To Drug Or Not To Drug?


Oooh what a furore is building up over on the Daily Mail website at the admission that columnist Shona Sibary drugs her children to get some peace and quiet during long haul flights to luxury destinations!  975 comments when I last looked so she’s clearly hit a nerve. 

And let’s be honest, in true Daily Mail tradition that was entirely her intention!

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So what’s a sensible, less hysterical stance?  Truthfully?  None of us really want to spend 10 hours in a ‘cramped space with a bawling baby or a badly behaved toddler’ and neither of course do any of the other passengers. 

If we’re looking for a genuinely baby friendly holiday then why do we do it to ourselves? 

Or our children for that matter?  Let’s get real here, the child isn’t crying deliberately to bug everybody; the crying is a desperate sign of a deeply unhappy child.

My instinct is to avoid situations where a dose of a sedating medicine may seem like the only kind thing to do.

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For many of us, it is our entirely our choice to travel long haul.  We don’t have to do it, we could settle for a few years of visiting some of the amazing baby friendly holiday destinations on our doorstep…and I’m not consigning you all to a future of camping in Cornwall. 

There are so many stunning places to visit within 2-4 hours of the UK, Italy, Spain or even the Canaries for that all year round shot of sunshine?  You could easily spare yourself and your child the stress, the drugs, the condemnation of your fellow passengers and braying mums on the internet who feel that it is totally acceptable to condemn your parenting choices.

I know that some of you live overseas and have relatives who live a long way away so your decision about whether or not to travel long haul is more complicated.  Your decision ‘to drug or not to drug’ needs to be yours, couched within your values and your parenting style.  The rest of us should really ‘shut up’ and concentrate on the business of making our own parenting decisions based on what feels right for us and our families.

Wendy Shand
Wendy Shand

Wendy Shand is the founding director of Tots To Travel, mum of three, award winning mumpreneur, traveler, business enthusiast and author of ‘The Mother of Invention’.

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