This Just In: People Hate Flying With Kids
Welcome to another edition of Flying With Your Kids. Today we will be tackling the topics of: nine hours without screens; drugs -- good or bad?; letting strangers manage your child; and the classic -- who cares what people think?
As a mom who flies abroad with three kids I am so happy that each seat has it's own TV screen complete with movies and TV shows. Remember flying in the old days? When there was only one TV screen for the cabin and if you were shorter than the chair in front of you, you couldn't see the screen. I am so glad those planes have ended up in storage. So, imagine my surprise when we walked on the plane for our flight to Barcelona last summer: a nine-hour flight to Barcelona? One of the old planes, no personal entertainment, and worse, no plugs to charge dead entertainment units.
Except the kids survived -- both ways. They played cards, they napped, and they annoyed me. I didn't get to read one magazine on the entire trip. But I did play about 86 rounds of Uno.
We also learned an important lesson on that trip. Gravol makes one of my kids hyper. He wasn't feeling well so I gave him a kid's Gravol and he felt better but he had the energy of a club kid on Red Bull.
So drugging kids to make them compliant is out for me. I'm not the only parent who has realized that. In a Globe and Mail parent confessions article: a parent admitted to trying Gravol and then moving on to his own personally-prescribed lorazipan to quiet his child.
I would personally rather stick it out with a an annoying child then give them an untested medication but I do know that lots of parents choose to medicate their kids on flights.
This makes my friend Corinne from Have Baby Will Travel completely nuts. She has lot of tips on how to fly with toddlers. She is a huge advocate of routines, even on a plane and on managing expectations. Both she and I have been taking our kids on planes since they were babies with some stress but no total disasters.
On the topic of flying with crying children: Lenore Skezany at Free Range Kids has what I think is a lovely story of a stranger reaching out to a single mom and having a kid sit on their knee during a plane trip. This story combines the combustible topics of flying with kids and stranger danger. What would you have done in the same situation?
Which leads me to my last example of what the people who live on the Internet think about kids on airplanes. A writer with Jezebel did a round-up of how the Internet has taught her that people hate kids on planes. Many of the hundreds of comments show that many people think that babies and kids should not be flying anywhere at anytime.
And so you have it, the media tells me that people hate kids on airplanes. To which I say: Buck up. A flight is only the means to getting to a destination and all people, no matter what age, have a right to travel, visit family and fly around the world. It's not like kids are as badly behaved as Alec Baldwin.
I stand-by my earlier suggestion of a children's area on a plane complete with caregivers, video games and movies. Then even us parents could get a break.
Any nightmare stories of flying with kids you would like to share?
Want more chaos? Last year, I said what to do when you want to yell at someone else's kid.