If you’ve spent your fair share of time on an airplane, you’re probably pretty familiar with how things should go while up in the air. You know what it feels like to take off, land, and go through a bit of turbulence. But for your children who haven’t been on a plane before, the prospect of flying through the air might be a bit scary. So to help them have an enjoyable time during air travel, here are three tips for calming your child’s fear of flying.
Help Them Feel Prepared
The first step to facing a fear is understanding what it will be like to face that fear. With regards to flying, this means being as prepared as possible for the entire airport/airplane experience. Talk with your child about what the airport will be like, how to go through security, the boarding procedures, air travel, and landing. Allow them to ask any questions, and try to answer them in as positive a way as possible. FlyFright.com even suggests trying to simulate the experience at home prior to getting to the airport so your child can have a true sense of what will happen before the big day.
Create A Relaxing Atmosphere
Kids aren’t the only ones who may be nervous about flying. Plenty of adults also have some reservations about flying through the air in a big metal craft. However, if you allow your fears to be visible, they will only fuel your child’s fear. So, to minimize these fears, Teresa Plowright, a contributor to About Travel, recommends creating as relaxing of an atmosphere as possible. Give yourself plenty of time to get through the airport so you’re not stressed, which your child can pick up on. Also, feed them a healthy meal rather than a treat of sugar or refined carbs so they don’t feel jittery.
Give Them A “Flight Buddy”
One thing many children find comforting is a toy, blanket, or stuffed animal that they can carry with them. If their normal safety object is safe to bring on an airplane, you may want to allow them to carry it aboard with them to help keep them calm. If they don’t already have a comfort object, WeHaveKids.com recommends getting them a “flight buddy”. The ideal flight buddy is soft, quiet, and easily washable. Having something they can hold and cuddle with may be just what they need to ease their fears while soaring through the skies.
If your family has a trip planned that requires you to fly, don’t let your child’s fear of the unknown keep them from having a great experience. Consider using the tips mentioned above to show your child that flying doesn’t have to be a scary thing.