Flying with kids can be tense. Even if you’ve flown with them many times before, and they’re usually pretty cool with the whole thing, you always know there’s the possibility that they’ll turn into tiny little terrors and wreak havoc on you, and all of the other passengers, leaving you flustered, embarrassed and desperately trying to contain the madness! Seriously, if Samuel L thought those snakes on a plane were bad, he’d obviously never travelled with young kids before!
Although you can never be 100 percent certain that nothing will go wrong, you can, and as a favor to everyone who travels with you, you should, do a few things to minimize the chances of a miniature meltdown. Here are a few ways to do just that:
Packing plenty of your kid’s’ favorite snacks in your carry-on is seriously sensible of you don’t want to be dealing with one or more hangry kids half-way through a long-haul flight. When they’re hungry, the feet stamping, screeching and crying is much worse, so this simple step could really be a lifesaver!
No, not Tylenol - although it's probably a good idea to pack some of that in case a headache-inducing tantrum does occur - it’s the tablets of the electronic variety I’m talking about. If you and your kids are into tech, then download the Safe Children's App that lets them read books, play fun games and generally have safe tabled-based fun with lots of variety, and hopefully, the won’t get bored and start wrestling in the aisles, throwing a terrible tantrum or asking you if you’re nearly there every five seconds.
Try an Activity Book
If your kids are still really young or simply aren’t interested in tech (how did you manage that?), then it’s always worth trying an activity book that offers colouring, stickers and puzzles to keep them busy. Get involved helping them and they’ll have a great time.
If the kids start to get fussy and you notice them fidgeting more than a worm farm, time to get up and walk around a bit. If you try to force them to stay sitting, they’ll only get more cranky and an explosion of frustration will soon follow. No one will mind you moving around the cabin and they'll certainly prefer it to your little ones going a bit mad.
Travel in the Evening
If you want to do your little ones a favour and avoid being the parents of tantruming kids, then try to book your flights in the evening, when they are naturally going to be sleepy. If you do that, chances are that they will fall into a natural slumber, despite the excitement, eventually and a sleeping child is a well-behaved one.
Don’t Get Too Upset
Obviously, kids will be kids and that means they might just have a tantrum no matter what you do to try and prevent it. When that happens, don’t get upset or, even worse mad. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about and as long as you do your best to diffuse the situation, that’s all you can do!
I hope this helps you to maintain in-flight equilibrium and avoid the disapproving gaze of those non-parents on-board!