Travel with children can be a daunting task, no matter which method you are traveling by. Of course, you love your kids like crazy, just as we all do, but by nature they sometimes lack the patience required to make it through long trips without becoming more frustrated than they can handle. This leads to plenty of acting out, both verbal and physical. We’ve all had at least one airplane experience where one of the passengers was escorting a child whose mood had grown to complete hysteria by mid-flight.
The entire vibe of the plane is brought down when this happens. When the child in question happens to be your own, the pressure felt to somehow help them settle down is monumental. Your own frustration can then get the best of you, leading to an even more miserable experience. It is a slippery slope, and quite an uphill battle, but is not one you have to lose. Let’s go over some general tips to help you have a more peaceful time with your children during long trips.
Make Them Feel Safe
First, as with any difficult parenting task, is to employ the most endless degree of patience and understanding you can possibly muster. Flying can be frustrating for anyone, no matter your age. The seat belts are uncomfortable and even the tiniest bit of turbulence can be unsettling. There is always hustle and bustle as other passengers need this or that or get up to fumble through bags or go to the tiny restrooms. If you let it, the whole experience can get under your skin. Imagine being a child who would rather be doing literally anything else in the whole world. Any degree of discomfort they have with the whole matter is all too understandable.
Make Them Feel Entertained
Next, be at the ready to provide them with ample entertainment. It can be frowned upon by some to give your children any form of media, as if by doing so you are only shoving something in their face to “Shut them up” or somehow creating a zombie, but you have more than enough options to set the proper parameters for what your child takes in.
If you allow them to play video games, then there are plenty of kid friendly and even educational hand held devices which allow them to enjoy them on the plane. Of course, you can sit them down with the likes of books or activity pages just as easily. The convenience of tablet devices and such means you may be able to let them sit down to watch a favorite television show or movie as well. Do not underestimate the power of technology in these instances.
If you look down on electronic media, you can consider allowing your kids to take them in only during occasions of travel as a treat.
Make Them Feel Comfortable
Finally, be equipped for comfort. The kids should be dressed in casual attire, and you need everything from an extra pillow or two to kleenex and small travel-friendly snacks in your arsenal.
With enough patience, planned activities, and emergency comfort materials, you will immediately be more prepared to fare the airways with your children.
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Laura Greening is a mom of three children. She loves to write about family and parenting. She is currently working as a consultant Wallao, a flower girl dress store, based in Los Angeles, CA.