Olympic viewing, says one expert, is a rollercoaster dream that creates family bonding in the daily date with excitement and 'Olympics withdrawal' when it's all done. This mom says the 2012 London Games have sparked a revelation about one son's dream to compete in Brazilian jiu-jitsu in 2016 – so there will be no withdrawal as the Olympic dream keeps going.
Petr David Josek/AP
Year after year we shoo the kids away from the television and worry about how to connect with them and then we find unity in front of the box, glowing with Olympic common ground, but one expert warns about managing what he calls "Olympic withdrawal."
In an interview this morning, Robert Thompson, the founding director Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, cautioned me that the uptick I am experiencing in family bonding with my husband and sons as we all whoop by the TV can have a wicked let-down when the daily date with excitement is all over.
“The Olympics is really amenable to viewing as a communal event because, if you’re the only one in the bleachers, a game isn’t as much fun to watch,” Professor Thompson explained. “It’s almost like this multi-day holiday effect. Which brings us then to the Olympic withdrawal. It’s like when the circus comes to town – you’re in heaven and then heaven packs up and leaves. Some people actually suffer depression afterwards. Some families may have very little in common and Olympics has potential to bring all those diverse aspects together and when it goes away, then everybody’s back to their own problems, communication devices, and segregated worries.”