3 Parenting Strategies I Learned While On The Plane

I am currently cruising at an altitude of 35,000 feet, according to the announcement the captain just made. I have a pretty good view out the left side of the airplane. Scattered clouds, beautiful beach, vast ocean. I often connect dots that appear to have no connection while on a plane and this trip is no exception.

There are a few ideas bouncing around my head but for now I would like to share 3 Parenting Strategies I Learned (While Sitting) on The Plane.


1. Buckle Up

One of the first announcements you here from the flight attendant is to buckle up. The reason? “In the event we experience some turbulence” the seat belt will keep us safe, secure and stable.

Parenting “ain’t” easy. I know you didn’t need me to remind you of that but it's true nonetheless. Something else you are probably familiar with is this, "you will hit turbulence!" The question is, once you hit turbulence, will you be securely in your seat or flat on it?

As I said, buckling up keeps us safe, secure and stable and that’s exactly what great friends (who are also parents) do for us. I’m not sure we would have made it through some of the turbulent two’s as well as other ages and stages if it wasn’t for the love, care and concern of great friends that kept us "in our seat." These friends are not an option, they are a must have!


What friends do you have in your life that keep you buckled up?


2. Get The Big Picture

When looking out the window everything seems to be alright down there. It’s 35,000 feet away, It should look peaceful. I can see where we are going, I have a birds eye view, it's peaceful. I know my destination, it’s printed on my boarding pass. The reminder for me as a parent is to keep that big picture perspective when dealing with things like spilled milk, messy rooms or direct defiance.

The big picture helps me to keep a healthy perspective so I can help my kids arrive at their destination as independent adults who know who they are in Christ. When on the ground or in the terminal we get caught in the moment by moment minutia of the little things and often forget the big picture.


How will you remind yourself to focus on the big picture instead of the small behavior?


3. Secure Your Oxygen Mask First - Then Help Your Kids

It can feel a little awkward to taking care of yourself before you take care of your kids but the flight attendant reminder is a powerful one. Help yourself then help your kids. Let me put it more bluntly, If you aren’t breathing, your kids won’t either.

What are you doing to breathe? Is your schedule to constricting? Getting enough exercise? How are your eating habits? What about laughter and hanging out with good friends? Finding any down time just for you?

Did you know that according to a two year study in psychological Science at Pennsylvania State University researchers have found that “Adults with ADHD improve their parenting skills when they get treated?” (Scientific American, July/August 2015, page 11).

Parents who take care of their own “oxygen” first are in a much better place to “assist” their children.


Are you finding any time to “breath in” a healthy life pace?
How will you find moments of rest this week?
What do you need to do today in order to take care of yourself tomorrow?

There you have it. 3 Parenting Strategies I Learned (While Sitting) on The Plane. I hope you find them encouraging, useful and helpful. Don't forget to reach out with a comment or question. I love connecting with everyone.

Photo Credit:
shutterstock.com Image ID: 232688197 Copyright: Anton Petrus