Surely they CAN’T be about to enter ‘teenagerdom’?

Teenagers living on a sailboat! Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write about!

This week marks the last week that we are teenager free onboard Pierina. Yes, Mackenzie is about to turn 13 and we will have a fully fledged live aboard teenager on a sailboat! Add to that, Sienna will be in the same place in 14 months’ time so we will have double the trouble. Or will we? Want further implications? Tim’s about to get 2 teenagers and a freaky menopausal wife, all more or less happening at once…he’s a lucky guy!!

It sounds like I’m saying that very calmly but in actual fact Im freaking out at the fact that we are entering this unknown and trepidatious phase of our kids lives and at how we’re supposed to handle it?

I’m actually dreading it because I’m pretty scared about the teenage years and what disruption and new situations they may bring and also because we will have no idea on how to handle them!

Will they still want to do things together?

I’m hoping that by being cruising live aboard kids those dreaded teenager behaviours might not effect our kids as much due to the fact that they are a little different to land kids.

Will we have the stereotypical live aboard teenagers on sailboats?  or will they be stereotypical land teenagers? 

One of the main differences is that they aren’t exposed to social media with the same intensity as land kids. So will that mean that they might be a little less intense because they don’t have to bend to peer pressure and rely on their devices leaving them more time to be normal kids and do more old fashioned things with their time?? I have no idea.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when they would be attached to their iPads if we let them or if we even had wifi all the time, but they tend to get bored with their iPads after a while and want to go out and spend time in nature. I guess it’s because we do so much outside rather than inside.

For the last 2 and a half years they’ve spent most of their time outside and a great deal of that time with other boat kids exploring islands and making things from scratch.

They make things from scratch because so little is available to us compared to the availability of everything on land. They often find things lying round beaches, roads or bins (yes, my kids have become Bogans) and can’t walk past a bin without exclaiming “ Hey look…there’s a bin!…what can we recycle?” with the excitement of a kid in a toy store. And yes, that used to be embarrassing but now its normal to me…the result of being live aboard cruisers, I guess.

I just cant believe all those years have flown by. Where’s my little boy who would always hold my hand while we crossed a road and who would always wake me at ungodly hours by tapping his smooth little hand on my cheek to tell me it was time to get up and play with him? I knew this time would come and for a while now I’ve been trying to treasure those childish moments rather than roll my eyes and wish they’d grow up and stop waking me up early.

So in a few days, when he turns 13, will it be like it’s depicted in books and movies? Will he instantly turn into a teenager? Will his arms stretch down to the ground while he hangs his head as low as possible and just grunts at us? Will he instantly want to spend all his time in his cabin and only come out for meals? Will he refuse to wear anything that isn’t black or dark grey?

So my worry is twofold. Will we lose our boy (and our girl in a years time) as we know him? and how the heck will we handle it all?

Will they be this uninhibited as teenagers?

My other major worry is that I might lose my playmates.

I’ve always LOVED playing with my kids in an active way. I LOVE that I have playmates that will come boogie boarding with me, will snorkel with me, will swing on a swing for hours with me, will come cycling through muddy puddles with me, and all the other fun stuff that I do with them. Yeah I’m that mum at the park that’s running round chasing my kids and trying to beat them to the slippery dip, the ONLY mum doing that usually; the mum that other mums thinks is a bit weird (from the looks on their faces!). I have to admit that I love doing kid things and while I have young kids it seems ok for me to do all that.

But what happens if they don’t want to do those things with me anymore once they become teenagers? Am I supposed to act more like mum who is all grown up? Adopt a play kid? I just hope that won’t change.

I’m just drawn to play with them!

While we don’t yet really know what this whole teenagerdom thing  means, we’re about to find out! I wish there was an encyclopaedia out there on the subject but since there isn’t, we will just fumble our way through it! and I’d always welcome any thoughts and ideas on your experience and how on earth do parents get through it and then emerge with lovely young adults?

Will we enjoy having live aboard teenagers on a sailboat?

Watch this space!!

What do you think, is it harder for the teenager or for the parent? Let me know by leaving your comments below.

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