on the fly
DO YOU DREAD flying with your children?
Air travel as a family is an experience that
actually can be enjoyed—if certain steps are
taken—advises Costco member and family
therapist Dr. Erik Fisher. Fisher, author of The
Art of Empowered Parenting: The Manual You
Wish Your Kids Came With (Ovation Books,
2007), provides the following tips to help make
a trip go smoothly.
■ Prepare your kids for the flight. Children
often need to be prepared for new events and
experiences, and when they know what to expect they often adapt to it more quickly.
■ Realize that you’re taking your kids out of
their normal routine. Keep in mind how they
respond in other situations involving change,
and don’t expect them to behave differently.
■ Note that when you are under stress, your
children are under stress. If you know that you
may feel stress before you take a flight, prepare
yourself adequately to keep your kids and
■ Don’t expect a friendly passenger to baby-sit your kids the entire flight. Ask the people
sitting near you if they mind a child interacting with them for a few minutes. But it’s
best to put a cap on children’s play time with
■ Make sure you have activities to keep your
kids occupied. Get creative. The plane is a great
place to teach them about colors, letters and
numbers and also to play “I Spy.” Use in-flight
time to interact with your kids. You have a
■ Create an area where children can move.
Some kids cannot sit in their seat for an entire
flight. Give your kids a little space to be kids,
but put limits around it. Keep in mind that
you are setting the standard not only for this
flight, but for all future flights.
■ Remember that your kids are only young
once. See the wisdom in creating positive memories. Find the joy in your children and bring
that energy into your experience, not just on
your flight but every day.
For more tips, visit www.erikfisher.com. C
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