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teen fear of flying

CAlifornia
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teen fear of flying

We have our annual vcation to hawaii coming up this week and our 15 year old is saying she won't get on the plane. she has developed a fear of flying over water ever since the plan from Rio to Paris fell out of the sky. The thought of forcing her on the plane does not make for a good vacation. We took her to a therapist this week and she said she felt better and then today said...no way I am NOT getting on the plane! We have suggested medication but she still refuses. I am heartsick as I see our wonderful vacation either cancelled, without her, or with an angry anxious kid....ugh. Any thoughts?

London, United...
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1. Re: teen fear of flying

Can you go without her? I would have thought that at 15 she's old enough to fend for herself.

Rockaway, New Jersey
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2. Re: teen fear of flying

Maybe once she realizes that you will go to a tropical paradise and leave her home alone she'll change her tune.

I never understood people being afraid to fly, it makes no sense to me, so I can't help you that way...

Hants, UK
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3. Re: teen fear of flying

What about all the cars that crash? Does she still get in a car?

Is there a relative or someone she can stay with?

Bad enough you losing the money for her holiday without losing it all. Maybe someone else can take her place, may give her second thoughts...................

London, United...
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4. Re: teen fear of flying

I would not want to try to be a teenage girl in the Noughties - bad enough when I was one several hundred years ago.

Is it realy flying that is bothering your daughter, or is it something else that's being deflected towards or manifested in this new-found fear? My first consideration would be that something is going on at school - aggro with friends, classes or even with (uh-oh) a boy might be causing all manner of conflicting thoughts, and rather than sort them out (if your daughter can even identify them let alone start to sort them out) your daughter has decided that this is the way to go: say no to flying so she can concentrate on that rather than what's troubling her.

Am not saying this to indicate that she's doing this on purpose or is Just Being Difficult, but 15 is a tough age (don't tell her that the same goes for the 20s, 30s and beyond), and sometimes deflecting is the only coping mechanism available.

Remember that ultimately you are the adult here: your trip is coming soon and if you want to travel as a family to include your daughter then tell her that you love her, you like her and you want her to come along. You will do what you can with the airline crew to alleviate her fears, but she's going to travel to Hawaii and back again, so it's time to pack.

Here's hoping for safe journeys for all in the SanDiego3 family.

Rockaway, New Jersey
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5. Re: teen fear of flying

Good point, TP. In addition, I would think she would be more upset over her family getting on a plane if she is really afraid of flying. I always worry when a loved one flies, but never for myself.

San Diego
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6. Re: teen fear of flying

I doubt that this is a matter best solved with a discipline approach. I'd get an opinion from the therapist because one session does NOT remove a fear or new phobia!!!

In the USA a 15year old is still considered a minor child and although CAN be left alone it is not always done by many families.

Nevada
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7. Re: teen fear of flying

The amateur psychologists are coming out !!!!

Does anyone really think that telling her that "you love her, you like her and you want her to come along" is going to cure her phobia?

Rockaway, New Jersey
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8. Re: teen fear of flying

Nickie, I think that perhaps TP was implying that it was not a real phobia, rather than a desire to not want to go on the trip for other reasons and this was a good excuse.

London, United...
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9. Re: teen fear of flying

If a true phobia then plenty of therapy will be needed. As TravelBug said, if SanDiego3's daughter is being bothered by something else which she is reluctant / unable to talk about with holiday plans in place and life itself getting in the way, then a new found fear of flying is a nice out as a short term band-aid solution to the problem.

And please don't use pull quotes incorrectly. The germane part of the sentence was that SanDiego3 is the adult in the equation. At age 15 it is a necessary part of development for a young person to test the boundaries of adults and others; one of those ways of testing is to push against accepted norms and rules to ensure that no matter how hard the teen pushes, the adult's caring will stand fast. It is enormously difficult for both adult and teen, which is why one can love one's child (or husband/wife as well) and from time to time want to say 'I love you very much, but right now I can't stand the sight of you and do not like what you've done/want to do' - legitimate feelings and expression thereof necessary yet rarely spoken as scary - especially to a 15 year old - and very high-concept.

We do more in Medicine (20+ years and counting) than just treat physical ailments.

10. Re: teen fear of flying

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