Sailing kids are either really kind, or aren't! Although, adults can't tell form the face which is which. The not so nice put on a good show, but after the parents leave to see someone else's boat....... let's just say that i run along with the parents sometimes! They can be really bratty, or just want to see if they can get you into trouble. It's kind of like a "how stupid are you" contest. Once, i was told that this little boat was a little kid's ( only I'd say 8 or so) and he didn't have his license yet. Dad doesn't mind... will i drive it around? uhhhhh no way! right...... your own boat..... does it say STUPID in bright letters on my forehead? (dad don't answer that!) uhhh huhhh! right, no lets go play with my fish trap instead.
Not all kids are like that though, if i was asked i would say..... only 15 or 20% are that way. Let me tell you... they follow their parent's examples extremely well. even if you have a big boat..... please don't send your kids off with the latest video game for a couple hours, and ignore them when guests come over! it makes the kids become really bored, and want to get into trouble, or someone else into trouble. Most kids are good at finding something to do, and to have some fun even in a tiny island with no TV connection! for instance, on Tangier island i took the kids in a family of about five on a trip around the island and played with cats, went to the homecoming celebration, and went down to the beach real quick. We had a blast and were gone for several hours, only came back for food, flashlights, bathrooms, and to check in. we all had a blast!
on another note, though, the other breed of kids...... i met one family at Rockhall where the parents were out on the back of their boat sipping wine, while the three kids were downstairs watching spongebob ( not my favorite ever! lets go sit and laugh at nothing for a while... yeah right. not happening. give me Mike Rowe on Discovery Channel any day!) and one kid, a baby i think, was screaming for a hour straight! parents never once went down. Okay they went down once, and i heard some colorfull language at the kids because the conference call had been interrupted( what call? no cell service on my phone and there hadn't been a phone out.... hmmmm what do you think watson?) and also because they had a headache. And i didn't? i saw the older brother out of the boat later, and when i offered to let him fish off of my boat (he was watching for a while) he just said " what? and get my hand slimy? i will only do it if you hold the rod, add the bait, and take off the fish. I just want to reel it in." What is the point of fishing anyway? i just don't get it. If you do, feel free to enlighten me!
so you see, the way the parents act is reflected in the kids. To my experience though, the little boys hold out a lot longer ( yea, you can usually find me looking for crabs on a mud flatt with six little boys with me) while the little girls follow their parents really early. Weird, but true in my sight! i just don't get it! Why lie and make your kid's life miserable when you could have fun with them? Would you like a wine, or get a head start on loosing that weight by going for a bike ride or catching fish for an aquarium with the kid? Parents always complain that the kids are unresponsive to them, although they would never guess it's because that the kids know that as soon as they try to tell you how their day went, the parents will take off talking about theirs.
For the most part, kids in sailing families are pretty nice, but only a kid can tell what a kid is behind the parent's back. Not all the complaining that we do is for attention! sometimes it's the truth...wait that's not what i meant to say! anyway, ignoring that comment, i can make friends with most sailing kids, but there are a few that are just.... unresponsive and don't like to have fun! but that's only a small number!