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DD refusing to fly..we're going away on Sat!

(206 Posts)
user1483390742 Wed 08-Aug-18 15:58:16

My 12 year old hates flying and has said she will not get onto a plane on Sat for a 4 hour flight.
Previous flights have not always been good- she has been terrified a couple of times with turbulance ( it was quite scary) and has spent many flights vomiting with fear. She will not be reassured by me or DH, cabin crew or even the pilot.
It is genuine fear she feels- pale, clammy hands and uncontrollable crying.
She has now said there is no way she is getting on the flight in 3 days time. Our family are overseas and there is no-one for her to stay with for 2 weeks.
Up until this point we have always got her onto the flight, but this time it is a whole new level of refusal and fear. Almost phobic, i would say.
I honestly don't know what to do. Her siblings will go nuts if we cancel, and i will go nuts if i have to miss out!
WWYD? Any advice greatly appreciated!

GreenTulips Wed 08-Aug-18 16:00:02

So they have a fly safe course locally?
Can you give her a bangle or something to fiddle with

Tried bribery?

Biologifemini Wed 08-Aug-18 16:00:34

Get her some piriton from the pharmacy as this has a slight sedative effect - ask the pharmacist about the dose.
And a couple of placebos - those bach rescue remedies may give her a little boost without having any real effect.
Ask the cabin crew to speak to her when you get on the plane too.

itsBritneyBeach Wed 08-Aug-18 16:02:15

Placebo effect every time! I know she is genuinely scared but these things helped my friend who almost fainted when she got on.

"Calm tablets" or some fancy name - these could be Kalms, sweets, whatever but as far as she knows you got them from the chemist and they help with flying.

Or if it's viable, visit the GP and see if there's anything they can prescribe.

Bribery is also good.

user1483390742 Wed 08-Aug-18 16:08:55

Bribery hasn't worked this time. It usually works for everything else. She is petrified and is saying there is nothing that will get her on the plane.
I expect we will just 'force' her onto the plane- we have no alternative- and deal with the fallout!

Maliali Wed 08-Aug-18 16:10:18

As you’ve got so little time to sort this out I’d be tempted to ask a pharmacist to see if they can recommend something to calm her enough to manage boarding and dealing with the flight. I know that some travel sickness medications also cause drowsiness which might be helpful in helping her relax a bit. If they can’t help I’d phone GP and ask for advice. When you get back from your break (crossing my fingers you all manage to go),I’d ask for further help from your GP. Luckily fear of flying doesn’t impact daily life but any phobia that prevents her doing something would benefit from help. Good luck.

hendricksy Wed 08-Aug-18 16:11:19

Can't the doctors give her a child equivalent of Valium ? I've heard of something called fenegan ( sp ) which people have had subscribed for children.

crayoladreamz Wed 08-Aug-18 16:13:08

Is she too young for a small dose of Valium?

cheesefield Wed 08-Aug-18 16:13:26

Diazepam! Ring the doctors first thing tomorrow morning, they'll give you half a dozen. One the night before flight, one when she wakes up, and one just before the flight. She'll be awake and sensible, but much calmer.

I didn't fly for 11 years due to anxiety over many things, diazepam helped me travel again.

cheesefield Wed 08-Aug-18 16:14:15

Note: I was so confused that I wasn't having a panic attack that I actively tried to panic, and just couldn't. I couldn't find my panic. It was great.

whatonearthcoulditbe Wed 08-Aug-18 16:18:52


user1483390742 Wed 08-Aug-18 16:20:14

Gosh! Am i really going to have to drug her? All sounds a bit BA Barrachus from 'The A Team'!!

LIZS Wed 08-Aug-18 16:21:28

Can you find a mindfulness app or soothing music to play on an ipod?

loveka Wed 08-Aug-18 16:21:55

Valium definately.

Or phone the airline to see if they know of a local course she could go on. Quicker than hours googling.

loveka Wed 08-Aug-18 16:22:42

You would tell her you were drugging her obviously!

stayathomegardener Wed 08-Aug-18 16:23:11

If she is genuinely hysterical I don't think the airline will accept her as fit to travel.
She would be deemed a danger to other passengers.

FreckledLeopard Wed 08-Aug-18 16:23:23

I'd do a two-pronged approach. First, book in some hypnotherapy sessions NOW for tomorrow, Thursday and Friday before you get on the plane.

Secondly, get some valium or similar so you can give it to her if the hypnotherapy doesn't work.

My friend's son (aged 6) developed a flying phobia and was absolutely petrified of flying - totally hysterical. They've taken him to a hypnotherapist and he's totally cured - it's brilliant.

Pebblesandfriends Wed 08-Aug-18 16:23:57

Speak to GP this time for something to calm her and the then see if you can get her a phobia referral as soon as you get back for future. The referral may take a while and she may need months of treatment so start soon if you want her able to fly for next year. If her phobia can't be cured can't you holiday somewhere you can get to by train/ boat instead in future?

LEMtheoriginal Wed 08-Aug-18 16:24:35

I find it hard to understand why you booked to fly if she is so terrified. Shes under a great deal of pressure.

MeanTangerine Wed 08-Aug-18 16:24:56

If she's spent many flights vomiting with fear then take her to CAMHS (waiting lists mean it could be months before you get seen, but this needs to be, and can be, sorted out). That's clearly impacting on her life in an unpleasant way. It's not 'almost' phobic.

What thoughts are going through her mind when she is on the plane?

CiderwithBuda Wed 08-Aug-18 16:25:17

Well you are going to have to do something and ‘drugging’ her sounds much better than forcing her on the plane to be honest.

Bach rescue remedy is good. But maybe she needs something stronger. I would definitely take her to the doctor.

StormTreader Wed 08-Aug-18 16:25:36

Drugs are surely far preferable to "forcing her aboard while shes shaking and white and probably screaming and kicking in actual terror".

scrappydappydoo Wed 08-Aug-18 16:26:20

What exactly is her fear? Could talking through her actual fear help?

Blackbirdblue30 Wed 08-Aug-18 16:28:11

ANother vote for Valium. Kinder on everyone. That's the kind of thing it's there for. I presume you're not flying off every weekend so no bothering about dependency problems!

LtGreggs Wed 08-Aug-18 16:28:38

Phenergan travel sickness liquid for kids - can make them very drowsy & treats anxiety (also may help with vomiting) . I'd try that - give it a good few hrs in advance.

Ask her to focus on the "reward" of the purpose of the flight being for holiday.

Ask her to imagine/pretend that she is someone (someone else) that is ok with flying - ie fake it till make it - can work quite well. Especially if she wishes she was ok with flying.

A security thing to hold? Teddy, necklace, hat, blanket, hoodie??

Headspace app - crash course?

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