Those who spent their childhood on a yacht now share how parents can contribute to a positive cruising experience for their children. When cruising for any extended period of time with their children, parents have many reasons to worry: safety, training, a constant supply of goodies within reach. But there are more subtle aspects of growing up on the water that parents don't always see. Here are some ways parents can help make their kids happy on a yacht:
Provide your child with privacy
Some child cruisers are lucky enough to have their own stateroom, but many boats simply don't have that luxury. If you have more than one child, space It can become even more problematic when you are practically sleeping on top of each other, and older children flare up and build up irritation on this basis. But there are some simple ways provide your children with "their own room" and a place where they can escape.
The child should spend some time alone with himself. If two children live in the same cabin, you can hang a curtain that divides the space so that the children can close and go to their little world. Leave the children on the boat for a couple of hours alone, or when you arrive on an island, let them wander alone. This is especially important if your child is a teenager. They need a place for themselves to sort out their thoughts.
Let the kids decorate their cabinsjust like other kids do in their rooms at home, even though finding enough space on the boat is difficult, but let your kids stretch out a little. Children should have a box with finds and trinkets that will store memories, pictures they have drawn and photos hung on the walls of the cabin. In general, whatever children want to do is to personalize their space and create home comfort, within reasonable limits, let them do it.
5 ways to make the life of children on a yacht happy
Give the child freedom
Living with a family in a confined space can be maddening very quickly.if you don't arrange the right time. Make sure you give your children time to go for walks in places where you are comfortable with letting them go for a little while.
Let the kids control the dinghy - it will be a manifestation of your trust. If the children are old enough, have them take full responsibility for launching, lifting and operating the dinghy. On the water, it's almost like having a car or a bicycle. Some parents buy two dinghs, for themselves and for their children. This makes sense if they live at anchor for a long time, since this way they are independent of each other. A teenage child does not need to constantly report back, or wait for parents to get ashore or back on the boat. This makes it possible for children to simply jump into the boat and go to the shore, or to other children living in neighboring boats.
Try to encourage their ideas, beginnings and initiative. The fact that they are children does not mean that they will not cope with the responsibility. If you give them certain tasks that are vital to the boat, they will also begin to feel important and belonging to the crew. For example, teenage children may well carry even night watches in the crossings. Such responsibilities will help them grow and make them proud of their role on board. They will feel freedom, independence and responsibility for the whole family and the boat while everyone is resting.
Don't over-strain them with your studies. When children study at home, you face a lot of friction between you and your children, as you are both a teacher and a parent. This does not mean that children should relax, but it will be ineffective to force them to study all day long. They should know the amount of homework, and if they can do it in an hour, not half a day, let them do it. In addition, child psychologists insist that parents do not meddle in the education of their children until the child himself asks them to help.
5 ways to make the life of children on a yacht happy
Provide your child with entertainment
Most kids these days go online to kill time. For most cruisers, this is not an option. When you’re not looking to explore new places or somehow find fun while you’re at anchor, here are some tips to keep your child from getting bored if they’re tired of just jumping overboard and swimming:
Take books and games with you on your journey with a margin, and provide them with storage space, be it books, magazines, or an e-book, to save space in the cabin.
Stock of films should be even more, since the Internet is not reliable, or expensive, depending on the region. Children watch movies and cartoons more often than they do anything else. Create your own family evening ritual watching a movie: movies by genre on certain days, or some special snack that everyone loves while watching their favorite movie.
Music is absolutely priceless on the boat, and for many, this is an emotional outlet. Speakers must be installed on the yacht. Everyone's favorite music should be downloaded on their phone or iPod, and there should also be a headphone supply, since this is the salvation of the teenager's soul and his escape from reality. Music turns many of the boat's chores into fun activities.
Help maintain regular contact with other children
This is one of the most annoying aspects of life on board., for parents and children. Loneliness is difficult, especially if you have one child, and sometimes it is only relieved by the presence of other children. But finding boats with children can be challenging, and finding boats with children along your route can be even more difficult. Fortunately, your children have ways to make friends on the water and stay connectedwhen your paths diverge.
Parents should make an effort to find cruiser boats with kids on board. There are several ways you can take advantage of the most effective of which is via SSB radio or VHF radio. Just inquire on the radio about children's boats in your area or where you can meet them.
There is now many cruise kids websites, communities and Facebook pages. Cruisers find each other through YouTube, Instagram and other platforms. There are places, such as Georgetown in the Bahamas, Caribbean, where families with children gather on boats just to make friends. By the way, the Caribbean is one of the most pleasant places for a leisurely journey and life on a yacht with young children. Many parents spend the first years of their newborns' lives here before heading to more active yachting destinations.
If your child has left school and a whole social life at home to travel with you on a yacht, connect him with old friends... Sometimes this is very difficult, since the Internet may not be available, and telephone communication may be expensive. Fortunately, now there are many instant messengers for correspondence that pull the minimum of the Internet, and the coverage is becoming wider. Sometimes kids can chat for hours, but leave them alone - friends are the most important thing they have at this age.
Encourage them to play with local childreneven when no one understands the language each one speaks. Children do not care about these conventions, the usual game of football or volleyball, digging in the sand or mud, brings children together without words. Even if children are shy at first, nudge them outside of their comfort zones and start the game. Ultimately, this will help them become more courageous and sociable in life, will allow them to perceive people and the world more broadly, and will give wonderful memories.
Listen to your children
There is nothing more valuable than having honest and understanding parents. Living in a small space with the whole family is difficult. The best thing a parent can do in such an environment is to always listen to their child. Teenagers are not aliens, despite popular belief. Just remember that these are your children, not strangers. Unconditional love, acceptance and understanding of them are some of the most important things any parent, cruiser, or anyone else can do for them to have a happy childhood and become a self-sufficient person.