Dealing with Your Child’s Separation Anxiety on Game Day
May 30, 2021 By khansa
Engaging in sports gives us something interesting to get excited about. After all, who would not want to be there for one of the most incredible last-minute goals in football history? Whether you are a player or a spectator, you get the thrill of experiencing something unique.
However, for participants and fans alike, there is often a hidden concern playing in the background. If your child has separation anxiety, you may not be able to enjoy the moment fully. Here is how to recognize separation anxiety and what you can do about it before the game begins.
How to Recognize Separation Anxiety?
Some adults experience separation anxiety. If you think you or your partner might have this problem, there is an easy way to determine if your concerns are valid. You can take a separation anxiety test online. It is a short multiple-choice test you can complete in a few minutes and get reliable results immediately.
However, if your child has separation anxiety, the best thing you can do is watch for the symptoms. Here is what separation anxiety looks like in children:
• They refuse to go to their bed alone and want to sleep with you every night.
• They have intense worries that you will be hurt or killed while you are away from them.
• They worry whenever they are away from you or your home.
• They refuse to leave for school.
• They worry a lot about being separated from their family by being kidnapped or lost.
• They have constant worries about being alone.
• They act clingy, even when you are nearby.
• They have temper tantrums or panic when they are separated from you.
• They begin to worry about separation before it is time for you to leave.
What to Do Before Game Day?
Before game day arrives, you can start working on reducing your child’s fears. Here are a few tips to try.
• Practice leaving and create goodbye rituals.
• Make it a habit to follow through on any promises you make about when you will return.
• Avoid letting your child view scary TV shows or movies.
Be consistent about leaving when you say you will, regardless of whether they throw a tantrum, cry, or act out.
What to Do on Game Day?
On game day itself, you need to have an effective strategy, just like your favorite sports figures do. So here are some ways to make the separation easier for your child.
• Make sure your child is not hungry or tired when it is time for you to leave.
• Provide a little reassurance and describe when you will be back in terms they can understand.
• Do your short goodbye ritual, and then leave immediately, avoiding a big scene.
If you hear them crying or panicking, don’t give in and stay. Instead, go ahead and leave as you said you would.
What To Do If Separation Anxiety Does Not Go Away?
Whether the person with separation anxiety is your child, partner, or even yourself, it is essential to overcome it. Separation anxiety is a natural part of growing up, especially for infants and toddlers. However, when it persists, it may be a sign that you are dealing with separation anxiety disorder.
In that case, the best thing you can do is to talk to a mental health professional. With treatment, someone with separation anxiety disorder can learn how to say goodbye to their fears and enjoy a more relaxing, independent life.
When all you want to do is enjoy a sports event, it may feel like a burden to deal with someone’s separation anxiety. However, if you manage the situation well, you can help them live a better life now and in the future. At the same time, their new sense of confidence will make every game day go much better for you. So it is a win-win situation.