Every kid needs to go to the doctor sometimes, whether they’re sick or just need a checkup. My kids always get super nervous when they need to go to the doctor. I have even had one of them go hide, and I literally couldn’t find them for about ten minutes. Over the years, I have discovered some ways that I can help my kids be less fearful about going to the doctor, and make my life easier, since I’m not having to find, them, chase them down, and drag them to the car.
- Be Honest
The first thing you should do is to be honest with them. Always tell them they are going to the doctor’s office, and explain why. Try to tell them in as much detail as possible what is going to happen on their visit. If they’re getting immunizations, tell them ahead of time, and explain to them that yes, it may hurt a little, but it will keep them healthy. Surprising them with shots once they are there will just cause them to have trust issues and be more fearful next time. If they must get some treatment that you didn’t know about ahead of time, ask the doctor or nurse to give you a few minutes, and talk to your child about what will happen, or have the doctor explain what will happen and why. It’s also a good idea to talk to your pediatrician or family practice doctor, and tell them that your child is nervous, and see if they will talk them through the procedures. Most of the time, fear comes from the unknown, so knowing what to expect can help ease the fear.
- Comfort Them
Having Mom or Dad hold them or hold their hand can go a long way to ease kids’ tension. Hold their hand or have them sit in your lap while they are being examined or having procedures done. You can also let them take a favorite blanket or stuffed animal to hold.
Consider offering your child a small reward for being brave. If they don’t run away, throw a fit, and are cooperative, they get their reward. Negotiate the reward before you leave the house or on the way, so they know what they are getting and don’t throw a fit because they had something else in mind. My daughter recently got her Kindergarten shots, and I offered a toy from the dollar store as a reward. She was super excited for this, since I never take her there. It was cheap, she was happy, and the whole visit went much smoother.
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