Am I wrong for not letting my 8 yr old fly...ALONE?

@JaLuvYa (175)
United States
January 14, 2008 7:15pm CST
I am divorced with sole custody of my eight yr. old little princess. I was very easy going with visitation because I feel it's important that she spend a good deal of time with her father and his parents who I adore. I live in Buffalo, NY and they live in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. I spend a great deal of time and money driving half way to Amsterdam, NY to meet them four to five times a year. It's 4 hrs to and from Amsterdam and I do not complain. I really don't mind. My daughter enjoys herself a great deal and I get a break. However, my x-husband feels it's too much to drive and wants to put my eight year old on a plane by herself. Of course, being the over protective mother that I am- I said no way. She is not old enough. I have several reasons. The biggest being- PEOPLE ARE CRAZY! My next one- is no one is going to take care of your child in an emergency situation like you would. He says she will "probably" be safe... but for some reason... "probably" just doesn't work for me. Am I wrong?
3 people like this
20 responses
• United States
15 Jan 08
Of course your not wrong. Dad is being a little selfish and only thinking about himself. He needs to keep his little girl in mind and put out of his mind that the drive is too long. The drive may be long but it should be well worth it for him so he can see her. If he wants her to take a plane instead than he should fly there to get her and than fly back with her. It would be different if your daughter was a teenager and could take care of herself. I know if i was 8 years old and on a plane alone I would be frightened. I think it's absurd that your ex would even suggest this. I think a court would agree as well. ANd you are not being over protective, any parent who has a shred of common sense would think that the whole idea of an 8 year old, by herself on a plane is just crazy.. hopefully your ex will come to his senses and see it how you see it
3 people like this
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
15 Jan 08
Thanks :) I actually suggested that he fly round trip to get her but apparently that would be too expensive for him-lol. He's a cool guy but as a parent you really have to do what's in the best interest of your child and not just what is convenient for you.
1 person likes this
@ersmommy1 (12600)
• United States
15 Jan 08
I wouldn't. Right now my daughter is only 4. But the 1st time I flew alone I was 14. And nowadays even that may not be safe. PEOPLE are crazy, I agree with you. Probably isn't good enough. Sorry. You'd have to give me a definetly with 100% Mom satisfaction guarantee. Why don't you see if you all can compromise. Meet 1/2 way. That seems fair to me.
2 people like this
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
15 Jan 08
LOL- thanks. Half way is our arrangement now. I don't mind. I know my daughter is in good hands that way.
2 people like this
• Canada
17 Jan 08
I wouldnt but if she wanted too and if i told her more about what would hapen and if she still wanted too id let her
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
17 Jan 08
At eight though... my daughter is not mature enough to make that kind of decision. If it's fun... then she's all for it, regardless of the possible dangers. I love my daughter but if I say don't ride your bike in the street and I go in the house to grab something, when I come back out the house she will be on the curb with one wheel in the street. We live on a very busy street but the danger means nothing to her right now, just being cool and keeping up with the older kids. That's why we are parents, to protect our kids when they don't even understand that they need to be protected.
• United States
15 Jan 08
At that age I would not put my child on a plain by herself. That is just me. I have a friend that has been doing that with her son for a few years and he is now 10. It just depends on the parent. As for who would take care of her that would be the job of the stewdess. She would take care of her throughout the flight.
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
15 Jan 08
Yeah, my x said that there would be someone to watch her but like I said before who will protect your child like you would protect your child in an emergency.
2 people like this
@2btrueinu (703)
• Philippines
15 Jan 08
If I'm on your shoe I will not let her also. She is so young to fly alone, accepting that were over protective they but come to think of it how if something might happen who will take care of her the stewardes of course not. Were just doing our purpose to be a mother to our children don't he think that your not complaining driving her 4 hour just to them when she is old enough to take care of her self that is the time I will allow her to go by her self as a mother you know your child capabilities always look forward and a little talk (explanation) will help for both of you. Don't think your wrong your just doing the right thing.....
1 person likes this
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
15 Jan 08
Thank you, I'm just trying to do what I think is best for my daughter.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
15 Jan 08
That's right............ keep up the good work.
1 person likes this
15 Jan 08
I agree with you 100% that she should not fly alone.There are many disadvantages of a child that young flying by herself on a plane. First there is the age; than if she gets sick; there would be no one to take care of her. Secondly ; if all of a suddenly she gets fly frighten; what are they going to do ? Turn the plane around to let her get off? Thirdly; a chance of her sitting next to a predator who feels like filling her ears with stuff she's not suppose to hear. Can't go on a " probably " be safe; it has to be a sure thing.In this case you have to be over protective because there is just too much going on in the world today to even consider taking a risk like that. I know I would never send my child off on a plane or bus alone, I feel it's not worth it.To some people it's fine. But sometimes you have to really weigh the situation in order to feel better about the whole thing.You are not wrong. Stand on your ground !!!!
