There has been a lot of media attention to the Kaufmann family this week. A young couple who lives aboard their sailboat and cruises the Pacific with two very young children had to be rescued when their vessel was disabled.
Criticism galore from various major media and social media outlets – so many people bashing the life choices of this couple. “Taking those kids to sea was dangerous and stupid” they cry. Of course, non of these complainers are sailors or liveaboards. This couple has been living the life they chose for 7 years. They are not inexperienced. They happened to have a few children along the way. They chose to raise them without the dubious distractions of modern life on land. No video games, iPhones, malls, etc. It seemed a wonderful way to bring up a child too me.
If you follow this couple either via their blog http://www.therebelheart.com/blog/ or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/svrebelheart
You’ll see loving parents exploring a fascinating world with small children. You’ll see a tight-knit family that is rare in today’s world. I’m appalled at some of the criticisms I’m reading about the whole affair, some from my friends. I did find one somewhat sympathetic article at the NY Times parenting blog: http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/07/judge-the-rebel-heart-sailboat-parents-or-envy-them/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
There has also been a bit of a rally from the liveaboard community. For example here’s a call to action from Live Bloggin the ICW:
I feel really bad for the Kaufmanns today. Not only have they lost their home, but they face the storm of nasty remarks regarding their parenting decisions. I’m sorry if you disagree, but I myself admire them and the life they have chosen. Modern society holds no good will towards children today. Fortunately they are all safe, and live to dream another day. Whatever they decide to do with their future, may good fortune find them.