The word "doctor" can bring a variety of thoughts and emotions to parent and child alike. Many people have nervousness or fear of the doctor, add to that the stress of anticipation for an hour in the waiting room, and it can be downright terrifying. What can you do with your children to keep them happy, occupied, and distracted? How can you make sitting in an office waiting room passable, yes, even fun?!?!?!? There are a number of different techniques, tips, and tricks that can make a big difference. But first, you have to figure out the root of your child's problem.
1. Are they simply bored, hungry or tired?
2. Are they scared of the doctor?
3. Are they more shy personalities and nervous around other people?
4. Are they overwhelmed?
Each of these problems have various solution, but the key is to figure out why your child is having such a hard time. My son is terrified of the doctor, the only way going is doable for us is if he is POSITIVE he isn't the one going in. We are working on his fear, but we as parents also have to have understanding that fear of the doctor is normal and it will usually pass with age. As the child understands that the doctor isn't going to hurt them (at least not always) and that they are going to help them, this issue should fade away. If you have a 6 or 7 year old child that is still terrified, this would be worth looking deeper into. If your child is like my daughter on the other hand and simply nervous and shy around other people, they could simply be feeling insecure and need a little extra attention and distraction.
The key? Distraction. Here are a couple great ideas to keep your kids busy while they wait:
1. Bring pen and paper, or a special notepad and crayons with stickers, this can last a long time.
2. Bring a backpack of special toys, with their water and a security object if they are afraid.
3. Bring your ipod... my kids LOVE the ipod, there are virtual books on there (see the link below), games and all sorts of application that keep them happy
4. Bring books or special drinks such as juice
5. Keep your cool, your kids can sense your stress and anxiety. The calmer you are, the calmer they will instinctively be.
6. Book the appointment at a time when you know your child will have eaten lunch/breakfast and be well rested so you aren't dealing with over-tired whining.
All in all, the doctor is a normal part of life but it doesn't have to be a part you dread. Take some simple steps to make it less stressful for both you and your child and you will be thankful you did :)