The feeling of anxiety and the fear of the unknown before the doctor’s visit is common in kids and adults. But this fear is somewhat greater in kids, and it gets carved in their minds forever if not handled on time. If you are looking for some helpful tips for your children who are scared of going to the doctor, this guide is for you.
Practice or Roleplay at Home
Kids learn from every action happening around them. It is good to practice the doctor’s visit at home before visiting the doctor. You can do roleplay to fill the colors of reality. One of the parents can become a doctor while the other can become an assistant doctor or nurse. Ask your child or make a stuffed toy to play the role of the patient. Switch the roles sometimes to make the activity interesting. It is recommended to use a toy doctor set to introduce the child to the doctor’s tools. This activity will lessen the fear of the unknown and hence the anxiety in the child before the visit.
Stay with Your Child During Checkup
If you have ever experienced those butterflies in the belly when lying on the doctor’s examination bed, you can relate to the child’s fear during checkups. You can request the doctor let the kid stay in your lap during the examination. Most pediatricians don’t mind letting the kids stay with their parents. In this way, your child will feel your support and be less anxious during the process.
Motivate them to talk to Doctor
Encourage your kids to talk to the doctor themselves. Most parents try to answer the doctor’s questions on behalf of their kids. It creates a stiff image of a doctor in little minds. If you ask the kids to talk to the doctor themselves and explain their feelings, they will become more comfortable with the doctor and create less mess.
Don’t Use the Doctor’s Visit as a Threat
Moms usually threaten their kids to send them to the doctor or get them injected if the kids don’t listen to them. This is not a good practice as it instills the constant fear of doctors and needles in their minds. You can discipline them by reducing their allowed screen time for the day or not talking to them for an hour. Also, the false threat doesn’t remain effective for a longer time.
Listen to Them
Parents are the first friends of a kid to share their feelings. If your kid feels anxious before every visit, talk to them and ask why. Maybe there is something else at the doctor’s clinic bothering them. They might not be comfortable with the nurse at the clinic or the doctor’s way of treatment. Don’t confuse their anxiety with the natural feeling every time.
Create a Stars Book
You can encourage your kid for the doctor’s visit by creating a star book. Put on some features like bravery, behavior, anxiety level, patience, etc. Rate your kid’s performance after every visit to the doctor by drawing the stars in front of every feature. Five stars for the best performance and less than five as per their stay at the hospital. Offer them a treat, a picnic, or their favorite toy at the end of the month, depending upon the number of stars they scored. This activity will help discipline them and control their fear before the visit.
It is common for kids to feel anxious before going to the doctor. You can control this anxiety by staying with them during the visit, offering them rewards for behaving well at the time of the checkup, and listening to their concerns. Do write to us if you found the guide helpful or know tips other than those mentioned above.