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SGMT children conquer fear flying 01

Yay! 🙂 🙂

I wish I could say it’s because we did everything “right” this time, compared to last time, but we didn’t. Last time, we showed him cartoons that featured flying. We prepped him on what the plane and the airport would be like. We went on a flight that coincided with sleeping time so he would be more likely to sleep through it. We brought milk and books and toys and an iPad full of his favorite song videos. Nothing worked. In the end, it took about two hours to calm him down, most of it with him in my arms as I stood at the back of the plane, rocking him gently and humming “Take Me Home, Country Roads” over and over again. (I don’t remember why I thought of that song but it turns out it lends itself excellently to repetitive humming.)

This time, all we did was bring a single book and a few packets of peanuts.

The truth is, there are lots of things we can’t control, no matter how hard we try. Kids are especially tricky because they can’t yet process information the way adults can. Things that seem irrational to us can seem very real and overwhelming to the little ones. And there’s no use saying, “Oh, but this kid can do that” or “that kid can do this.” We’re made of different stuff. Due partly to genes and partly to early experiences, some kids are better at handling stuff, just as some kids are more sociable, some kids are smarter, some kids are cuter, and some kids, you can tell as early as now, are potential axe murderers.

We’re all works in progress and kids even more so. Sometimes — many times — the best thing to do is to just let go and let each child develop at his or her own pace. It’s not a race. And just as victories are sweeter after you’ve tasted a few defeats, something so ordinary, a sight as simple-seeming, as a kid sitting calmly on an airplane seat can give much greater joy after you’ve tried humming “Take Me Home, Country Roads” for two hours straight.

Proud of you, kiddo! 🙂

SGMT children conquer fear flying 02

Look who conquered his fear of flying!
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7 Responses

  1. Okay this made me laugh…maybe inappropriately? But I didn’t expect you to go here: “you can tell as early as now, are potential axe murderers.” But it’s true!! It is true.

    What a sweet little boy you’ve got there and congrats on the successful flying.

    1. Thank you! 🙂 And the axe murderers 😀 Some kids really are, well, not LITERALLY potential axe murderers, but they just behave so horribly and their behavior is just tolerated by their parents, you can tell they are going to turn out bad if they stay on their current course…

  2. That’s so exciting, congratulations!! I love this, too – ” Sometimes — many times — the best thing to do is to just let go and let each child develop at his or her own pace.” I think that’s true of us as adults as well, not trying to push ourselves to do things when we’re not ready, just let life happen sometimes 🙂

    1. Thank you! And what you said is so true. Just let life happen and just, I don’t know, be kind to ourselves, and not pressure ourselves to be what others think we should be.

  3. Aww that’s great! I remember my older son always loved flying and never cried except one time when we were flying from LA to Tokyo.I found out he was sick and had fever. I was alone with him so it was not a pleasant 11 hour flight! But he’s always been a calm baby even when he was sick so that particular flight wasn’t so bad. My younger one, however, wass more rambunctious. And we always had to entertain him with gadgets or it’ll be hell not only for us but also for the other passengers lol!

    After this flight he’ll get the hang of it. And if he won’t be flying again anytime soon just keep talking about how fun airplanes are and take lots of pictures of him inside the plane. So the next time he flies he will look forward to it. The older they get the better. It’s always fascinating to me when kids travel! That’s probably why I never liked traveling alone since I had children because I just love seeing their reactions. Happy travels with your cute little one!

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