A couple who chose to take their toddler daughter on a three-year-long round the world sailing trip have admitted that she has struggled to adapt.
Kim Brown and Simon Brown, of Aylesbury, set off on the trip three months ago, and said that their daughter Sienna, three, would benefit from the multicultural experience.
But writing on the family’s blog www.sailingbritican.com Kim admitted that Sienna, who is being home schooled by the couple on the boat, has reacted badly to a life on the ocean wave.
She said: “With so many things on my mind, I didn’t think about whether or not my daughter Sienna would be able to cope with the massive change of lifestyle.
“I didn’t think that the lack of routine, unpredictability of sailing and inability to have control over daily events would cause behaviour issues.
“I also failed to consider how she’d take to playing alone. Up until living on a boat, my daughter always had many friends to play with in addition to having grandad next door. She was never alone and never had to play by herself.”
And during the first three months of the trip Sienna’s behaviour alarmed the couple, prompting them to reach out for help.
Kim said: “By month three 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.”
She added: “I couldn’t help but think I must be a terrible parent. I thought perhaps I’m not consistent enough, maybe I’m too soft or perhaps too hard? Maybe I’m not applying punishments appropriately. Then I thought it’s not just me it’s the situation we are in.”
The couple considered returning to the UK, but then had a change of heart, and downloaded a parenting book for advice.
Kim said: “After reading only a few chapters I immediately perceived the whole situation in a different light and went about changing my behaviour.
“Thankfully since that major bust-up that ended with my arm bleeding and a smashed plate we haven’t had another explosion.
“Yes we’ve had crying and upsets but we haven’t had any kicking, punching, biting, spitting or weeing again.”
Throughout the trip Kim is giving trip updates on the blog and on the family’s Twitter feed @sailingbritican