Today – How to help kids with a fear of flying with Becky Goddard-Hill
Create Your Own Calm is a new activity book for 6-12 year olds from children’s therapist and wellbeing author Becky Goddard-Hill. It is a fun and creative self-help book for kids when it comes to managing their emotions, especially those sometimes overwhelming emotions of fear, anger and anxiety.
Depending on the age/preference the book can be used by kids on their own or parents and kids can work through it together,
This is a great book for kids who have fears. It encourages a can do, problem solving mind-set that addresses anxieties and worries in a pro-active , calming way.
The fears we don’t face became our limits
When it comes to fear Becky encourages kids to develop a plan of action towards facing their fear based on exposure therapy. This means taking a step by step approach to beating that fear by gradually increasing exposure to it.
Here is what she suggests:
How to help kids with a fear of flying
Working with your child to develop a plan might make them anxious at first so do encourage baby steps. Draw a ladder or staircase and put the goal (FLY) at the top. Then put a little task on each rung with a box to check when that task has been completed,
This can be deeply satisfying.
Start with very light exposure and build up to the flight. Cheer on and celebrate each and every step completed (you could even make them a certificate for each step)
A step by step approach to help kids with a fear of flying
Here’s an example of how your ladder could look:
Step 1 Look at a book about planes together
Step 2 Watch some flight videos
Step 3 Run step by step through what will happen on a plane journey. Depending on their age you could act this out with toys.
Step 4 Talk to someone who love planes about flying and how it feels let their enthusiasm inspire your child
Step 5 Explain how planes fly
Step 6 Go and watch some planes take off at the airport
Step 7 Plan what your child could take with on a flight that would be really fun. Perhaps watch a favourite movie; take a cuddly toy, favourite snacks.
Step 8 Fly!
If your child is still very nervous then do let their airline know so they can do their very best to be supportive. Audio book and movies are really useful ways to distract kids on flights. So do go prepared and make the flight as lovely as possible for your child.
Fear is catching!
Fear is contagious though so if you are an anxious flyer either address your own fears first. Or have your partner/ friend coach your child through this and sit next to them on the flight!
Problem solving is a skill for life
It may seem like hard work to walk your child step by step through facing a fear. However, avoidance never gets any of us anywhere.
Learning to face fears one step at a time is a skill that will help your child throughout their life. Adopting a solution focussed approach to their anxieties is an excellent way for kids to develop robust and resilient emotional health and great coping skills.
You can find Becky blogging at Emotionally Healthy Kids
Create Your Own Calm was published in September by Harper Collins and is available on Amazon and in all good book shops The first book in the Create Your Own series ‘Create Your Own Happy’ came out in 2018 has now sold over 15,000 copies