Young children are often shy around adults other than their parents, and your child may be especially intimidated by a trip to the doctor's office. While some shyness is normal, you also want to make sure to encourage your child to develop a relationship with their doctor that paves the way for a lifetime of wellness. You can use these tips to help your child feel more comfortable during their visits to the pediatrician.
1. Role Play at Home
Your child may be nervous during their visit to the pediatric clinic if they do not know what to expect. For instance, they may be unsure of what to do when the physician peeks into their ears or checks their reflexes. Spend some time role-playing common scenarios that happen at the doctor's office such as talking about a recent illness or injury. Make sure to switch turns with your child so that they gain experience playing the part of both the patient and the doctor. You can also use this strategy to prepare for an upcoming visit so that your child knows what to say and do during their exam.
2. Encourage Them to Speak
Today, pediatricians often begin by asking their young patients questions as soon as they can communicate with at least a few words or nonverbal gestures such as shaking their head. You can help your child by staying quiet during this verbal exchange, or you may offer a small nudge in the right direction to get your child started describing their symptoms. Once your child speaks, you can always offer further insight into the problem, but you should always encourage your child to begin the exam by talking to their doctor.
3. Keep Up With Checkups
Well child exams are one of the most important pediatrician services that you can use to help your child feel more comfortable with their doctor. Since kids are typically feeling well during these exams, they are more likely to open up to their pediatrician and remember the things that they learn. These regular exams also help your child to become familiar with their doctor when they see the same person or team of doctors every time.
As your child grows up, they'll learn to rely on their doctor's guidance for staying healthy and strong. By knowing how to nurture this important relationship, you can do your part to help your child overcome their shyness and get to know their physician.