Fear of Flying Help For Children

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					Curbing Flying Anxiety In Children

Kids are unpredictable aren’t they? One child will race ahead to board
the plane, while another will buck like a rodeo bronco when faced with
air travel. So if you have a child more like the latter, what do you do?
Fortunately, I’ve culled the most often-cited fear of flying help for
children strategies from travel and mental health experts into one post,
so you’ll have everything you need at a glance.

Fear Of Flying Help For Children | Tip 1: Preparation

I like this piece of information from traveling-kids.blogspot.com:

    “Talking to your child about the flight ahead of time, and
telling them what will happen can help with anxiety. For some
kids it’s good if you go into some detail: tell them that you will
   board the plane, find your seat, sit down, and then put on
  your seat belts. Try to describe what happens at take off and
   landing too, so that these things don’t come as a complete
 surprise. Reading books, or watching movies about airplanes
                  can help with preparation too.”
The many sounds of an airplane ride can be overwhelming to children.
Part of your preparation should not only be discussing the various
airplane sounds, but also simulating them, especially if they have had
negative experiences with flight before. Here’s a quote
from www.travelismorefunwithkids.com concerning the matter, based
on the counsel of child psychologist Tamar Chansky:

 “Sometimes children have been on a flight with a lot of
  turbulence or get afraid by the normal sounds of the
airplane- help them get familiar by “simulating” a flight
 in your living room. Have the child make the sounds of
    the wings, the wheels, etc. Car washes are great
approximaters of some of the sounds and sensations of a

A kid-friendly site like this one is also a good option for children.

Tip 2: Discussing the Flight

It seems simple, but helping children overcome fear can be as simple as
talking to them about the plane ride. Moreover, it is a powerful strategy
to combat kids fear of flying. Teresa Plowright
in travelwithkids.about.com had this to say on the subject:

It’s never a good idea to dismiss a child’s frights with glib reassurances.
Talk to your child about any worries about a plane trip; often, it can be a
release simply to express their anxieties.
      DO: give your child a chance to speak about any anxieties they
       might have.
      DON’T: influence your child with your own concerns about

Just like in adults, having the chance to discuss thoughts, feelings and
emotions is often extremely therapeutic for children with flying
anxieties. Fear in children is often from the unknown, so make sure
yours has the opportunity to bring up anything that is causing them

Tip 3: Distractions

This is an oldie but a goody. Just like in other situations where you are
trying to calm a child, distracting and/or comforting is often just what
they need. Hug them, give them a treat, sing a song or play a game;
strategies that work off the plane will often work on it.

Tip 4: Stay Calm

Children take their cues from you in all aspects of life. If you experience
a fear of flying yourself, address it so that you can lead your child by
example by remaining calm. Our guides on Overcoming The Fear Of
Flying and Fear Of Flying Tips are great resources (if we do say so

Tip 5: Medication

This option is usually for more extreme cases, but some parents give
their children medication such as Gravol, which is prescribed for motion
sickness and nausea. It is advisable to discuss this option with a
physician. Fear of flying help for children can also be found in therapy.
This is also a common and effective option, and you can check with local
counseling centers to find a provider that works with anxiety in children.


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Description: Tips for how to help children cope with their fear of flying