How to Avoid a Temper Tantrum When Flying With Your Child

List: Posted: 12/05/11

Air travel is stressful for everyone involved, parent and child alike.  When a child ends up in an unfamiliar and restrictive environment, having a temper tantrum is a frustrating, but understandable response.  How can you prevent that mid-flight tantrum and make flying fun for you and your child?

 

Discussion

 

If your child is afraid of what they don't understand, teaching your child about flying and the airport may be the best way to prevent a tantrum.  Prepare your child beforehand, ask their childcare or day care to ease their feelings about flying, or encourage their teacher to discuss the joys of flying.  With a little help from other adults, it'll guarantee a fun and successful flight.

 

A few weeks before the trip, read them children's books about flying, and if you have time, take your child to the airport on a day when you're not flying.  Explain all the facts about the cool x-ray machines at the security checkpoints, and go to the big glass windows to watch the planes take off and land.  Point out anyone you see smiling as they exit or enter the airport.  Show your child that a tantrum isn't necessary at such a fun place.  If all else fails, show your child the luggage carousel!

 

Run and Explore

 

On the day of the flight, the other main key to avoiding a tantrum is to give your child time to explore and run around.  Don't expect them to sit in a quietly in a stroller between flights, and then spend hours on a plane sitting quietly, too!  Walking and roaming around are the best ways to avoid outbursts.  When your child's curiosity is satisfied and their energy burned off, they're more likely to take a nap on the flight than they are to have a tantrum. If you ask the stewardess nicely, she may even be able to introduce your child to the pilot after the flight!

 

When you take into account the mental and physical needs of a child bursting with curiosity and energy, finding activities to stave off a tantrum will become second nature.

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