15 Jan 08
Why all of a sudden , driving has gotten to be a problem for him? I see he loves his child but; he shouldn't mind continuing traveling to the half way point to pick her up. It's not like he has to travel the whole distance to get her and bring her back like that.He should think about your feelings about the matter and continue the way it has always been.
1 person likes this
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
15 Jan 08
I don't know why all of a sudden it's such a big deal. I know he cares about her but he is so used to only having to worry about himself and I don't feel he is really thinking about what is best for her in this instance. Thanks :)
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jan 08
we have stepchildren and they have been flying since they were 7 or 8 alone but there are two of them and one is a couple of years older and they are very responsible and independent and like to fly. We always get them an escort but you have to pay for it through the airlines. I think it is $99 and they usually require it for kids under 13. The person takes them from the plane to you and I think it is worth it and your husband should pay the extra. Some airlines will let the parent only go to the gate, but most will not do that anymore. I personally would never let my daughter fly alone - I had an adult friend who was sitting next to a guy and he tried to fondle her! I think meeting 1/2 way is fair and he needs to just get over it because it makes you uncomfortable. Guys don't always think about all the creepy guys in this world.
1 person likes this
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
15 Jan 08
Yeah, I agree. I don't really think that he is really thinking about how perverted some people are. I don't think he really understands the risk in placing your child in strangers hands.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jan 08
He is just doing what is convenient for him and really not thinking. It seems most people are in agreement with you so hopefully that will help you stand your ground. If he wants her to take a plane he can fly with her.
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
15 Jan 08
My son will be 9 soon and there is no way that I would let him fly alone. People who allow their young kids to do so are crazy! I can just imagine how panicked he would be if something were to happen.
1 person likes this
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
15 Jan 08
I know. Every time I turn around there is something else crazy happening with an airplane. The guy that they arrested for stroking a woman's hair when she was sleeping, near misses in the air and on the runway, and we live in a post 9/11 world... I can't. I know that I would put myself in harms way to protect my child but would a flight attendant... who knows? I can't take that chance.
1 person likes this
• Canada
17 Jan 08
Yea you never know in this world there is some strange people.
• Australia
15 Jan 08
Way too young!! She could get lost,scared,pannic,kidnapped anything and you wouldnt even know until the plane has landed,then she could wonder off looking for someone in the airport..airports can be huge.. Ild rather spend the 4 hours knowing shes safe,looked after and cared for instead of alone,noone looking out for her,strangers talking to her. Maybe im protective but i certainly wouldnt allow it.
1 person likes this
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
16 Jan 08
Thanks for your post. I agree- better safe than sorry :)
1 person likes this
@newfette (340)
• Canada
15 Jan 08
No way would I ever put my 8 year old on a plane alone. I have a 10 month old right now and she better not even ask, or her father or anyone else on this green earth. I have been on planes where there are children travelling alone and I hear the airlines promising the worried parents, don't worry I'll take good care of her. But we do not live in a movie. And if there were any type of violence on that plane I hardly doubt a stewardness making a little over minimum wage is going to jump in front of a bullet for your child. Also, I have seen kids wander away once arrived at the airport and they become lost. They were found of course, but still. Thirdly, people ARE crazy. There are more crazy people out there than you think! Just kidding. I have a Sociology degree...I've studied human behaviour, past, present...The most disturbing thing I learned is that most serial killers were people who had money (not aLOT of money but they were doing okay), and they were SMART. VERY SMART. I would never in this world ever steal a child or harm a child, but, it wouldn't be that hard to steal a child from an airport or even right off that plane. "Homeland security" is not as good as it was before 9/11 in my opinion. Anyhow, DAd is being selfish. Tell him to grow up, suck it up, drive the four hours, keep his daughter safe. Convenience walks out the door when that baby walks in.
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
15 Jan 08
AMEN! I couldn't of said it better myself!
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21029)
15 Jan 08
I'm from the UK and most airlines will not allow an unaccompanied child under the age of 16 fly alone. I certainly would not let my child fly on their own. He he doesn't want the drive he'll have to book a return flight and collect and fly back with or do the drive
1 person likes this
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
15 Jan 08
Exactly :)
1 person likes this
@mcjeannie (704)
• Philippines
15 Jan 08
I would feel the same way like you do.You got all the sensible reason a mother have.Yes, the world is not safer as it seems we thought a thousand years ago.I don't blame you.You're not only a protective Mom...you're a good and loving Mom!!! And the probably to anything in life is dangerous these days.Don't let your child fly on her own!I was reminded of my mother saying to me, the more you shortcut in life, the more harm and danger you put yourself, as that path have uncertainty!Very applicable to your situation!
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
15 Jan 08
Thank you for your words. Your mom is so right!
1 person likes this
@Sillychick (3279)
• United States
15 Jan 08
'Probably' doesn't even come close to being acceptable to me. I wouldn't do it, no way, no how. I say the inconvenience of the drive is worth knowing that she is safe and cared for. I would tell him, no, if you want to see her you will come and pick her up the way we have always done it. I know it's important to spend time with her dad and his family, but it's more important that she is safe.
