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Old 23-01-2010, 10:50   #1
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Illicit Activities - How Much Exposure Is Out There?

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?
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Old 23-01-2010, 10:52   #2
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Or maybe to word it a different way.... how many boat kids have you met with whom you really didn't want your kids to associate... and why?
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Old 23-01-2010, 11:26   #3
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We have a very close relationship with our children and have pretty traditional family values...

... I have a sense for what the typical boy or girl next door who are described here are like... great kids, great values.

... how many bad boys (or girls) have you come across while cruising? What are the risks / issues?
IMHO: Your relationship, with your children, will go a long way towards assuring that they turn out like the vast majority (EVERY one I've met) of GREAT cruising kids.
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Old 23-01-2010, 13:19   #4
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I have not cruised with children, but have met some wonderful children while cruising.

I can not recall encountering any situation where children would have been harmed. It is interesting, most folks are actually pretty considerate of others 'out there'. A cruisers gathering will often expose children to some folks consuming alcohol, but IMHO not even to the extent they might otherwise see at a concert or sporting event... There is a slight chance they MIGHT encounter some nudity... but not as much as some would suggest... (and some hope for).

I will say that the children of cruisers I have encoutered have had a much better perspective then the average child I meet (in the US) today. I doubt that anything negitive they would be exposed to crusing would likely outweigh the life long advantages they will gain.
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Old 23-01-2010, 14:35   #5
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There is a slight chance they MIGHT encounter some nudity...
OMG! Not that! Next thing you know, they'll be cruising the halls of Europe's museums, sneaking peaks at Greek statues and Rubin canvases.

Better to keep the kids at home, where they are limited to the wholesome offerings of MTV, Cops, 90210, and reality shows.

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Old 23-01-2010, 14:47   #6
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Having spent some time in the public schools, I can say, almost without an exception, every kid with behavioral problems usually has no parental involvement in their lives unless you can call neglect, poor parenting ability and and drugs and/or alchohol problems. It's not a 100% as some kids with good parents seem to be genetically predisposed to turn out bad. Fortunately, it's way more common that kids with bad parents somehow turn out well.

I know of at least one kid whose behavior drastically improved the longer they cruised. Most of the kids were well adjusted and lightyears ahead of their compatriots living in suburbia and going to public school. Don't know anyone who went the other way. Live aboards, as opposed to mobile cruisers, may be another story as almost every anchorage has the permanent squatter who is dysfunctional. That doesn't preclude them from having children, unfortunately.
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Old 23-01-2010, 14:49   #7
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Every cruising family I've met had exceptional kids. I would be proud to call them my own (if I wanted kids, that is). IMHO, they are put into a situation where they have to mix with many different age groups - and alot more adults. They are given some pretty chunky responsibilities. They learn to cope, and make friends with many walks of life and age groups.

There is one family I know who left the states because their teenage son was getting into alot of trouble with drugs and the like. I gotta say, the cruising life suited that family, even though today (15 years later), those "kids" have no desire to go on a boat again! But they are worldly, no doubt about it.

P.S. Doug86 - what a cute cat pic!
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Old 23-01-2010, 15:11   #8
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We cruised for many years with our children before they were teens. Anything anyone has to say on this subject is correct, for them. It is a very individual experience. The reality is you don't encounter many cruising kids around the world. Most cruising folk we came across were middle aged white couples whose children had grown up. It can be a very lonely experience for children. Our children would get very excited if we came to an anchorage and there was evidence of other cruising kids.

We did most of our cruising in Asia and because we were on the move it was difficult for our children to form meaningful relationships with other children, either cruisers or locals. They grew up to be great conversationalists because they learnt how to converse with adults and and connect quickly with people. Others would comment on how mature our two girls were. I was very proud of them but this always made me feel a little uneasy.

Don't get me wrong, it was a wonderful experience for our children, one that they will cherish for the rest of there lives. But like most things to do with boating there are compromises and trade offs. We returned to Australia so our girls could attend high school. Here they had to adjust to the "selfishness" and "cruelty" that is often a part of regular society.

You asked about the risks and issues of cruising with children. I have already addressed the most significant issues for us. As to the risks ? The real risks occur when children return to mainstream life and what measures do you take to prepare them for that ?

Your kids will love it.

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Old 23-01-2010, 15:53   #9
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My kids had a great time cruising, and they want to get cruising boats of their own. I never worried about them getting into trouble. Peer pressures were almost zero, and they had plenty of worthwhile activities to keep them busy.

Cruising was a family activity the majority of the time. They never had a lot of time on their hands when in port. Places to go, things to do as a family. Although we weren't always with them or closely monitoring them, they usually had some well defined activity in which they were participating. When that event was over, they came back to Exit Only. They knew their limits, and had total freedom within those limits.

We were a chemical free boat. No alcohol or drugs. That took a lot of pressure off them. It's easy to say no to drugs when there is no other option.

In my work in Phoenix, 99% of my patients who get mugged are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they are in or around bars, and it's almost always late at night. I am sure sober people get mugged in broad daylight, but I haven't seen any of them in my medical practice.

I am not saying that is the best way to cruise with kids. It just worked for us.
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Old 29-01-2010, 13:01   #10
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OMG! Not that! Next thing you know, they'll be cruising the halls of Europe's museums, sneaking peaks at Greek statues and Rubin canvases.

Better to keep the kids at home, where they are limited to the wholesome offerings of MTV, Cops, 90210, and reality shows.

Wow, that is impressive. Is that REALLY what you read in my post?
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Old 29-01-2010, 13:11   #11
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Wow, that is impressive. Is that REALLY what you read in my post?
No, I was just piling on! Sarcasm on a cloudy day, thats all.
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Old 29-01-2010, 13:34   #12
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If you are cruising with your kids, you are spending a lot of valuable time with them. I believe the reason that there is so much drug use among kids is in main stream society is because the kids are not spending much time connected to their parents. The actions of other kids becomes less of an issue the more connected you are to you kids (unless of course you are stoned all the time.)

So the person who will have the most influence will be you!!
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Old 29-01-2010, 14:15   #13
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As professionals dealing with, shall we say, the less attractive members of society, the Admiral and I are both rather acutely tuned to such things. We both concluded that the happiest, most well-adjusted youngsters, adolescents and young adults we've ever met were members of either the cruising community, or residents of the many small island communities we've visited in our travels.

It was often somewhat of a shock to us to re-emerge in big cities, in the US or otherwise, when that was no longer the case.

That's not to say that the people you and your kids will encounter will always share your values. Maybe that is a good thing. Nature likes diversity.

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Old 29-01-2010, 15:43   #14
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No, I was just piling on! Sarcasm on a cloudy day, thats all.
I can relate to that.

Peace to you, and may your travels bring you to warm and friendly shores.
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Old 29-01-2010, 18:38   #15
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We raised our two children aboard from newborn to their departure for college; often at marinas and often cruising. Many suggest there is an advantage to sit together at the evening meal as a family. How much greater is the advantage to travel together, enter into new communities together, learn together, solve-problems together....? We always encouraged our children to invite their friends for sails or short cruises and they made friends in various ports. I don't consider anything but the best as an outcome of cruising for children. 'take care an joy, Aythya crew
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