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No one enjoys going to the doctors, especially children. And for some kids, it’s an absolutely horrific experience. We can’t really blame them for being scared. After all, they are being spoken to and touched by an absolute stranger and sometimes this stranger pokes them with a needle. It’s definitely not fun, but there are some ways to make the experience a less terrifying for your little one. Here are some great tips to help you out.
Prepare Them Beforehand
Children get scared of new and strange situations, so it helps to give them some sort of idea as to what is going to happen when you are at the pediatrician. A great way to do this is by buying a doctor’s kit and giving them a mock examination. You can also read them books where a character goes to the doctors or show them a movie about a doctor. You could even draw them the clinic floor plan if you think it will help. If the situation feels less foreign, they’ll be less scared.
Go With Them
Some parents ask a grandparent, aunt, or uncle to take their child to the doctors. This could be because they’re busy working, but sometimes, it’s because they don’t want to be associated with such a scary event. While this protects you from seeing your child upset, and having to deal with the aftermath, it will only increase your child’s anxiety. They will want to be comforted by a parent, as they are the people that they are most familiar and comfortable with. While other relatives will be able to provide some support, it’s not the same comfort you can give.
Your son or daughter is going to be understandably afraid, so try to find as many ways as you can to comfort them. Rather than tell them not to be afraid, let them know that you understand that it’s scary and are there to help them. They probably won’t want to be separated from you in the doctor’s office, so sit them on your lap so that they feel protected. If there is a blanket, toy, or pacifier that usually soothes them, then bring that along, too.
Treat Them After
It’s important not to make visiting the doctor’s all about visiting the doctor’s. You should do something fun after too. This will help your child get through the experience more calmly, as they know that they are going to be treated afterwards. This will also help your child to associate the doctors with this treat, rather than their fear. This treat can be anything from going to get their favorite dessert or going to see a movie. Also make sure that you point out any pleasant things that happened at the doctors, such as playing with the toys or getting a sticker and/or sucker.
Visiting the doctor’s is never going to be the most fun experience on the planet, but with this advice, you should be able to make it less unpleasant for your little one.