1 person likes this
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
15 Jan 08
Exactly. Her safety is definately priority.
1 person likes this
• India
15 Jan 08
No you are not wrong, you are very correct and sensible. You see anything can happen anytime so why risk something that is invaluable to you? If suppose you had a vary valuable and costly gemstone or something like that, would you ever let it lose, open, among strangers? So why your daughter specially when human life and dignity is indispensable & invaluable? And (God forbid) if something does ever happen the loss will be yours all the more coz you are the mother. So cling on to your princess till you are absolutely sure that she can take care of herself reallly well and dont lend a ear to who says what.
1 person likes this
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
15 Jan 08
She is an amazing child and I thank God everyday for her. I could never forgive myself for letting something happen to her that could have been completely avoided. Thanks for your reply:)
1 person likes this
• Canada
15 Jan 08
I know a lot of parents do this kind of thing with their kids, leaving it up to the airline stewardess to watch over them. But who cares what they do; your right it won't be your child! Father dear is not thinking clearly or he is so focused on what is best for him he is forgetting what is best for his little girl! Maybe all you need to do is remind him of the horrors your little girl could face alone on an airplane. Did he not see the news last week when a women was molested. h here is one more to the point...http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=3637 ,,,, this are the situaions that can so easily and quickly happen. We do not take chances with our childs life if we can help it.
1 person likes this
15 Jan 08
I don't think you are wrong at all. I wouldn't let my daughter go even if she was twelve. That is your baby, your precious cargo, and you are right, if god forbid something were to happen the first thing on your mind if you were ther would of course be her, even before yourself. No one other than yourself has that, its a motherly instinct to protect their children.. Besides you would probably make yourself ill with worry about it...
1 person likes this
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
15 Jan 08
Exactly!!! And you are right I would be worried sick the whole time. There is nothing that I wouldn't do for my daughter, so maybe I just don't understand his point of view. I know he is important to her that's why I go through so much to make sure she sees him. I don't understand why to drive to meet me half way to see her is too much for him and he would rather risk her safety than be inconvenienced.
1 person likes this
@DJ9020 (1596)
• United States
15 Jan 08
I work at a major airport, so here is my advice. Is it a direct flight? If so, list her as an unaccompanied minor. It might cost a little extra (make him pay it), but you can walk her to the gate, per TSA guidelines. An airline employee will meet you there and take her onto the plane. At her destination, an airline employee will take her off and check the id of the person picking her up, who will be allowed to the gate to meet her. I would let my kids fly under those circumstances. HOWEVER - if there is a connection or plane change, then under no circumstances would I let my kid fly. You're depending on a stranger to escort your daughter through an airport. I have worked too many cases of 'escorted' passengers that have been lost by airline employees. Direct flight, yes. Plane change or layover - no way!
1 person likes this
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
15 Jan 08
Thanks so much for the advice :)
1 person likes this
@aseretdd (13736)
• Philippines
15 Jan 08
I don't think you are crazy... but i think your husband is definitely crazy... an 8 year old travelling alone in a plane is a no no for all families... maybe if she is like a teenager and can handle herself independently then let... but for now, the 4 hour drive will do... don't listen to your husband... follow what your motherly instinct says... or better yet why not just ask him to go to your daughter instead...
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
15 Jan 08
Yeah, when she gets older maybe, but not right now. She's just too small and too trusting and too curious. It's too soon! Thanks :)
1 person likes this
• India
16 Jan 08
JaLuvYa, You are not wrong at all. It is absolutely fine to be worried about your baby. She is way too young to be on a plane by herself. I totally agree with you.People are really really crazy especially with the kind of things happening these days. Her father has to understand this. And moreover he himself is not very sure if your baby girl will be safe and that is why he uses the term "probably". Somehow I feel men are always insensitive to these kind of issues and just want their kids to be brave and all that stuff. Your second concern is also absolutely justified. There is no body and I mean no body who will come to your rescue during difficult times. It is our sole responsiblity to take care of our precious possessions that God gifts us with. God bless you and your princess.
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
17 Jan 08
Absolutely. Thank you and God Bless you too :)
• India
17 Jan 08
Thanks a lot. And hey do keep me posted about your baby and yourself. Cheers!
• United States
18 Jan 08
Call me overprotective, but I would not let my child fly alone. People are so untrustworthy. Also, 8 is a little young to fly alone. In my state she could not legally stay home alone yet.
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
18 Jan 08
Yes, that word overprotective has been thrown around in regards to me by him, but you know what... it's my job and it's my right to protect my child. And I'm not going to apologize for it. You're right eight is too young.
@crazed_moma (1054)
• United States
16 Jan 08
I wouldn't do it either. I know they have special arrangements for unaccompanied minors but there are too many what ifs. I'd hold off on that one till she's in her teens or so... IMO he needs to drive her back. It's only 4 hours. My brother has to drive 10 just to see his son.
@JaLuvYa (175)
• United States
17 Jan 08
Yeah- I can't handle the "what if's". It's not worth risking my child's safety.