Children that become scuba divers have advantages for life.
Los Angeles, CA – August 1, 2022 (update May 22, 2014)
The tween and teen years are some of the toughest for family vacations; the kids are too young for toys and to stay home alone, but too cool for the attractions-based vacations that used to work, and let's face it... not too many people are begging to keep your tween(s) or teen(s) for a week or so while you take off on vacation.
They begin to identify their own interests and express themselves through their activities and the first adult interests start to emerge, such as playing sports, playing musical instruments, cooking, sewing, using computers, etc. SCUBA, skiing and cycling are a few of the few adventure/activities where kids and adults participate as equals. Learning the rules of the seas, slopes and roads is a gateway to exciting adventures and each has the cache of independence and self-sufficiency that kids and teens - okay all of us - crave.
SCUBA also has the added advantage that most SCUBA outings will include a Dive Professional or guide who takes Mom and Dad (Aunt/Uncle or Grandparents, too) out of the role of "authority figure" when it comes to control, instruction and the logistics of each outing. Neuroscientist Ron Dahl explains how parents can help younger teens, really learn to support their independence and autonomy in his recent article, "What Adolescents Really Need from Parents". He says, what they really need is a “mastery curve experience—where your kids work at something, they struggle, but they get better and better at it. A mastery curve creates one of the most solid supports for adolescents, and it’s rewarding, too.” Learning to dive is all about mastering new knowledge and skills. This outing can also provide a way for the parents to be more involved in their lives, and not running their lives.
Unlike skiing and cycling, SCUBA has a proven standardized framework for certification, for all ages. This is part of what makes it much more egalitarian - kids and adults learn the same information, and play by the same rules. (A few exceptions for beginning SCUBA do exist such as, kids under the age of 15 years old must dive with a certified adult and 10-11 year old's have maximum depth limits.) Summer vacation is a good time for kids to catch up with parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts or other adults who may already be certified or get certified together..
A good starting point is a "Try Scuba Diving" experience", the chance to feel weightless, underwater in under two hours in Malibu Divers' heated pool. From there most kids are hooked and it's time to look into the full SCUBA certification options: 2-weekend or a private 4-day courses in Malibu (beginner and advanced).
In addition to being able to learn and have shared adventures together as a family, they will see you in a "new" way and perhaps have a new perspective of you. Also, when children become SCUBA divers they have advantages for life that include a multi-generational circle of healthy-living adventure enthusiasts outside of their school cliques. Anyone who has ever suggested to a middle-schooler or high schooler that s/he needs "better friends" knows that is a losing proposition, and even if you like your kids' friends, but just want to spend time together as a family, it's a tough sell.
Learning to SCUBA dive is a game-changing family opportunity that will pay dividends for years to come. It gives your child(ren) a way to break out of their traditional roles, important at any age but especially as they progress from elementary and middle school to high school. And it demonstrates the duality of exploration and safety - nice things to learn, and in a completely different setting, before they get behind the wheel of a car.
To learn more or sign up for youth SCUBA instruction contact us