by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Your toddler is having a meltdown that takes the effort of four nurses just to get a look at her ears. Ten minutes later, they are still trying to get her to say "ah" to do a quick strep test. If this sounds like your child, you could use some help soothing those doctor's visit tantrums. The methods I used on my own children have been put to the test and proven successful time and again.
Bring distractions to the doctor's office. Healthy snacks, like trail mix, work wonders for keeping kids in a good mood. It also keeps them busy during less comfortable moments. Books and toys can come in handy for the waiting time, as well as during stressful times. Crayons and a coloring book can soothe the nerves and keep a toddler's mind off other things. When tantrums occur, distractions are often more effective than words for toddlers. They may tune out your voice. But their eyes may light up at the sight of something fun.
Have a soothing item handy. Even if you use other items for distraction, always have a special item for dire situations. This should be whatever soothes your toddler. In case a tantrum occurs at the doctor visit, this will be your secret weapon, so to speak. It might be a favorite blanket or toy. As long as it is something your child is very attached to, it will do the trick for the moment. Use the other distraction items for minor issues and keeping your little one busy. Only save the special item for the critical moments, such as getting shots or any other moments your child may have a tantrum.
Hold your child during the examination. Most pediatricians understand that kids can get a little frightened. When my kids were toddlers, the doctor would let me hold them during the examination. Most every child sees their parent as a comfort zone. It's also easier to keep your child's arms from grabbing at the doctor or his instruments when he needs to get close. Plus, you get to hug your child right after the examination is complete, which will be a great soother for you both.
Make it fun. Try turning the doctor's visit into something to look forward to. If you make it into an adventure, your child is likely to follow suit. During the moments when the doctor is not in the room, you can show your child around and explain things. Emphasize on what a cool place it is. You can make comments such as "Isn't it neat how the doctor can see all the way inside your ears with this?" "It's so cool that he can tell if you're sick or not just by doing this." "Good thing we have doctors to help us out." When kids hear these things, it is definitely more soothing than "Sit down and relax" or "Don't touch that. It's dangerous." You can keep them safe without making the doctor's office seem so scary and dangerous.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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