I want to thank everyone for the great replies. It makes sense to me to think in terms of everyone having an official "place," however tiny that might be, but not to seek absolute privacy as an ideal. Perhaps something like the Tayana 37 would work best for one child, or the T42 for two kids or more elbow room. The storage does appear to be jump quite a bit on the 42s, and the aft cabin on the center cockpit versions is often pretty roomy. I can see how that might preserve parental sanity long-term.
I notice, too, that certain boats will have a v-berth up front and a couple of very small berths aft. Some of the Passports I've seen in photos (not in person) seem to have that arrangement.
Sidenote on parrots: Admittedly, this is something I will have to look into very carefully. A friend just went through all the trouble to get his pionus parrot into the EU (he immigrated to Sweden). There was a lot of paperwork: but, thankfully, also a procedure that allowed him to get his bird recognized. Now that Fish & Game and all the rest know about the bird, I think he could get back into the States OK. His major problem was the bird flu epidemic. When he moved, EU had imposed a blanket ban on all bird imports, so his bird had to be fostered by friends for two years (!) until the ban was lifted. So .... we'll see. I suspect that it would be very possible but annoying to get a documented pet bird in and out of the USA. The rub, in my mind, is what happens when some foreign official gets involved if you draw attention while abroad. I have no idea what restrictions there are on critters that plan on staying on the boat.
In any case, it is great to hear that others have had kids on board and found various solutions. I look forward to lurking and learning more!
The difficulties your friend faced was typical of what to expect. Now expand that from not just one country, but multiple countries every few miles (referring to the carib).
The TV(Tayana Vancouver) 42 has a LOT more storage than the 37. Sleeping quarters would be better too. I would suggest considering the aft cockpit version too as it would allow a great lazarette and a second stateroom that has room for two kids. The nice aspect of that is that the second sr also allows a nice pilot berth for when under way as communication between the cockpit and berth is easy. The begative of this and most aft cockpit arrangements is that there is not a lot of great air movement in the aft berth.
A negative of a double ender (like a Tayana) is the loss of room compared to a comparable sized vessel. For example, consider our boat next to mom and dad's:
See how the aft is carried back and that allows a lot more space/LOA. You will find this 'sugar scoop' more typical of the modern designed boat. I personally feel that a sugar scoop is the preferable design for a boat with kids. You will find that you are constantly getting on/off the boat and we swim off the back a lot. As such, getting on/off is a lot easier than with other designs where there is not a 'boarding transom'.
Other things we look for are spaces where the kids can play (legos, puzzles, board games, etc). Kids like to spread out. Many 'blue water boats' are very tight down below. THis restricts the places they can play. You will find that although they sometimes play in the berths, they will generally spill into the salon (as it should be). So be thoughtful of how and where teh kids can play and where you can be when they are. We spend a lot of time in the cockpit and back in our private State room where we can escape from the kiddos while they are doing their thing. It keeps everyone sane.
Good luck with it all and feel free to ask questions.
See ya out there!!!