Toddlers – at least the clever ones – have figured out that a visit to the doctor often means pain of some kind. Whether it’s a routine needle or an examination of a sore spot on the body, site the toddler may react intensely with tears or even tantrums. Subsequent visits are met with intense resistance; the child refuses to walk into the doctor’s office. Screaming toddlers can be difficult to lift and carry, viagra 40mg so this resistance poses a serious dilemma for parents.
If your child “hates the doctor, help ” consider the following tips:
Try using Emotional Coaching
Even if your child hates her doctor, going there is mandatory. To lessen the struggle in getting her to do so, try using emotional coaching. Emotional coaching is the naming (and accepting) of the child’s feelings. In this case, try telling your child things like, “I know you hate the doctor.” or “That doctor gave you a needle last time which you didn’t like.” Show you child you understand her feelings and are listening to her. Your sympathy and understanding does not mean she will not have to go. It simply will make getting her to go easier as she is able to release some of her feelings towards the doctor. Emotional Coaching is the opposite of discounting – a technique in which the parent tries to talk a child OUT of her feelings by saying things like, “Oh, it won’t be so bad,” or “Oh, you really like the doctor, remember?” Ironically, the acceptance of the feeling as it is (“I know you don’t want to go”) helps the feeling to disappear much faster than any form of disagreement about it or discounting. If nothing else, the parent’s acceptance of the feeling makes the child feel less antagonistic and more friendly toward the parent. This can help increase cooperation.
Reward Compliance When at the Doctor’s Office
Once you’ve arrived at the doctor’s office (however you managed to get there!), try to make the experience as positive and rewarding as possible. Bring along food treats to give to your child. Get her stickers if the doctor’s office gives them out (if not, get her a reward of your own). Let your child bring along a favorite stuffed animal, so the doctor can examine it as well! Provide as much positive reinforcement as you can for good behavior and compliance with the doctor, even though she may hate him or her. Making the experience a positive one for your child can make the ordeal a lot easier for you now and in the future.
Some Children are Very Strong-willed
If your child simply refuses to go the doctor despite your interventions, try using discipline and the 2X Rule (see Raise Your Kids Without Raising Your Voice). Explain to your child why it is important to see the doctor, even if she hates to see him or her. If your child still doesn’t want to come, warn her that there will be a consequence if she doesn’t cooperate with you. For instance you can say, “If you don’t come with me to the doctor, I’ll have to carry you into his office (into the car or wherever) and because of that you will not be allowed to play with your (name favorite toy) today.” Pick any consequence that you think might provide motivation for your child to cooperate. Even if she does not do an immediate turn-around, the punishment can help reduce future non-compliance.
Foster Cooperation with Grandma’s Rule
In Grandma’s Rule, the parent avoids bribing the child. Try not to tell your daughter, “If you go to the doctor you’ll get to watch your new movie.” There should be no “if” in your sentence. After all, you are not making the doctor’s visit optional. Your child IS going to the doctor. Therefore, replace the word “if” with the word “when,” “as soon as,” or “after,” as in “After we’re finished at the doctor, you’ll be able to watch your new movie,” or “As soon as you get into your car seat, you can have your treat,” or “When you get your coat on, I’ll give you your teddy.”
Let the Doctor Know
The doctor may be able to help change the child’s feelings, so do let the doctor know what you are going through with your toddler. Once the doctor understands the problem, he or she may make extra efforts to help the child find the visit fun or at least much more tolerable.
Consider Bach Flower Therapy to Help Reduce Emotional Distress
Bach Flower Therapy is a harmless water-based naturopathic treatment that can ease emotional distress and even prevent it from occurring in the future. If your child is very strong willed and refuses to go to the doctor you can offer the remedy Vine. For little ones who are having temper tantrums or meltdowns, you can offer the pre-mixed Bach Remedy called Rescue Remedy. This mixture can actually turn off a tantrum: you can put a few drops of it on the child’s pulse points, or, if he’ll let you – you can put 4 drops in a small glass of water or milk and offer sips every couple of minutes. This process might make it easier to actually get to the doctor’s office and it can certainly help increase your child’s calm once he or she is in the office. Rescue remedy is a mixture of different bach flower remedies, useful in all times of intense fear, worry or distress. To prevent future problems with the doctor, you can give your child Bach Flower Remedies daily until you feel that the fear or negativity has completely receded. You can mix several remedies together in one treatment bottle, choosing those remedies that you feel are most suitable for your child. Some to consider are: Mimulus (for specific fears), Vine (for stubborn, strong-willed or defiant behavior), Rock Rose (for panic), Cherry Plum (for out-of-control behaviors like meltdowns), and Holly (for anger). To prepare a treatment bottle, fill a one-ounce Bach Mixing Bottle with water (a mixing bottle is an empty bottle with a glass dropper, sold in health food stores along with Bach Flower Remedies). Next, add two drops of each remedy that you want to use. Finally, add one teaspoon of brandy. The bottle is now ready to use. Give your child 4 drops of the mixture in any liquid (juice, water, milk, tea, etc.) four times a day (morning, mid-day, afternoon and evening). Remedies can be taken with or without food. Continue this treatment until the problem seems sufficiently improved. Start treatment again, if it returns. Over time, Bach Flower Therapy can help the child react much more calmly to the idea of a medical visit!