Psyched Online


DATE: 12/20/02, 16:02

Dear Psyched:

My son plays football at [major university] and has a bowl game on New Year’s eve. Because of this he is going to be away from us during the holidays. It got me to thinking that it must be tough for athletes who have to travel to be away from their families for extended periods of time. Is there anything that I can do to make it easier on him?

Thanks for your help. Keep up the great work.


SUBJECT: Re: Travel
DATE: 12/23/02, 08:32

Response: The family must be so excited about having your son playing in a bowl game on New Year’s Eve. I can imagine that you are having a mixture of feelings. On the one hand, you wish he was with you. On the other hand, you will love watching him on television living out his dream. It might help to keep in mind that your son is with his second family. He has his “teammates/brothers” around him. His “parents” for that night will be his coaches. He will be focused on them and the goal of winning. He will not be lonely. But, he could become distracted if he gets the sense that his family is suffering in his absence. This is the hard part of being a parent – to keep your missing him feelings in check – to just let him know that you are with him in spirit as he does his growing up activities. Of course, you would want to let him know you are happy and will be glued to the television. Whether he wins or loses, make a plan to get together. It is tough to watch other people take over the role of the family members he’s known all his life. Remember no one can truly take your place. When he knows you are okay with him having the new “family”, he will carry you with him.

Paul Schienberg, Ph.D.