Tips for Parents Flying with Kids – please follow

Tips for Parents Flying with Kids

Your worst flying nightmare

This Christmas I was given a wonderful opportunity. My husband took my daughter to visit family and I joined them after a few days. As a result after almost two years I got to be one of them, a child-free traveller. I am grateful for this opportunity because while I remained very sensitive to the plight of parents flying with kids, I easily slipped into this other person who warily counted the number of kids seated within earshot and then cranked up the volume of her headphones.

So as a recent, sensitive to the plight of parents, temporary non-parent traveller, I’ve developed these basic guidelines for parents flying with young kids. If every parent follows this guide, airplanes will be a much happier place.

1. Reach the gates at the last possible minute

Nothing is more annoying than watching parents with young kids breezing through the lines with priority boarding, then waiting for them again past the gates as they park their prams, and then waiting yet again as they put away a crazy amount of hand luggage. Be considerate and arrive after the other passengers have boarded. Not only will your fellow passengers feel less resentful, they will also get quality entertainment from the comfort of their seats as you rush to board the plane with a squealing, wiggling child and tonnes of luggage.

2. Stop the crying

Okay this is simple, we see it in the movies all the time. I don’t get why most parents don’t already do it. You know how when the bad guys kidnap people they stuff their mouth with cloth and then tie a bandana on top of the mouth. That is really all it takes to get a child to shut up. The little babies will be terribly confused at first, but this is the best way to tire them out. In a short time they will have drained all their tears and energy and will fall asleep in your arms. It’s a bit trickier with the slightly older ones as they may be able to untie the bandana and unstuff their mouths. For them you may have to take the additional precaution of binding their hands. If they are smart they will soon see the error of their ways and be happy to trade complete silence in exchange for some amount of freedom.

Note 1: Your fellow passengers may think you’re being cruel and report you to child services. You need to spot those reporting types and assure them that this is for their benefit only and that you would never resort to such practices outside an airplane.

3. Control those tiny legs (and hands)

ALL children love kicking and punching the seats in front of them. Belts come very handy in binding a child’s legs/arms or arms preventing them from doing any significant damage to the backs of passengers seated in front of them.

Note 2: If your child does not kick or punch seats please visit a psychiatrist, you have an imaginary child.

4. Numb them young minds

There has been some talk of iPads and other electronic devices disrupting the regular development of a child’s brain and causing greater instances of ADD. But seriously you can’t be thinking about your child’s mental development when the comfort of your fellow passengers is at stake! Just download a few hundred episodes of Peppe Pig or whatever other cartoon/games your kid digs and let it take over your child. The entire plane will be grateful.

Polite Reminders: Make sure you’ve muted the device. You will lose all good will if your child’s tablet beeps and pings through an eight-hour flight. Don’t forget to carry a battery charger for your device for the long haul flights.

5. Don’t use premium toilet time

Children take forever in a toilet, even if it’s a dirty, smelly, plane toilet. This one is important, read carefully. You will notice the toilet lines get longer just after a movie run is over, people have been woken up for a meal, or after recently served meals have been cleared up. These are premium toilet times. This is NOT the time to take your kids to the toilets. It doesn’t matter if this is when your child has to go. Do not, I repeat do not inconvenience your fellow passengers by using premium toilet time for your children. Use this opportunity to teach your child patience and self control and wait for low-traffic periods to take your precious little one to the toilet.

6. Consider Drugs

You know your kids are going to do drugs when they grow up. It’s inevitable. Even if they escape the lure of whatever crazy drug that will be in the streets a few years from, they will not be able to escape the drugs pushed by pharmaceuticals. They will probably be taking something for ADD, or bipolar disorder or something worse. I hear Separation Anxiety Disorder is trending.

Anyway, it’s the way of the world. I say embrace it while this can actually benefit you. A little bit of Valium slipped into their milk might kill them but will otherwise do no harm. And think about all the compliments you’ll get once on board. “Gosh! Your child is so well behaved!” You will be the envy of every other parent out there. Isn’t that what every parent wants.

7. Buy the seats around you

Let’s face it. No sane person wants to sit near kids. Sit next to them, and they get sick all over you. Sit in front of them they kick you to death. Sit behind them, they peep through the cracks between the seats and smile at you – just when you are reaching the climax of this awesome movie, that you’ve watched only twice before and but can now watch on the amazing high res TV screens found only on airplanes. Even if you are seated a few rows away, you are bound to get an earful of wailing sometime during the flight. The courteous thing is to simply purchase the seats around you and just to show you really care buy your fellow passengers sound cancellation headphones.

8. Finally, consider ditching the kids

Don’t balk, I’m serious. I am sure you haven’t explored the full potential of this solution. Leave the kids with grandparents, an overnight crèche or even complete strangers. Bring out their adventurous side. Book the kids into a local hotel and then forget them there. Someone will take care of them eventually, even if it’s the local police. Not only will your fellow passengers be eternally grateful but think about the few days of paradise you’ll get on an all adult holiday.

It’s not too hard if you really try. But if the above are too radical for you, parents on a Facebook forum recently identified the following three as top life savers during flights:

  • Stickers
  • Putty
  • iPad (there’s no escaping this one)

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