A Guide To Making Your Kids Feel Emotionally Attached To An Airplane Trip


A large passenger jet flying through a blue sky

To teach kids with autism, stress, and/or learning difficulties, use social stories with good visuals to engage with them. One of my kiddies with autism is about to take his first airplane trip ever for spring break. Unfortunately, the kid does quite well on a routine and set schedule.

My intervention is not to keep him from taking his airplane trip but to help him prepare for it by getting him ready mentally and socially. I want him to be in complete control of his thought processes so that he can focus on the tasks at hand – namely, getting to his destination and having a good time. This means I will need to get him involved in some way. For example, I recently found out that one way to do this is through social stories. Here’s how it works.

I already mentioned the pros and cons of socializing with others, and I want to add that there are also pros and cons of being alone. When you’re by yourself, you have no one to share your experience with. Although that may make you feel lonely sometimes, I’ve found that participating in group activities helps me deal with that loneliness.

Airplane Trip

A skyscraper in the background

So what exactly are socialization and storytelling? Socialization is basically the process of forming relationships with others. Socializing includes being able to make friends and play with other children. In essence, it’s about creating lasting relationships. As adults, we don’t have many relationships, so it’s important to form one in order to survive. Through stories, we can learn what it takes to form meaningful relationships in the real world and learn from those who have gone before us in order to become better people in the future.

Pros And Cons

A large passenger jet flying through a blue sky

The third part of the pros and cons of a vacation is the actual story you are going to tell. If it’s a story about something that happened in your life, it can be more powerful. For instance, if your kids are going to fly on an airplane, it’s a good idea to tell a story about how you got the airline seat in the first place. Or maybe tell them how you had to turn down a family member so you could get the seat. The key is to use your imagination and come up with a story that will hold their attention and make them laugh.

On the other hand, if you are flying with your kids, a story about your family can help pass the time. Just make sure that you don’t put too much information into it. It should just be a few memories and things about traveling that your kids would like to remember. One popular airplane trip activity is having your kids write about their experiences on a poster-sized sheet of paper.

Another way to bond with your kids is to tell a funny story during the flight. If you can’t risk sitting through a long commercial ad, you can always pull out a book of funny anecdotes from the flight attendant. You can even include a piece of paper with the story, or your kids can simply take a large photo of the plane, give it to you, and you’ll have your own little set of airplane memories for the rest of the plane ride.

Bottom Line

While you don’t need to have a real story to make your kids feel extra special on an airplane trip, they do need to feel included. Tell them how excited they are to be on the plane and share some details of the destination you’ll be visiting. They’ll feel excited to see the sights and may even make some new friends along the way.

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