Posted by: First Mate | July 16, 2011

How do we prepare our children for whatever could happen?

I often say I would like to take my daughter out of school and sail around the world or the South Pacific for a year or two.  As a former English teacher married to a brilliant engineer, if we could afford this, I think she would have an amazing year and learn a lot of things you don’t learn in a classroom.   There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument.  As the only child of two quirky, older parents, does she need more socialization? She may not be ready for all the “prepping”  and the basics of applying those skills on a long adventure.

I also want my child to remain a ‘child’ until both she and I are ready for her to become an adult.  Sadly, I live in the real world where her friends and community also have an influence on her and she has to learn that my views on the world are just that – mine.  So my job is to give her wings and hope that she uses them to fly well and high above things that will drag her down as often happens in life.

So as my husband and I are learning all the details involved with the cruising life, food prepping, first aid, boat maintenance, sailing in all kinds of seas and weather (Hawaii is sort of an acid test for many places) – how do I encourage her to see the excitement and beauty in all the dangers and disasters out there and still protect her innocence?

As an avid news hound who works in medical education, I want her perception of the world to be formed by the beauty of nature and human kindness with knowledge not fear of pandemics, economic crisis, food shortages and revolutions across the world.  I don’t think an apocalyptic view of a world I barely understand as an adult is healthy.  She needs to be aware, strong and still innocent.  Is it possible to preserve a childhood? Although, children live in the now and observe the world as their own, whatever the circumstance.  Ruby’s perspective is still limited and sheltered.

I want to expose her to the real fact that other children her age struggle with these things now and have for years.  Using my own experience and love of reading, I am looking into age appropriate stories that address growing up in different societies.  I was recommended Don\’t Let\’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by a friend and avid reader – and while I think it maybe too adult for my 7 year old – it may be a great read for older children aka ME.

You can't hide from life. Fort San Lorenzo, Panama 2011

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