anxiety, doctor

Many toddlers and even older children have real problems going to the doctor. This is quite understandable. Here's what I suggest to help your child overcome this normal, common fear.

  • First, choose a doctor who is kid friendly.
  • With any child over a year, talk about going to the doctor's office in advance. Rehearse the visit with the child if possible, and act it out a little with the toy doctor kit.
  • Never ever ever ever say "If you're not good the doctor will give you a shot" or any variation of threats involving the doctor. We are not your disciplinary agents; shots are not punishment.
  • Take practice trips to the doctor specifically to defuse anxiety, to allow your child to get used to the surroundings without actually having an exam. Play with the toys, see the nurses, get a hug and a sucker and a sticker. (OK, and one for the kid, too. Just kidding 8-) Your doctor's staff should be happy to do this and the doctor ought to be able to take a minute between patients to give your child a hug and a treat. It may take several trips, but it is worth it and I highly encourage this simple technique.

Of all the things above, familiarization with an office and a doctor that the child can be comfortable with is most important.

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