For a lot of kids, the idea of going to a doctor can be scary and intimidating. You have to worry about shots, needles, tongue depressors and other scary tools. As a kid, these things can be very scary and anxiety inducing. For especially young children, it can be even more horrifying – just because they don’t understand what’s going on. The truth of the matter, of course, is that the doctor or pediatrician is an important person in your child’s life, so you want to find a way to reduce this anxiety. When you visit the doctor with your child, you want him or her to feel secure and happy – not full of anxiety and dread. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to help your children overcome their fear. Here is how to help your kids overcome their fear of doctors.
- Start as early as possible – it is important that you show your child that the doctor is not scary. Ideally, you want to bring your child to the doctor in the first few months of his or her life – this is not only important to resolve your child’s fear, but also for immunizations. When it comes down to it, your child should be getting his or her first shots in the first couple months of life.
- Do your research about the doctor – you can use search engines and other programs to learn more about doctors. It is critical that you do a background check. For instance, you can use the Challenger Corporation to learn more about a pediatrician’s background. If you don’t do your research, you may wind up with a pediatrician that you or your child may not feel comfortable with, which will exacerbate your child’s fear.
- Use positive rewards – when your child visits a doctor, you want to make sure that you give your child a reward when you get home or after you leave the office. This will associate the doctor with positive things – not negative things. You don’t necessarily need to offer candy, but a toy or a fun trip somewhere will do the trick.
- Talk to your kids – when it comes down to it, you may want to speak with your kids and find out why they are so afraid of the doctor. If it is something specific, you may be able to learn more about the fear and then get rid of the fear. For instance, if your child is afraid of getting shots, you may want to find a way to make the process more tolerable.
- Break the fear with exposure – the truth of the matter is that if your child doesn’t go to the doctor a lot, he or she will be scared of visiting the pediatrician’s office. This is why you may want to break the fear by taking your child to the doctor more often. In the end, your child will require regular checkups, immunizations and other tests, so you have to make sure that he or she is fully prepared.