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LifestyleMaryland Family

Parenting on a plane

A prominent Idaho businessman has lost his job after allegedly slapping a toddler on a plane when the child wouldn't stop crying. While many parents and fliers can agree that "Toddlers on a Plane" would be a terrifying premise for a film, most of us can figure out that hitting a stranger's child is not OK.

But what steps can parents take to lessen their children's impact on other passengers?

Some people swear by slipping kids a little Benadryl, but I've never gone this route. Not because it's too Carrie Fisher-Debbie Reynolds for my taste, but because I know my kids would be the two in a million on whom it has the opposite intended effect and would make them incredibly hyper instead of blissfully drowsy. My children are in elementary school now and past the really annoying stage, but in general I relied on snacks, books, a few toys and bottles for take-off and landing. Had smartphones been as ubiquitous then as they are now I wouldn't have hesitated to numb their minds with a Dora the Explorer app or even a Telletubbies video. As John Lennon almost said: Whatever gets you through the flight.

I love the story of the parents of 14-week old twins who last fall passed around bags of candy to fellow passengers on a flight from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., with this note: "Hello! We're twin baby boys on our first flight and we're only 14 weeks old! We'll try to be on our best behavior, but we'd like to apologize in advance just in case we lose our cool, get scared or our ears hurt."

That is really going above and beyond what society expects. Of course, so is reaching over and slapping a toddler.

What do you do to keep your kids happy during a flight?

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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