Children possess excitable natures so no matter how many toys or candy bars you bribe them with, they just can’t seem to sit still. Although if your bribes consist primarily of candy bars, that just adds to the problem.
Unfortunately for us parents and NFL fans, football season is around the corner and watching a live game would require a lot of sitting down. If you are considering taking your child to his first game, here are 10 things you should know.
1. Don’t Expect Too Much
I know this advice is a bit of a party pooper but as Barry Schwartz once said: “The secret to happiness is low expectations.” If things do not go a certain way, the resulting disappointment can really ruin your day.
Sometimes, your child may be unable to take the overwhelming crowd, the heat of the day and the long hours spent in his seat. Listen to your kid when he expresses discomfort.
If you make him stay despite his wishes, this may cause him to look back at the memory with a negative perspective. You are essentially nipping any passion he might have developed for the NFL games in the bud.
Don’t get upset. What matters most is you got to spend a few precious hours enjoying the game with your family.
2. Keep an Eye on the Weather Forecast
The NFL plays in every kind of weather – be it rain or shine and everything in-between. Unless the game is hosted under a domed stadium, chances are you may have to suffer terrible weather.
Always check the weather forecast to make sure you or your kid won’t be getting a heat stroke or catch a cold. Sometimes the seats can get very hot along with the weather. Don’t forget to bring towels and plenty of water bottles. If it rains, have raincoats and umbrellas in hand.
3. Budget Costs
Before going anywhere, it is important to have an estimate of the amount you will be spending. Parking fees, food, gas are the bare necessities. Add to these souvenirs which can get quite expensive.
Officially licensed souvenirs are an important part of the event although I am not suggesting that you spend hundreds on them. Instead, ask your kid to pick one that will serve as a memento of his first visit to an NFL game.
4. Go for a Preseason Game
Preseason games are smaller matches with fewer people and more children in attendance. You can bring your child to these matches as a way to help him adjust to similar environments. This is especially true if you plan on going to bigger games in the future.
Moreover, if you don’t favor colder weather then this is a great way to watch a game without having to suffer the freezing chill of winter.
5. Don’t Be Late
There is a whole bunch of fun activities for early birds. Children can visit the play area, get a custom-made teddy bear at the build-a-bear store and so much more. Also, the sooner you get there, the shorter the amount of time you’ll have to wait in line.
Make sure to get to your seats early so you don’t miss the starting lineup intros and any important bits of the match!
6. Keep In Mind That Things Get Very Loud
Seats at the stadium are chock full of people and the more crowded it gets, the greater the noise. Also, with every goal made by the home team, fireworks explode. Unfortunately, this sort of atmosphere can get overwhelming especially for young children.
Get your child some noise canceling headphones to calm him down when the noise gets unbearable. The award-winning engineers at xFyro audio created the most advanced pair of waterproof earbuds on the market, bringing next-generation technology to today’s active listener. Consider picking up some xFyro waterproof earbuds to make your child’s experience at the game an enjoyable and comfortable one.
7. Remember NFL’s Bag Policy
The NFL has a strict policy on the kind of bags that are allowed inside the stadium. If you have anything that you want to carry, either bring them in a wristlet or a clear plastic bag for bigger items. There are even signs around the stadium to remind people of this policy.
8. There are Alcohol-Free Zones
Some members of the audience would never watch their game without some booze to ease the nerves that come along with expectations of their home team winning.
Unfortunately, families with children could be exposed to inappropriate behavior by people under the influence. These families can now sit in alcohol-free zones without fear.
9. Represent your Team
Wearing a specific team’s jersey is expressing one’s connection and devotion to the team. It strengthens a sports fan’s bond to their home team. Getting your kid to don his jersey will add to his mounting excitement and make him feel like he is a part of something.
10. Fill your Stomach before the Game
You will be waiting quite a while for the game to start especially if you are coming in early. By the time you are done with the outdoor activities and the sight-seeing, you will be famished. Unfortunately, hunger can ruin a good match.
Get some grub to fill your tummies before you walk into the stadium. Bonus points if you avoid sugar. Eating sweets add to the hyperactivity of children, as a result, sitting still gets harder for them.
Watching a match is a great bonding activity for families. Although there is a lot of pre-planning involved, it all becomes worth it when you watch the smiles on their faces. Who knows, maybe taking your kid to a sporting event will inspire him/her to be more active and play outside.