My son Antonio is ten years old and will be taking a trip with his soccer team. This is going to be a 10 hour bus ride out of the country, from the US to Toronto for a four day tournament. We have never let our children sleep over at anyone’s house other than grandparents and aunts. Words can not begin to express how terrified I am for this. I will admit that I am neurotic and over-protective when it comes to this.
My husband and son are so extremely excited and apparently prepared for this next step in his soccer life but I am NOT on the same page. I am very anxious and can’t stop thinking about it. So the best thing to do is get advice from sane, calm, rational people on-line. It was actually difficult for me to find help in this area which made me think it is definitely something I need to write about. When I get anxious or stressed out I ALWAYS have to figure out how to solve my problem or eliminate my fears. I have had such great success doing this through inspirational people and books I have found on-line. So I did this again and have come up with some wonderful tips that I think are going to help me prepare for this big event and bring me some peace at the same time.
First, I need to acknowledge my fears. I need to add a disclaimer right now! They are irrational and extremely insane and I know this but still they are stuck in my brain and I can’t rationalize them out quite yet.
- Routines and Hygiene: My son has an extremely difficult time completing routines. As far as hygiene goes let’s just say he doesn’t quite see it’s importance right now! He has gone to great lengths in finding maneuvers to trick me. The running the toothbrush under the water no longer works! I catch on quickly- but none the less he is not a quitter and he tries something new!
- Physical safety: He carries an epi-pen because of nut allergies. I hope that he is responsible enough to watch what he eats and has it near him at all times. The other big piece of physical safety I realize deals with very irrational fears. I am terrified of the stories I have heard in the media regarding kids being killed or sexually assaulted in the bathrooms while parents were only feet away. My rational brain tells me the odds of this occurring are very slim, however, I continue to tell myself that I will not let this happen to our family. I will not let him go to the washroom unattended until he is old enough to fight an attacker. I will protect myself and him from this horrible tragedy in any way that I can. After all, that’s my job as his parent and if I don’t do this I have failed miserably.
- Emotional and spiritual safety: My son does not have a smart phone and our computer is in an open communal room in our house. I am trying to shield him from images and words that he is not ready for. I want to protect his innocence and his childhood. I want to keep him in a bubble at least until he’s 12 or 14. I haven’t quite decided yet when a good time to “pop the bubble” will be. What if another team mate shows him a picture or video that is inappropriate. All my work in protecting him will have been for nothing with just a 3 second video or image.
So now what??? Doing something makes me feel better so I have to come up with a plan to cope. With the help of the internet I have come up with some actions that will help keep me sane. Find out this week what those strategies are….