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Old 31-01-2010, 05:39   #16
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All the cruising kids we've ever met have been Grade A totally excellent kids -- competent, friendly, polite, just all you could hope for. Now, I'm sure there are a few baddish cruising kids out there, who seek transgression of whatever sort, but we've never met them.

Last summer in Maine we met an 11-year old boy and his 9-year-old brother making a trip to shore in the Zodiac from their very nice boat anchored farther out in the harbor. They handled the boat like pros, dealt with a baulky outboard, spontaneously came alongside our boat and struck up a friendly dialogue, shared stories, etc. As they pulled away, I said to my daughters (aged 7 and 10), "You have my permission to marry them." A bit of a joke, but also an instinctive feeling about those boys. I don't often get that feeling here on land in our everyday lives.
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Old 31-01-2010, 17:35   #17
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Dont worry about it, The kids you meet that are involved in any kind of boating tend to be much more responsible then land based kids. Yes they can see their parents drinking ( and other adults) and sometimes see adults drunk, but it does little harm and buts alcohol into a social context. On land they will drink illegally anyway at least exposure to adults help contextualise it.

Other then that its a healthly lifestyle, sure there are always potenial "ilicit activities" but less then on land and anyway you cant shield them forever.
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:19   #18
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Well that takes care of one of my final concerns about packing up the kids. You know if 'it sounds too good to be true... '. I really appreciate all the responses. Thanks much!

Now I just need to figure out if I have the stamina to boat school.

Our seven year plan, goes down to six years in a few months. It's kind of funny, we probably shouldn't even have involved them at this point, but my two older girls (seven and soon to be eight) are pretty excited about our plans. This summer we enroll them in sailing courses on the canal. And next winter we will charter as a family. (Husband and I just got back from Basic Cruising in BVI yesterday afternoon)!

My oldest was poring over boat plans with me the other day. Pretty funny. Yesterday she was reading about PFD care from the Safe Boating guide.
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:19   #19
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I think the hardest part would indeed be the education aspect of taking your kids cruising. Sometimes as a parent, you're too close to the kids to be an effective teacher and the instruction or expectations causes resentment.

I had great parents. That being said, around the time I was in high school my mother decided public schools were full of hell-bound delinquents, and she decided to home school my younger brother who was just starting middle school. Now, mind you, my brother was by no means a delinquent. He was just a happy-go-lucky kid ready to do whatever my parents wanted. It just didn't go well from the beginning. They were always frustrated and yelling at each other. I remember a lot of tears from both of them after they'd have arguments over assignments not being finished or whatnot.

My brother would have never not done an assignment given to him by a teacher, but due to the familiarity, he would put off things assigned by mom.

It's a tricky role to be both a parent and the teacher.

On another note, I don't think it hurts kids to see adults consume alcohol in moderation in social situations. Growing up there was no alcohol in our house and my parents instilled this feeling that drinking was bad and evil. Wow, was it a shock when I got to college to find out most everyone drinks and in fact, Catholics even got to drink in church. Needless to say, I did my fair share of binge drinking over the next few years as did most of the other sheltered kids when they finally had the freedom to do it.

Neither Italy nor France even have a legal drinking age, and it seems like their cultures are much more responsible and adjusted when it comes to drinking in moderation. They even serve wine in the cafeteria of our Paris office, which would be unheard of in the United States, but we've never had an employee there abuse it.

Then again, if you're a binger and expose your kids to binge drinking, you end up with situations like Scotland and Finland where it's the national pastime.
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:45   #20
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Time of their lives

We cruised the Pacific coast of Mexico and Central America for three years with our son who was 11-13 years old. There really weren't enough kids on boats for him to be totally happy. There were many lonely days. Especially when new found friends were heading in a different direction. Yet the friends hid did meet became lifetime friends. He became friends with many of the cruising adults as well giving him a very mature attitude that has helped him throughout his teen years.

The only problems with drugs we ran into were with parents and other adults. He learned to recognize the drug problem for what it was and wanted nothing to do with it. He gained an appreciation for the adventure of life and saw how drugs crippled it.

I think your daughters will have the time of their lives as long as you plan to land for their high school years.
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:51   #21
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Originally Posted by NotJustDreaming View Post
We have a very close relationship with our children and have pretty traditional family values. Without going into the issues that give children the best start in life and instilling ethics and values for making good decisions (excellent thread here already)....

I am wondering about what opportunities there are for cruising kids to get in trouble.... How many bad apples? How much exposure to drugs?

I have a sense for what the typical boy or girl next door who are described here are like... great kids, great values. I've also seen reference to kids that resent their parents because they don't like the lifestyle.

I just would not be surprised if some young adult writes about all the illicit activities or maybe just plain trouble he/she was involved in while cruising.

Parental supervision and good choices aside ... how many bad boys (or girls) have you come across while cruising? What are the risks / issues?
The best way to instill good values in your children is, IMHO, to spend more of your life doing something together with them. It is the kids who are left alone to their own devices, even in good neighborhoods, who are most at risk. Kids cruising with their parents are at the other extreme from that. They will have adult-like responsibilities from a very early age and will be with you all the time, not just hanging out, but doing something, doing work, facing problems, having new experiences, exploring. I can't speak from experience (my son is only five weeks old and hasn't been on the boat yet) but I can't think of a better place for kids to be, than cruising with their parents, from that point of view.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:01   #22
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Well that takes care of one of my final concerns about packing up the kids. You know if 'it sounds too good to be true... '. I really appreciate all the responses. Thanks much!

Now I just need to figure out if I have the stamina to boat school.

