spouse to make sure you have an 'escape' place on the boat. We have a Catalina 400 which has a nice aft cabin... just for the parents. You will need it, BELIEVE ME! THe kids need their own personal space too, and away from the parents and sibling. We seperated our V-berth for some level of privacy for the kids which is a precious commodity on a boat. We also bought the kids their own treasure chests (they get to make them and paint them up as they wish), where they can put anything in there that they want, as long as it was never alive or still alive!! It allows you to control the ever expanding possessions issue, but allows them to keep things that are precious to them (which is never what we would choose!).

I will warn you of some things we have seen too. We have met some awesome people... truely good people that you would call best friends. We have met many people who are VERY financially independent and mentally independent of the 'system' we all seem to have little enthusiasm for. Unfortunately, we have met a lot of just teh oppostie. It seems that the economy has pushed many people on to boats as a last resort. I will also warn you that there are a lot of people cruising and living aboard that could never integrate back into society. They have been living on a boat or cruising too long and have lost a grasp of reality. For me, as an adult, I can turn the other way. But for kids, I find them a bad influence. Another frustratino you will encounter is that the typical cruiser is well into their 50's/60's, so you will find a generation gap or two to contend with. They have kids your age, and grand kids your kids age. We have never had a problem getting along (and having a lot of fun with them), but it is good to find a group of parents your age (preferably live aboard/cruisers too) to be able to 'connect' with.

Hope some of this helps. They are all my opinions, and I know other parents crusiing may dissagree. We hope to see you out there. There simply are not enough families and kids, and although there are some distinct negatives, it is all-in-all, a wonderful opportunity and way of life.

All the best,

Brian
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:24   #88
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I used to coach Little League/Babe Ruth softball in our tiny town and over the years ran into four families that home schooled their children. One of my step-relatives also home schooled their kids.

All five families raised kids that were very respectful and polite to adults, in fact the kids were far more comfortable talking to me and the other parents than they were with their teammates. There was a certain "deer in the headlight" look to most of them at the start of the season when they entered a large group of kids. I'm sure this is why the parents signed them up to play, because by the end of the season the home schooled kids had adapted pretty well to the group social scene and were a bit more open minded.

I can't really generalize on very much else. Otherwise the home schooling parents and kids ran the gamut on the "win at all costs" and the "let's not worry about the score and all just love each other" mentalities. Pretty much the same as the public schooled folks.

Bottom line, you can be a good or bad parent with or without public schools. Just do your best to get them ready to face the real world, then turn them loose. I have a ton of parenting advice on pretty much every situation, but in the end, you just have to decide on what kind of person you want to raise and do your best to make it happen.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:51   #89
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I think that's why most larger communities now have organized events & programs for homeschooling families. That way you can take your kids out frequently to be around others their age. You just have to hunt them up, they aren't really well advertised.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:19   #90
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I grew up overseas without malls or TV and wouldnt trade my childhood for anything more standard, but I dont think that is the main issue to be aware of with homeschooled kids - The consumer culture was easy enough to take or leave when I came back to the US to go to college. The differences that matter seem to show in our nieces and nephews - my wife has eleven siblings, some who home school and some who don't and it is interesting to see the differences when they all come to our house for a bbq (which happens often because we live on the water and everyone wants to go for a swim or sail).

What happens in middle and high school is that the kids are in a perpetual dance of establishing a pecking order. Who is at the top depends on what clique they are in - the more superficial kids are the ones who care only about how good looking you are, but others care about how smart you are or how good a guitar player or whatever. It is not all that different from a pack of dogs.

The thing is, that is what a lot of "real life" is like after you get out of school. Sure, it is possible to opt out of it but our workplace culture is designed to push everyone to compete and work to get the next promotion or the next raise. I hate that aspect and by my current advanced age of 53 have found my niche and am happy - but my 20's and 30's and some of the 40's were filled with a lot of work to get to where I am now. I suspect that is how it is for a lot of people.

The home schooled kids in my extended family have no concept of this whatsoever. Maybe that is because their parents are such hippies that they have been taught that all confrontation and competition is a bad thing but my wife and I agree that when it comes time for them to leave home and go get a job they will be in for a rude awakening. Other nieces and nephews have equally "groovy" parents but in public school they learn how society works and seem more ready for the "real world". Unless your kids are going to be permanently afloat they are going to have to deal with the society we have at some point - and it is a good thing to help them be ready for it. That doesnt mean dont sail with them - but it does mean letting them socialize with a stable group of peers at some point in their lives.

As for our own kids, they went to public school and some are doing better than others but they all seem happy. And THAT is the ultimate goal. If they are happy then you did right.
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