Speaking from our family’s experience only, growing up afloat was an amazing experience, and probably one of the top three decisions my parents made that created the person I am today. I lived at home into my early 20s and even spent three years after high school travelling the world in our floating home, meeting many other liveaboard families of all types along the way.
There seems to be the almost universal belief among North American parents. I’m sure this is a phenomena found elsewhere as well, but I’m just talking about what I’ve personally seen. Kids, whether these are theoretical future children or actual kids, will hate, or, at the very least, dislike their parents. Teenagers hate their parents: everyone knows that.
Wanna ship your teen out for a while? Liz went to high school in JAPAN as an exchange student through the Rotary Youth Exchange program.
I have tattoos, I work in a library, I’m liberal, pro-choice, and try to eat local … and when I tell people I was homeschooled, I tend to get raised eyebrows.
As a now seventeen year old, on the cusp of adult life, liberty, and the freedom to pay taxes or be tried as an adult, I will say that having an alternative upbringing is equal parts a blessing and a curse … but definitely very educational.
I remember being a 21-year-old party girl in San Francisco, and my dad asking me very straight-forwardly about my recreational substance consumption, and me answering him very honestly. (It was, uh, A LOT at the time.)
My father looked thoughtful for a second and then said, “That’s a pretty heroic dosage of toxins. I hope you’re prioritizing sleep and eating well, too.”
I thought to myself, “…!! Fuck, there’s no way to get a rise outta this guy.” And stopped trying.
Years ago, I developed this theory about first and second generation weirdos, loosely based on the concept of first and second generation immigrant families. In my mind, there’s another second generation: the children of offbeat families.
The first social reality of which I ever became aware was that my mother was the most embarrassing person on the entire planet. She dressed loudly, spoke louder, and seemed never to have heard of make-up. She was a rebel with many causes and wouldn’t allow my sister or me to escape any of them.