The most important thing, in my mind, is to make the early trips short and VERY pleasant. Do not try to scare them, near windless days are best, until they get accustomed to the boats movements. Remember this is a strange environment to them.
Come up with some "Boat Only" activities and or meals/treats. These would be things that you only do on the boat so when they want to play with that or eat that they associate it with the boat (a good thing). Remember that you need to make this a pleasant event for them for it to be a pleasant thing in your life.
Also, try to involve them in the process even if in small ways. Give them titles, and small jobs to help make the boat go. Show them that no job is too small or too big for everyone. Show them you do some of the little jobs and they too can do some of the same jobs.
DO NOT MAKE them the boat gofer (hey kid go for this and get me that, etc).
One really great tip is to plan a surprise 1/2 year birthday, complete with cake and presents. We did this for my daughter when she was 5 1/2 it is remains her favorite birthday of all time (she is now 38).
Sailing on The Central Chesapeake Bay, West River, MD on my Catalina 27, Aelous II with my wife and friends.
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