‘Kay, Tita Kay?

A veteran shares the tips to spare you her headaches and heartaches.

Tips for moms in handling fussy kids at the doctor’s.

‘Kay, Tita Kay?

A veteran shares the tips to spare you her headaches and heartaches.

 

I have 3 kids myself. They magically transform into 3 screaming banshees the minute we step into our pediatrician’s clinics. It starts innocently enough, “Where are we going?” the oldest one asks as soon as she enters the car. From then on, it’s a spiral of rising tears and tension. As you will realize as I did, it’s best to be honest and forthright with your kids.

Here are some of my recommended tips for your survival:

 

1. Be There

This may seem like an obvious tip, but some parents may have to leave doctor’s visits to a grandparent, friend, or caregiver for whatever reason. If this is the case, try being there for the first one or two visits. It reassures your child to see you trusting the doctor and at ease in this new unfamiliar environment, and thus she or he should follow suit.

 

2. Rehearse

Your child should know what to expect during a doctor’s office, in the same way she or he would know what to expect going to school or a party. You can try role playing such a scenario, complete with doctor’s bag and play furniture arranged to look like a clinic. You can even switch roles with you playing the patient and your child acting as the doctor. It’s all about ease and familiarity.

 

3. Be Truthful

“Will the shot hurt?” is a historic and inevitable question that must be met with the truth. Empathy also helps. “Yes it will hurt,” you may answer, “I used to hate shots too, but I learned that it hurts only for a moment and then it’s over.” Again it’s also about being there. Tell him or her that you’re with them throughout the whole ordeal, holding their hand, hugging them or having them sit on your lap.

4. Bring a Fluffy Friend

Almost every kid has a favorite stuffed animal or toy. This can be a great help during the first few visits and beyond. Continuing on with role playing, you can even bring in doc for some help by asking him to “examine” the stuffed toy’s mouth, ears and chest in the same way your child is about to experience.

 

5. Rewards

A lollipop or promised toy are not the only prizes for a successful doctor’s visit. You can also instill self-pride for a job well done. An emphatic kiss, hug, or praise can do wonders in bolstering a child’s confidence. You could also invent a special “medal” or “award” to mark the occasion.

 

6. Your Doc Matters

Of course let’s not forget a critical partner in all this, your doctor. Remember, medical expertise does not guarantee little-people skills and vice versa. It’s important to choose a doctor that brings the right balance of professionalism and reassurance to each visit. When you’re assured of your doctor’s expertise, let your kids try him or her out first. If it’s like (or better, love) at first sight, it only gets easier from then on.

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