What to do when the kids won’t fly

Our L would rather just pick poppies all day.

Our L would rather just pick poppies all day.

We pride ourselves in this house on being a family that can go anywhere at any time. We’ve traveled as a unit to multiple continents and multiple countries. We’re old pros at just about every type of transportation. Heck, our kids have more stamps in their passports than about 90 percent of the population of the United States.

Imagine, then, our surprise this week, when L declared that she did not want to fly on airplanes anymore.

(Her exact words were: “I’m done with planes.”)

The Big Girl’s last flight was more than four months ago—our return trip to London. Neither Powerwoman nor I is entirely sure what prompted the kid to put her foot down like in this fashion. Some of the theories we’ve discussed:

  • She reflected on the duration of the flight home from London and decided it was too long.
  • She really hated running out of lollipop on the descent and does NOT want her ears to hurt like that again.
  • She just wants to stay closer to home for a while.

Whatever the reason, her declaration definitely has complicated matters. On one hand, we want to take her wishes seriously and at least make it seem like we’re listening to her. On the other hand, travel is what we do in this family, and a handful of our upcoming trips inevitably are going to involve airplanes of some kind.

(For instance, we’ve got upcoming vacations to Hawaii and Walt Disney World, in Florida. You can’t really get to either of those places from California without flying.)

Ultimately, I think we’ll compromise—slow down a bit on the air travel (we’ve already booked more road trips for the summer, including one that involves an RV) but also make sure L understands that some of our family vacations necessitate a plane.

Privately, Powerwoman and I also will hope L’s current stance on airplane travel is nothing that a few Dum-Dums can’t cure.

How do you respond when your kids say they don’t want to travel a certain way?

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