Planning to fly with a child? We get why you’re nervous. You can’t call a child’s fear of flying irrational - even if it is! All you can do is be calm and help him overcome this fear! Find out how to help your kid overcome the fear while flying!
Kids are fun, but they aren’t the best travel buddies, especially in the air. To be fair, the fear of flying can overwhelm adults. Naturally, children feel worse. So, all you can do is follow some steps to help your child overcome fear of flying.
1. How to Overcome Fear of Flying
Managing your child’s fear of flying won’t be easy. You can’t expect them to understand that their flight anxiety is irrational, even if it is. So check out our suggestions to help you handle your child’s fear of flying:
2. Take a Flight Buddy Along
Almost every child has a “blankie” - an object that comforts them and makes them feel secure. It may be anything - a doll, a soft toy, a cushion, or a blanket. Ensure that your child’s comfort object is on the flight to help manage his fear of flying.
3. Carry Some Distractions
Make sure that you carry videos, games, books, etc. to keep your child busy. Monitoring how long your kid stares at the tab or how many comic books he reads may be good parenting, but not on a flight. Give them everything that can distract them from their fear of flying.
4. Thunderstorms Can’t Harm You
Lightning and thunder can scare a child, especially while passing through one when he’s already struck by a fear of flying. So, explain to him that he’s safe. That’s because the plane’s aluminum body is engineered to pass the electricity of a thunderbolt into the air, protecting everyone inside of it.
5. Share Information
We’re afraid of what we don’t know anything about. Hence, it’s a good idea to inform your child about the mechanics of planes. Think about it in this way - if they can be in love with bulldozers and trains, why can’t you replace the fear of flying in their mind with excitement?
6. Take the Help of Helpers
If you’re scared that your child might act up due to his fear of flying, it’s better to bring the flight attendants into the loop. Don’t be embarrassed! They are there to make travelers feel comfortable, including your child. Just let them know about your kid’s flight anxiety beforehand.
7. Ask Questions to Under the Fear of Flying
Often, children are unable to articulate their fears. So, it’s your job to ask him empathetic questions. Find out why he’s scared of flying to figure out the problem and solutions together. These conversations will calm and distract a child from his fear of flying.
8. Find a Solution for Emotions
The fear of flying isn’t always rational. It can be about being stuck in a metal box for hours. Or, your kid may be nervous about his first flight. It may be some wild imagination. Instead of analyzing what causes fear of flying, find a helpful solution, like praying or taking deep breaths to calm the nerves.
9. Turbulence isn’t Dangerous
Turbulence can be nerve-racking, even for adults. It’s natural for children to get scared. So, prepare them for the experience by telling about it from beforehand. Explain that it’s natural and not dangerous. You can even make the bumpy ride seem fun, so your kid forgets about his fear of flying.
10. Pack Light, Pack Well
When you’re traveling with a child, you need to carry essential items like baby wipes, medicines, sanitizers, etc. But don’t stuff your bag so much that you can’t even find anything. Make things easy for yourself, so that you can concentrate on your kid’s fear of flying.
11. Pay Attention to Yourself
As a parent, you cannot get frustrated or nervous when your child throws tantrums. You also can’t afford to worry about others; it will make matters worse. Don’t forget to take care of your health, too. You need to be stable to handle your child’s fear of flying.
Not all the ways of managing your child’s fear of flying are foolproof. It may work, or it can leave you with a panicky child. Be prepared for the worst, while trying your best to help the little one.
Betti Wilson is a freelance author, but, what’s more important, what she is really devoted to, is her children. In her articles, she shares her own experience and writes about parenthood, lifestyle, family challenges and how to deal with them without losing a positive attitude.