Being scared of flying only seems natural, mainly because flying is wholly unnatural. In fact, there are only two fears we are all inherently born with; one’s loud noises and the other is heights. It may be the cramped space, it may be the sudden loud noises or the turbulence or, let’s be honest, the nasty food. But whatever the reason, if your child clings onto you with the tightest grip known to mankind every time you try and tighten their belt, it may be time to start addressing the issue and seeing what you can do to help with their anxieties. As such, we have come up with a list of things that may help you the next time you’re preparing for a vacation, or even a staycation.
It’s all in the prep.
The best thing anyone can do to ease any situation of discomfort is to talk about, so why not try this with your child. In the weeks and days leading up tour holiday, why not talk to him about what to expect. This will prevent it from being such a shock. Walk them through the whole process and do it in a positive tone, with wonderful gestures to help. Explain how you’ll get a taxi or train to the airport and then have to navigate the maze of gates and how you’ll board the plane, find your seat, sit down, take off, and all of it. Tell them how long the flight will last. Ask them what they would like to eat. Put some of the power back into their hands so it doesn’t feel so one way.
Parents are there to comfort.
It may be the prep didn’t take away any or all of their anxieties. As such, have whatever it is you believe will comfort them most at hand. If your child is young, it may be a pacifier and their favourite teddy. If they are older, it could be a blanket and an episode of their favourite show on an iPad. Whatever it is, have it at hand, and keep talking to them. Take their mind of the whole thing. Maybe talk about the holiday, or a funny story from the past. Just comfort and, yes, sweets and chocolate and other such bribes can slip into the comforting column.
It may be worth considering alternate modes of transport, especially if you are not leaving the country to vacation. It may be worth looking at trains or buses, although these can be tricky to navigate with children and baggage, so make sure you have done all you can ahead of time. The other great alternative is to make the whole thing fun and an experience they will never forget by hiring a minibus or something, especially with a expert company that allows you to pick up from one destination and drop off at another, like Shofur (check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ShofurBuses).. This will mean you can tick family road trip off your bucket list too.