Our seven year plan, goes down to six years in a few months. It's kind of funny, we probably shouldn't even have involved them at this point, but my two older girls (seven and soon to be eight) are pretty excited about our plans. This summer we enroll them in sailing courses on the canal. And next winter we will charter as a family. (Husband and I just got back from Basic Cruising in BVI yesterday afternoon)!

My oldest was poring over boat plans with me the other day. Pretty funny. Yesterday she was reading about PFD care from the Safe Boating guide.
Oops... should have been 'seven and soon to be nine'. (I did proof read my post before putting it up.) I have three kids, the two girls and a two year old boy.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:03   #23
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We cruised the Pacific coast of Mexico and Central America for three years with our son who was 11-13 years old. There really weren't enough kids on boats for him to be totally happy. There were many lonely days. Especially when new found friends were heading in a different direction. Yet the friends hid did meet became lifetime friends. He became friends with many of the cruising adults as well giving him a very mature attitude that has helped him throughout his teen years.

The only problems with drugs we ran into were with parents and other adults. He learned to recognize the drug problem for what it was and wanted nothing to do with it. He gained an appreciation for the adventure of life and saw how drugs crippled it.

I think your daughters will have the time of their lives as long as you plan to land for their high school years.
My two girls will be in high school just as we are starting out on our journey. I guess involving them early is a good choice after all. As it gets closer to the time, I hope they are still just as excited.
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Old 09-02-2010, 17:38   #24
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There is a lot of potential exposure to drugs for cruising kids - most cruising destinations are drug heavens and many cruisers are addicts.

However, I think that the cruising kid is, in fact, less likely to go wrong. This is because unlike his land based peer, the cruising kid will spend plenty of time with his parents and with other cruisers rather than with his/her peers. And he/she will have less idle time and more entertaining things to do than try drugs.

So, I would not worry.

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Old 10-02-2010, 14:07   #25
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I think the hardest part would indeed be the education aspect of taking your kids cruising. Sometimes as a parent, you're too close to the kids to be an effective teacher and the instruction or expectations causes resentment.
Jetexas good point.When we cruised with our kids I was in charge of sports and recreation. My wife taught the other subjects.
Beware thread drift.

I think the whole school thing is overrated. We cruised with our kids for about 5 years of their school life. They were both enthusiastic readers, still are. They were smart enough to pick up anything they missed out when they returned to the mainstream. They learnt so much more than they ever would at school. And they still got top scores when they finished high school.

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Old 10-02-2010, 19:16   #26
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Our kids completed high school on board Exit Only using curriculum from the University of Nebraska - from which they have their high school diplomas. My son did three years of their courses. When he took his SAT test in Auckland, New Zealand, he got a perfect score on the verbal section of the test, and that earned him a college scholarship. So the academics with the University of Nebraska correspondance course curriculum were more than adequate.

The hardest part was getting the kids to do the work. For the first six months on board, the kids would sit in the salon with the school books in front of them for half a day, but they didn't do anything. No progress happened. At that point, I took over their instruction. I took their syllabus for each course, and we wrote down specific dates of completion for each point in their studies. They had to finish each chapter/project by a specific date, or there would be consequences. Once there was a date attached to each part of the study syllabus, they cruised through each course on schedule.

When it was time to do high school chemistry, they got stuck, but I got them unstuck. I rolled my car in New Zealand and was laid up in the hospital for a couple of months. I used that time to teach them a course that I called, "Chemistry from Hell." We did two complete semesters of high school chemistry in four months. I reviewed the chemistry in the afternoon to refresh my mind, and the next morning they had four hours of Chemistry from Hell. All of us were happy when that course was over.

Our kids did well in their studies as long as they had specific dates for completion of each part of their syllabus. As long as we kept them on schedule and had them take their exams on time, they did fine.

The University of Nebraska high school curriculum is top notch. I can recommend it without reservation. But it's a lot of work for everyone on board, and if a parent doesn't oversee the instruction, the kids will probably flounder in a sea of facts. Kid's can't fake it or do it with smiles, good looks, and personality. The preceptors from the University of Nebraska take their job seriously, and when you send your work in, if it's not good, they let you know. And if you don't pass their tests, you don't get credit.
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Old 05-07-2010, 00:55   #27
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There is a lot of potential exposure to drugs for cruising kids - most cruising destinations are drug heavens and many cruisers are addicts.

b.
Just curious what type of addicts you're seeing, what they're addicted to, and what areas in particular? The only addiction I see around here is a lot of alcoholism.
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:12   #28
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I met a cruising kid I wanted to throttle once. But I didn't want to do that until after I had throttled his dad. They both remain unthrottled... at least by me.
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:35   #29
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I should add:

Until quite recently most children were working at a very young age for their families and very few went to any type of school, certainly not for the protracted amounts of time that is now standard. Schools certainly didn't exist for their socializing merits, nor were there summer camps or youth soccer leagues. All these things came with a wealthy society. Plenty of amazing people who accomplished amazing things had childhoods where the emphasis was on character building and interacting with the family. I'm not in any way minimizing a proper and certified education, but as someone noted above you can make that happen armed with a good curriculum and some disciplined habits.
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:54   #30
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I fully agree with the past posts, most of the kids or youngsters that I met, were exceptional compared to the usual suspects of city/suburbia... They also seem far more mature then their counterparts, I guess from having more responsibilities and being in close quarters to parent figures..

You can actually have the same type of set up on land as well as I have met very close and tight knit families that exuded similar stellar behavior.. Bottom line, when the family unit is fully intact and respect and responsibilities are abound, you tend to have better children overall..
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