Flying is a stressful experience for most of us. But flying with children takes things to another level. Here are six ways to avoid--or at least contain--your kid's midair meltdowns, courtesy of The New York Times:
- Pre-Trip Prep. Parents should prepare for meltdowns (plural) in the form of bribes. Sock away some stickers, new markers (the ones with scents go over well), a small toy your child has admired and special treats like the child’s favorite candy to nip a blossoming tantrum in the bud.
- Setting Ground Rules. There’s not much reasoning that can take place with babies. Just make sure they are comfortable and well fed. But for older children, you can establish in-flight limits and boundaries by using safety as a rationale. For example, “It’s the captain’s rule to keep your seatbelt on during the flight, that running in the aisle is dangerous and that kicking a seat hurts people."
- Keep Them Busy (But Watch That iPad). Parents should be armed with books, developmentally appropriate games (coloring books, Legos, dolls) and electronics. But you can’t just plop these items down on the tray and dive into Netflix. Why? Parents’ tuning out leads to kids’ acting out.
- Establish a Rewards System. Let your children know about the goody bag but not what is inside. This way, they can focus on a goal. Electronics can also be leveraged as a reward for good behavior. Screen time can be earned by spending "X" amount of time doing other activities.
- Use a Flight Attendant as a Buffer. Reach out to a flight attendant for support. They are trained to de-escalate conflict. They can move a family, offer complimentary food or drink to the frustrated passenger or try to reason with the child themselves.”
- Bribing Your Fellow Passengers. Some parents head conflict off at the pass by offering gift bags to their fellow passengers with a cute note apologizing for unruliness in advance. Consider including CLICK HERE for the full story