When your child has a fear of flying, it can feel like every vacation is an uphill battle. While they may love the experience of the actual vacation itself, getting there and back doesn’t receive the same positive reviews. A fear of flying can seriously hamper your ability to travel with your kids, and make the entire vacation experience incredibly stressful for them.
In an effort to try and save your family vacations, here are a few strategies you might want to try to help ease your child’s fear of flying…
1) Relieve any discomfort they may be feeling
It is always worth considering the possible causes your child is afraid of flying, and one of the most likely reasons is the discomfort they may be experiencing during takeoffs and landings. Children’s ears are particularly sensitive to pressure, so what feels like a standard “ear pop” to you may actually be causing them pain. There are plenty of solutions you can try to help alleviate the issue, which in turn may help calm their fear of flying.
2) Explain the mechanics of flying
Obviously, you don’t need to go into the full details about lift and wind vortexes; the basics will suffice. There’s a great video below that you can show to your kids, or watch yourself and take notes that you can then repeat to them:
Often, when flying has been demystified, your kids will feel far happier when it comes to taking to the air.
3) Explain the safety precautions
For older children, one of the best options is to explain the extreme precautions that airlines take to maintain safety. Talk about how every item in the airplane is the best it can be, from the fuselage right down to the each ground ball screw that helps control the ailerons (the wing flaps). You can even add some of the statistics about how safe a mode of transport flying is; and don’t forget to mention that crashes are so rare that a large number of airlines have never experienced a major incident.
These facts and figures may help to calm their nerves, and reassure your child that they’re in good hands.
4) Distract, distract, distract
The above methods are best practiced long before the flight; however, if you’ve not got long until your next departure, your best option for getting through the flight is with distraction method. Save episodes of your child’s favorite TV show onto a tablet, or play a game that you know they love; opt for exciting, interesting things rather than their latest homework if you want the best chance of the distraction proving effective.
Remember to take a few options, so they can select which one suits them best when you’re on the plane.
To an extent, it’s tough to blame kids for being afraid of flying; it’s not exactly a natural situation for any of us! However, flying also opens up the world to us, and you’re not going to want your kids to miss out due to their fear. Hopefully, one of the ideas above will do the trick, and let your kids take to the skies with a smile.