Soothing Your Child's Irrational Fear Of The Doctor

Post by another author. Clinics and medical practices can be unnerving for any child to visit, and it’s not hard to see why. Outside of their normal schedule, they’re heading to a stark and ultra-clean environment (even if the office is well-lit,) where a strange person they don’t know so well, is dressed in unique clothing, intends to talk about and even touch their body and check their health.

Man hugging a small child Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on pexels
Many children fear a visit to the doctor

In the case of some specialist services, like ENT Services, they may also want to provide ear, nose and throat tests, which are highly necessary but not so comfortable to deal with. Moreover, if you’ve cause to visit your doctor in the first place, your child is unlikely to feel their best self, perhaps suffering poor sleep the previous night. Most doctors are wonderful and have a warm affability when caring for children, while some are a little more clinical and focused, just attentive towards their responsibilities as opposed to being super friendly. 

While your child’s fear of the doctor may be misplaced, it’s not always completely irrational, at least to them. So, how can you, as a parent, help soothe and unroot that? Let’s discuss that, and more, below:

Play Doctor & Patient At Home

It can be nice to help your child understand what to expect. You might use pretend medical toys and plushes to role-play the taking of blood pressure, checking reflexes with a soft mallet, and their temperature with a thermometer. Sure, they’re unlikely to have all of these tests done, but it goes to show that a quick health inspection is nothing to fear. You can also show them episodes of their favourite animated characters going to the doctor's office to see how that process goes, and that there’s nothing to fear.

Use Small Comforts & Rewards

It’s can also help to use small comforts and rewards to make them feel safer on your way in. This can be as simple as a comforter blanket, or as fun as the reward of a children’s meal at your local fast food place after the visit. Small plans like this help the day out seem rewarding and interesting, not just a worrisome visit that must be dreaded before you even leave the house.

Frame This With Excitement

Children often look to you for how their mood should be, or what their perspective on situations should be. If you’re nervous because you’re not sure of how they’ll deal with the doctor, they might pick up on that energy. Instead, talk about the doctor as if you’re going to visit an old friend, and your child has the luck of coming with you. It can be a great idea to hype up little things, like the courage sticker your doctor might give them after (if you know for sure they do), or how they’ll help them stop feeling bad during the night. It’s all about how you frame the trip, so try not to be negative, even though it’s understandable to be a little apprehensive.

With this advice, you’ll be sure to soothe your child’s irrational fear of the doctor.

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