Government, not parents, stops 13-year old from sailing solo around the world.

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by Sarahkka, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. Sarahkka

    Sarahkka Mama to Two Fine Boys!

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    This is quite an interesting news story and one of those "what would you do" parenting questions: a 13-year-old Dutch girl wants to attempt to navigate and sail around the world SOLO. Her parents were willing to let her do it, but the government has stepped in to assess the situation.

    http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/08/28/dutch-dekker-world-sail-voyage-court482.html

    What do you think: parents supporting their child's dream or permissive to the point of negligence where their child's safety is involved?
     
  2. tasha41

    tasha41 Mum & Dad + 1

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    Hm how solo? Like would a parent or another boat be following her or what's the deal?

    I can't say that I would let Elyse do that.

    I'm not sure that it was the government's place to step in either.

    But I can imagine if anything happened to her what the media/public would say about their parenting..
     
  3. Sarahkka

    Sarahkka Mama to Two Fine Boys!

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    As far as I can tell, Tasha, she's planning to be completely on her own for the almost two years it will take her to make the trip. She's going for a world record as the youngest person ever to do this (I think a boy of 17 is the current record holder).
    So yeah, we're not talking another boat following her or someone meeting her in every port. This is solo in every sense of the word.
    That's what I heard in a CBC radio interview this evening, anyway. They were talking to a fellow from Dutch social services who said that that was part of the reason they got involved. The risks are enormous and allowing the girl to do this meets a lot of the criteria for negligence, so the Dutch gov't has issued a probationary period in which they plan to assess the girl's competence and development and make sure that she fully understands the life-threatening risks involved in what she plans to do.
    Speaking as the daughter of a mountain guide, I grew up in more "extreme" terrain and there are very few circumstances under which I would go hiking or climbing alone. No matter how competent you are, anything solo in the wilderness is very risky. I certainly would not allow my son to solo anything at the age of 13, no matter how talented a climber he was.
     
  4. tasha41

    tasha41 Mum & Dad + 1

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    Completely solo no way!! Buddy system!! (Corny but I believe in it 100%)..

    Elyse is never going away from me for 2 years. Nevermind on her own completely. On the ocean.
     
  5. Sarahkka

    Sarahkka Mama to Two Fine Boys!

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    Not corny at all, my dear.
    Very very wise.
    Bloody hell - if anything happened to this girl, they'd wouldn't know until it was way too late. I know we all have our own parameters around parenting, but she's 13!!!! Barely a teenager! I am having a very hard time understanding how someone would allow their child to sail off into the sunset like that.
     
  6. Sherileigh

    Sherileigh Well-Known Member

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    I think thats insane!! I think the government has an obligation to get involved! These parents are nuts!
     
  7. alio

    alio Well-Known Member

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    I would have serious concerns if parents were prepared to allow their child to do this at her age. Good for the government stepping in I think. Controversial though eh?! x
     
  8. sam*~*louize

    sam*~*louize Well-Known Member

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    Tough one, but i swear I heard they're going to put her into care to stop her doing it??
     
  9. AnnaHughes

    AnnaHughes Well-Known Member

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    I agree everyone has their dreams, and dont want to cause and argument! - but when i was 13, i wanted a horse, i wanted to be a lawyer, now, these were not just feelings of the week, i REALLY wanted these things, for Years!!! - but, as a 13 yr old, i was taught, i couldnt have everything i wanted, after all, i was still a child, and my parents had ultimate responsibility for me.

    She will be spending 2 years away from home, away from school, most importantly, away from just doing stuff that general 13 yr olds do, play with her friends, i just wonder, if she did it, when it is all over, what then?
     
  10. Blah11

    Blah11 ☼ Mummy to Amelie ☼

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    Ridiculous. I think the government are spot on with their decision.
     
  11. EstelSeren

    EstelSeren Married Mum of 2!

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    I've not read the posted article yet and don't know the ins and outs of the situation, but I personally think that 13 is a bit too young. If she still wants to do it at 16- in the UK you are legally able to move out and live away from your parents but I don't know the situation in Holland or elsewhere- then I think that that would be acceptable. It would give her another 3 years to make sure that she is properly prepared for it physically and mentally too and if it's really her dream to sail solo round the world then this will still be the case when she's 16. Plus when she completes it she would still be the youngest female to do it even if the youngest person record isn't hers.

