Figure I'll share my experiences with boat life!
My dad started sailing and bought an Ericson 38 when I was 7. When I was 8, I started sailing with him and when I was 10 we started living on the boat full time (just the 2 of us). That summer we went on a month long trip from San Francisco to San Diego and back. I really took the boat naturally and loved the adventure!
Over the next few years we would go out sailing doublehanded pretty frequently...I didn't quite realize that my dad was grooming me to go cruising! When I was 14 my dad and I left for three years of cruising down the coast, through the Panama Canal, around the western Caribbean and back. Despite my being a teenager, we had an amazing time and I wouldn't trade that experience with my dad for anything. I ended up living aboard until I left for college at 19.
Now I am 27 and my husband and I have been living aboard our Shannon 28 for 4 years. It is small, but very cozy. We will likely have our baby on the boat (I mean...raise, not birth...still wondering about that one!), even though a lot of people seem to think we're crazy!
I think that boat life is great for kids, especially while cruising. The kids we met cruising were all great, but those who had been living aboard and cruising since they were really little were amazing! They were adventurous, smart, had amazing communication skills with adults and looked so healthy and happy!
I could go on and on about cruising and living aboard...but I will jump off my soapbox for now!
Also, you may find Dave and Jaja Martin very inspiring. Some of there writing is available here: http://www.setsail.com/s_logs/martin/martin.html
Their book (which is fabulous) is "Into the Light" and they have a movie called "Ice Blink". Check 'em out!