I like the idea of the safety keyword, but think that it is really only necessary for younger kids. The idea of a safe area is a good one too. I'll be trying both out next year when I take my nephews, 5 and 7, out sailing for their very first time.
The safety keyword and safe area should work for their father too...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.