Trick your kid to see the doctor/dentist
A trip to the neighbourhood doctor or dentist can be a huge threat to our little ones. Can we blame them? Here are some tips to ease the situation…
They are already under the weather or suffering from an unbearable toothache and now you are introducing the thought of visiting the doctor/dentist? Double whammy!
It does not help that even comic books and cartoons depict doctors/dentists as some kind of villain, right? All that negative propaganda just isn’t helping you or your child in overcoming the fear.
Perhaps all they can remember from the early days of their existence is being poked and prodded by strange looking and smelling people or mingling with a bunch of sniffling, dripping and coughing kids. Where is the fun in that?
What about all the intimidating instruments that are choice tools used by dentists—they then force your mouth open, against your will and yank stuff out. Oh the pain!
But if you know how to play it; it is just a game of preparation and a few easy tricks up your sleeves.
Your kid needs to know that they are not the only ones making a trip to the doctor or the dentist—adults do it too! So it becomes a norm and not a big dramatic out-of-the-blue occurence. Everytime you make an appointment with the doctor/dentist, just tell your kid and even bring him/her along. He/she can obseve everything that is going on, so that myths can be dispelled.
Find a doctor/dentist that has a fun and child-friendly environment. This will ease the fear as they are distracted by the warm and kid-like décor. The doctor/dentist should also be a pro at dealing with kids—because then half the battle is already won.
Don’t call the doctor a doctor. A doctor/dentist is a scary character. We’re not saying that you should refer to the doctor as a hippo or a clown, merely state something like: “We’re going to visit our close friend Dr. Marsh today” instead of saying, “I have just made an appointment for you to be treated by Dr. Marsh”.
Take note that you should have appointments as early in the day as possible. Why? So that you can take your kid for a fun activity after the doctor/dentist visit. Also, it reduces the risk of having to wait for too long with a cranky or fidgety kid.
Put some fun and giggles into it—play doctor or dentist at the comfort of your very own home. You can play with your kid or jazz it up by adding more “people” in the game—by that we mean including his/her stuffed animals, dolls and toys. You can playfully do a medical exam on your kid by using a toy stethoscope or a tooth examination using a mirror and a toothbrush.
To mentally prep your kid for the medical ordeal you can ease your child into it by administering pretend shots on the stuffed toy characters. If you kid needs an injection, explain that there will be pain but it won’t be worse than an ant bite or a pinch. Rewarding your kid after the trip with a sweet treat helps too.
If your kid is very noticeably jittery when visiting the doctor/dentist, you should never disregard his/her feelings and sweep it aside. Acknowledge your child’s concerns no matter how petty they may seem to you. Remember, he/she is still a kid with, sometimes unfounded, fears.
You can lead her toughts to what fun he/she might have during the visit. Say something like: “I know you’re slightly nervous about seeing the doctor, but everything will be great. He will be looking into your nostrils to see if he can find a fluffy pink bunny and into your ears for that missing green gnome. Oh, remember the stickers and candy you got from your last doctor’s visit for being so brave?”
So are you ready for a visit to the doctor/hospital or dentist?