Doctor’s Visits with Kids: Make It Easy

As a mother of 3, I have had my fair share of trips to the doctor with the children. It isn’t easy and sometimes we wait longer than others, but we always make it through. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is on your children. However, there are lots of ways to help make these inevitable trips easier on all of you!

Bag of Tricks
I always find it beneficial to bring along my own little bag of tricks! This bag includes reading books, coloring books, small toys, hand-held games, and magazines. This way my children are not messing with the toys and books in the doctors office. Those items have been handled over and over again day after day by hundreds of sick people. No matter what the reason for our trip to the doctor I do not want my children to get whatever those other people have, so I bring my own things to occupy my children and myself.

Get Involved
Don’t just hand the bag of stuff to your child for them to do on their own. Get involved in what they are doing! Children want their parents to take a part in everything they do, they want you to be included and want your approval. If you bury yourself in a magazine or some other activity, then they will be more likely to not stay focused on their activity.

Schedule
The best way to prevent a long wait is to always schedule the first appointment of the day. You may still have to wait some, but not nearly as long as if you are a middle of the day appointment. This is not always possible, but it is the best way to avoid a long wait and fidgety kids.

Not a Kids Appointment?
There are many times when I have had to take my kids to doctor appointments that were not for them, either appointments for me or for a sibling. These situations are similar to taking them to the doctor, but different. Usually when you are going to the doctor for someone else, children are not as nervous and reserved as when they are the ones going in to be examined. This means that they are more than likely going to be more rambunctious. You still need to have your bag of tricks with you, but you also need to have a talk with them ahead of time so they are aware of why you are at the doctor and how you expect them to behave. Do not offer them a reward when you go over this with them. Surprise them with a reward later, this could be a simple cookie or candy when you get home, or even a great big hug and kiss and extra play time with you for following the rules!

Big Helper
Children love to help out, take advantage of this wonderful trait. If you are taking a pet to the doctor, you can let your child hold the leash or help keep the animal calm. If it is an appointment for a sibling then they can help to occupy the sibling for you while you fill out paperwork or talk with the doctor or nurse. Praise your child for being such a good helper when you needed him or her!

Happy Tummy
Make sure you are prepared for the long wait with drinks and snacks for those little tummies. A hungry child is not a happy child! when a child is hungry, nothing other than food is going to help them feel better. So make sure you put some drinks and snacks into your bag of tricks. Included in this is plenty of diapers and wipes if necessary for your child.

The main ingredient in a stress free trip to the doctor is planning. Talk about what will happen before hand, and be ready with your bag full of tricks and your trip to the doctor’s office will go much more smoothly.

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