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post #5 of Old 03-01-2002
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Working with a child''''s fear of sailing

This is a tough one. If your daughter was younger, it would probably be much easier. The person that responded regarding meeting other girls her age is on the mark. This will happen after a while on your cruise, if you go. My opinion is that depending on the nature of her bad experience and her affinity to the water in general, this is going to be a very tough one to overcome. On the one hand, she will get used to it after awhile, and probably overcome her fears...If she has a good captain. On the other hand, the beginning of it is going to be very traumatic and may not be worth it.

If she is a social person, she is at the age where she is going to be missing her friends. This fact may prove to be a bigger problem than the one you face now. I have a four year old and a two year old and they have been sailing since they were babies. But I don''t venture too far off shore when my family is on board.

This must be difficult for you. You may never get another chance to do this. One thought would be to make a deal with her. Go for a month, if she wants to come home afterwards, that is what you will do. If she takes to it, she won''t want to come home. If she doesn''t, its over, but you got away for a month which is a huge accomplishment.

Before you go, drill into her fears and try to understand them. As a previous person said, it could be that she doesn''t like "tipping" or heeling. She is old enough to understand that this is not dangerous if it is explained correctly. A lot of kids (and adults) think that sailboats are not as seaworthy as powerboats because they "tip". This can be explained to her as well. In the end, she will either love it, tolerate it, or hate it. But one thing is for sure, if you don''t go, you will never know!
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