    Beca :wave:
     
  12. PeanutBean

    PeanutBean Mumma to Byron & Indigo

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    I agree that the government were right to have stepped it. For a 13 year old to be left without parental or guardian support is quite simply neglect. I don't believe such a thing is likely to be legally possible for anyone under 16. If a 13 year old decided she wanted to live alone for two years and not see her parents that wouldn't be allowed.

    lol Just realised I've written almost the same as EstelSeren.
     
  13. Erised

    Erised Mummy to amazing girls

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    I'm surprised the whole world has heard of it. Being in Holland at the moment I've seen/heard about it quite a bit on news websites and just the news on tv.
    It's utterly ridiculous that the parents want to let her, I don't care if the whole family is into sailing and she's raised this way. I'm sure she is a good sailer and quite a lot more capable than your normal 13 year old, but she's still just a girl.

    She's apparently been on long ish trips on her own before, including going from England to Holland on her own ... which I know is a much shorter distance.

    She's be -on her own-, she won't be on her own at sea for 2 years straight though. Her trips would take her 3 weeks at longest, after which time she plans on visiting the country she's at at the time and would be meeting up with people including her parents on some if not all of these stops. But still, 3 weeks on the water on her own is just well too much.

    The main point why the government stepped in is because she needs permission to leave school. In Holland you are bound by law to follow education until you are 16, at which age would be the earliest you'd get a 'diploma' for the lowest education level. If you're doing one of the higher ones you have to be in education until you are 18. After that, if you still do not have proper qualifications you are bound by law to either remain in education until you get them, or work until 21. Only after 21 are you free to do whatever.

    If you want to step out of the education system before you reach one of these (age) requirements you require permission from...

    1. The school
    2. The legal side of it

    It was when she tried to get 2 years off that it got brought to the attention of the government, who do not believe she has the right to step out of education for this. Plus obviously they started to wonder whether the parents were up to making decissions for their daughter. Normally medical reasons are the only reason to be allowed out of 'the system', and you're supposed to get checked up by government officials every couple of months. I can tell from experience that this does not happen =P

    Anyways ... the court has ruled, and I don't fully agree with it.
    They've ruled several things

    1. She is not (yet) allowed to go on her world trip, she will be re-evaluted in 2 months after they've observed her and had several chats with her.
    2. She & her parents will be put under the watch of social services, but the parents (Actually, it was only the dad that was in question) will not lose their parental rights

    There's 2 things I don't agree with. First of all, I don't agree with her parents still having full parental rights. I think it's great they're now being watched and guided by social services and won't lose their child ... but why do they still have full rights to make decisions over her unless turned over by court? In my honest opinion I do not believe that any parent that is ok with their 13 year old DAUGHTER travelling the world on her own should be allowed to make important decisions without someone else giving a second opinion that either over rules him or agrees with him.

    I also don't think she should be re-evaluated in 2 months. I understand this is to stay neutral and see both sides, and to give her a chance. And not least of all, to appear fair to the world wide press that's following the story. But c'mon, she'll still be just a 13 year old girl in 2 months. That won't have changed, why not just give a no?

    She's refusing to comment to news channels now, apparently all the media attention is stressing her out and no good for her health. Erm, did she honestly think she'd not have this stress if she did travel around the world to break a world record? That on it's own is enough prove she hasn't fully thought it through and isn't up for it. The only news show she has done an interview for/with so far is 'het jeugd journaal', news designed for tweens & teens.

    ... So, to sum this whole post up in one sentence - Ridiculous and the government is fully correct in stopping her!
     
  14. louise1302

    louise1302 mum to FIVE boys :)

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    at t13 she isnt physically or emotionally strong enough to to a round the world trip like that
     
  15. Tiff

    Tiff LIKE A BOSS

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    I am so relieved that the government stepped in.

    She can always sail around the world later on, when she is older. It's ridiculous that her parents would be okay with putting her safety in potential jeopardy all in the name of having her being the "youngest" to sail the world alone.

    I find that so appalling of the parents. Having your daughter's name in a book is more important than her schooling, personal welfare, mental state? Totally ridiculous.
     

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