I think that airports are stressful places. People invest time and money into going somewhere . . . sometimes for a fun reason, sometimes not. And, as life happens, problems arise. Between delays, missing meals, being stuck by someone that is ANNOYING . . . seriously, airports need more kindness!
Our family has a great time finding ways to be kind to others through completing acts of kindness at the airport. And, being kind to others is a WELCOME diversion for our boys when there is lag time or during a layover. People need some kindness while traveling, and when your kids are focused on helping others, they are happier . . .which means that you are happier! Sweet!
Here are acts of kindness you can do at the airport with your kids.
Nice notes to the members of the armed forces: Prep a few thank you notes to hand to soldiers you see in uniform at the airport. This works really well for my boys as they are too shy to verbally say thank you, but they are happy to hand over a note with a big smile! I really like this one as it is needed, and it affects everyone around you. When you acknowledge the sacrifice and work given by members of the armed forces, those around you, witnessing the kindness, get a lift, too.
When my son was an infant, we gave out earplugs to all the people seated around us on the plane. I heard of one lady handing out candy along with the earplugs. Kind of a funny way to be kind and acknowledge that we are all in this together with our kids.
While traveling on business, my husband always keeps videos of kids laughing loaded on his laptop in case a kid next to him needs a distraction. Videos of kids laughing ALWAYS seem to make other kids laugh, too. More than one parent has thanked him for his kindness in distracting a fussy kid. (Animal babies are also a hit. For the older kid, try videos of trick shots. We love Dude Perfect.)
Involve your children in paying for someone behind you in line to get a snack or lunch during a layover. It will SURPRISE the fellow flier! (Want to really surprise someone? Pay for the baggage fee for a fellow flier in line. Involve your kids on the fun!)
Put stickers in your carry-on and give your kids free reign to hand them out to any person they think should get some extra sticker love!
Pack extra activities or snacks just in case another family around you needs some additional diversion for their kids (talk about an act of kindness for the whole plane!).
On a recent trip, the boys donned funny glasses during a very LONG layover. And, everyone that they passed gave them a smile or HI FIVE!
Putting a superhero cape on gives “kid antics” a bit of a fun flavor, which makes even the crazy things kids do look pretty awesome. This was a great way to make my Perpetual Motion kid’s movements more comical and less annoying. Fellow fliers laughed at my boys as they became super-superhero versions of themselves and visited with those around them. Lots of laughing and smiles!
Bring along thank you notes to hand to your pilots and flight attendants. Those airline employees, frankly, put up with so much not nice behavior. Take time to thank them, hand them a note, give them a sticker, or whatever kind gesture your child wants to do. It will be meaningful to them.
What do you do with your kids to be kind while traveling?