Tips On Raising Kids on a Boat
The first tip on raising kids on a boat is to not listen to anyone who tells you that it’s not possible or discourages you against it. I am a big proponent on education. You need to research the topic as you are doing now. Read as much information and contact as many people as possible who have lived this lifestyle and get the pros and cons. After you’ve done a thorough research, then you can make a decision that works for you and your family.
So many people who have never experienced this lifestyle will talk against it because of fear. They are not the best person to get information from. If we listened to all the negative Nancy, we would never have bought a boat to began with or let alone given birth to a child on the boat.
Stay tuned for more tips and resources that we’ve used to make life aboard possible. All of the resources, I have listed are ones we’ve used personally. We do not get any kickbacks for mentioning them. Check them out below.
1. Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) Self-Rescue Survival Swimming Lessons
We had many of the fears that you have when it comes to raising small children on a boat. We placed Kais in Mommy and me swimming lessons at the age of 3 months old. We did these classes for several months and although he came to love being in the water, he really didn’t learn any skills. At around 10 or 11 months old, we enrolled him in an ISR course. This was a 1-on-1 class with an instructor, 10 minutes a day, 5 days a week for 6 weeks. By the end of the 6 weeks, he was able to float on his own. When dropped in the water fully clothed, he can flip over to his back, float and swim to the edge of the pool.
We enrolled both of our kids in this class. Kais at 4 years old is a great diver in the pool and like can swim like a little mermaid. They continue to take swimming lessons twice a week as we are still living in a marina. If you haven’t left the dock yet and have the opportunity to take swimming lessons, we highly recommend ISR classes. ISR seems scary at first, the classes are totally worth it.
2. Voyaging with Kids: A Guide to Family Life Afloat
This is a great guide book to start with your research on living aboard with kids. It is very recent and their so much useful information in there. You can purchase it on Amazon.