Flying with kids -- just hearing those words gives parents anxiety, and any passenger on the plane with you would cringe. An airplane is an enclosed space. You are essentially trapped high in the sky in a tube counting down the minutes until you land while hoping the turbulence or air pressure doesn't make your kid vomit on the person next to you or scream the whole time. It happens though. And it's one of our biggest fears as parents. It's why so many people choose short (or cross-country) minivan trips with the family.
But it doesn't have to be so dreadful. Perhaps if we identify the problems, we can solve them. Maybe. Here are the 7 biggest complaints airline passengers have about your kids and how to make it all better. Or at least more tolerable.
- Crying. Kids cry sometimes. Put a child on a plane and the chances of a kid crying go up exponentially. Crying annoys others. It gets them tense and upset. So how do we stop our kids from crying? Well that's a tough one. You can try candy. Candy sometimes works, but then you may have to deal with ...
- Tantrums. Once that sugar high kicks in, then comes down, tantrums might begin. No one wants a whiny, tantrumy kid while trapped in a flying metal thing in the sky. Not even the parents of the child. What to do? Use your bargaining chips. Make deals to get your child to stop being that way and you might get lucky.
- Kicking the seat. Ack! Please dear child, don't kick the seat in front of you! It happens though. If it does, you know what to do, right parents?
- Poop diapers. Mostly for the parents of the younger ones of course. It's stinky with all that recycled air. You are kind of SOL in this situation. Sorry passengers.
- Boogers on seats. Kids are gross sometimes. Kids love boogers. They like to pick them and eat them or put them on others. If this happens, work on that apology.
- Putting the window shade up and down and up and down. We discussed how kids can be annoying sometimes. So can adults. We kind of wish adults would realize that and just deal. If they can't, a smile and apology work well here, too.
- Walking the aisles. If you let your child get up and walk the aisles, they may start running, getting you in trouble with the flight attendants, or they may just walk and bump into people along the way. This may be one of those times where you should have candy on hand for everyone to enjoy.
Apologies and smiles do work wonders -- not just from you, but from your child. Bringing their favorite toys, and many of them, is great, too. It's also best to not give off any tense or negative energy to your kids because they pick up on it and that's often when they act out the worst. Try to make the flight as exciting as possible and get the kids involved in how the plane is flying, what you see outside the window, and maybe even bring along a book or two that has all that information so they are happy to be there. Happy flying!
What do you do if you are ever in any of the above situations? What's the most annoying thing you've had a child do when you were flying?
Image via xersti/Flickr