Originally Posted by kathymuggle
Heck yeah. I do not think it is a good idea - but my concerns are almost exclusively from a safety point of view.
The whole "social needs" thing is misplaced in my opinion. I am not denying that there could be social issues (loneliness comes to mind) but many of those issues might be resolvable and are not a reason for the state to prohibit it.
I'm starting to really think that the "social needs" angle is quite valid. Given media attention, the possibility of confronting others on the sea and at port, and the onset of puberty, I can see that for most 13 year-olds who grow up in a modern culture, there is a strong chance they may not have the experience or wisdom necessary to confront new experiences in a completely healthy manner. I think that it would be a challenge in more than a physical sense and as a parent, I can't see not feeling compelled to protect my child's emotional future.
We're freaks among freaks in my family, but normalcy for my kids is still really important to me. The tumultuousness of pre-pubescence and pubescence itself seem enough to create some stunted relational abilities from this sort of exercise. As a parent, I just wouldn't be sure it was worth the risk. The very idea of confronting a pirate attack at a young age - even if it were far-fetched - is like sending your child to the wolves.
The earlier comparison to the naval captain is invalid, I feel. It'd be like comparing this child who grew up in a relatively stable, modern home (presumably) with child laborers of the late 19th century or before or even the child soldiers in Liberia. Throw them into that situation to face danger, hunger, and loneliness and you're practically begging them to have difficulty finding normalcy in later life.
As the girl herself, I could see hitting 30 and totally resenting it.