Parents and sailing enthusiasts Kim and Simon Brown had a dream, so they quit their jobs, sold their 6-bedroom home in Buckinghamshire, bought a yacht, packed the family bags and set off to sail around the globe.
But they hadn’t counted on the reaction of their 4-year-old daughter, Sienna.
And it wasn’t long before 39-year-old mum Kim noticed that her child, who is being home-schooled on board, wasn’t taking to life at sea – at all.
“By month 3 into our travels and after peeing on the floor, spitting, punching me, kicking me, biting my arms (drawing blood) and smashing a plate, I was at my wits’ end,” Kim wrote in her blog, Sailing Britican,
Describing Sienna’s behaviour as “defiant”, Kim said she thought the whole sailing-round-the-world plan just wasn’t going to work for Sienna. “She just wasn’t handling the transition,” she said.
“I felt ‘woe is me’,” she wrote, “and wanted to cry out that my life is finally a dream come true except for the fact that my daughter has turned into a hell child.”
Kim and Simon almost considered a return to the UK but, with the advice of a downloadable parenting book, Kim’s perspective changed and Sienna’s behaviour improved.
It turned out that difficulty falling asleep in the boat was the cause of Sienna’s actions. When mother and daughter worked together towards a solution, the issue resolved itself – for the most part.
“We’ve had crying and upsets,” said Kim, “but we haven’t had any kicking, punching, biting, spitting or weeing since then.”
We all know that travelling with small children can be challenging, to say the least! Would you take a 4-year-old on a boat trip around the world? Let us know in the comments.
Photo of Sienna: Kim and Simon Brown / sailingbritican.com