Family travel can be a terrific bonding experience but getting there can be a stressful process when traveling with young children.
How can parents avoid or manage the potential for high altitude decompensation in their children?
Let’s face it; family travel can cause anxiety in both the parents and the children. The packing, the check-in, and the lines at the airport can all cause emotional discomfort.
Amy Tara Koch wrote an article for The New York Times, (11/4/18, Travel Section), titled “Strategies to Soothe a Turbulent Child.” She offers the following advice for parents:
Pre – Trip Prep – Chat with your children in advance about the possible overwhelming experience they may have at the airport.
Set Ground Rules – Make sure your children are comfortable and well fed. Establish some travel ground rules.
Keep Kids Busy – Have age-appropriate activities and easy to transport snacks on hand. Overstimulation can be caused by the use of electronic devices.
Establish a Rewards System – Distribute surprises for good behavior.
Use a Flight Attendant as a Buffer – They are trained to de-escalate the conflict.
Bribe your Fellow Passengers – Bring goody bags to those sitting near you. It’s a peace offering in the event of a storm.
I read this article with great interest, as I remembered traveling with my children when they were young. I recall those days of boarding a plane with my then two young children. It is a scary time both for the parents and the passengers.
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