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Barack Levin

Author: Barack Levin

Flying Solo

Posted by Barack Levin on February 21st, 2011

Last year, my wife and I were debating what to do with the kids for the summer break. After all, they were out of school for about 2.5 months and we needed to find ways to entertain them. Everyone we talked to pointed out to the trivial solution – summer camps. In our area there are plenty of such good quality camps but a phone call from my in-laws brought up another alternative. My mother in-law suggested that we send the kids to spend the summer break with them. Since my in-laws live in France, we thought that it would be a great idea. A win-win situation for everyone involved. My in-laws will have the kids for 10 weeks, my kids will brush on their French and spent time with their grandparents and we will have some free quality time for ourselves.

We scathed out the plans and since my little girl was not 5 years old yet, my wife had to drop them in France and fly back to pick them up. Air lines do not allow kids who are under 5 years old to fly alone.

This year, things have changed. This year, both my kids are over 5 years old and this year we plan on sending them alone on an international flight from the US to Paris. I have already started working on the details. The most important one is to prepare the kids for the flight. My kids have been flying since the age of 3 months and are very familiar with airplanes and how to behave on ones. For the last year or so, I have been working with my kids on how to approach and talk to adults. I always tell them that when they do approach an adult they always have to look him or her straight in the eyes and say what they need in a confident loud voice. I also tell them that adults love it when young kids know how to express themselves this way and will always respect them if they approach them on their level. We have been practicing this approach in restaurants, grocery stores, toy stores and other places. My kids have learned to stand their ground and ask for what they need from an adult.

I was talking to my son about this whole ordeal of flying solo and he told me that no one in his class believes him. He said that no one believes he will fly all by himself. I only smiled. It all has to do with bringing up your kids to a certain level of confidence and trust. Once they reach that level, it is smooth sailing all the way.

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