Whether your child is headed to their first check up or about to undergo a minor surgery, it is likely that the thought of visiting the doctor might make them feel a bit scared. While being afraid of or anxious about going to the doctor is normal for children of various ages, as a parent, it can be heartbreaking to watch your child experience such difficult emotions. Going to the doctor’s office is an important part of keeping your child healthy, so it is important that you work with them to ease their anxiety. Here are a few tips for helping your child get over their fear of the doctor.
Set a Good Example
Often, children are nervous about going to the doctor because it is something that is relatively unfamiliar to them. One of the biggest ways you can help your child to feel less anxious ahead of a doctor’s appointment is by setting a good example. Whether you’re going to the doctor for your own annual checkup or about to undergo a minimally invasive surgical procedure at Northwest Surgery Center, having a positive attitude and speaking about the doctor in an assuring way can help your child feel more comfortable going to their own appointment.
Children often allow their anxiety about the doctor to build for hours or even days, making their imagined experience of what their visit will be like much worse than it actually ends up being. To calm your child’s fears and keep their anxious thoughts at bay, try offering them a distraction. Whether it’s talking to them about a different subject on the car ride to the doctor or allowing them to watch their favorite show or YouTube video on your phone or tablet during their appointment, keeping their minds busy can work wonders for calming them down and keeping them from feeling quite as anxious.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to ease your child’s fears about the doctor altogether. When this is the case, your next best option might be to reward them for good behavior at a medical appointment in spite of their fears. Offering to take your child to their favorite restaurant, buying them a new toy, or giving them another incentive to make it through their appointment might be just what they need to face their fears.