Since my daughter has chronic illness and life threatening food allergies we tend to frequent the doctor’s office more than most people. Over the years I’ve figured out simple tips on making the most out of visits to the doctor. It’s never easy but it can be fun.
No matter what… it sucks that you have to take your child in for a checkup, shots or to deal with any type of illness. It seriously just sucks. You have to go for a reason that is usually unpleasant. It can still be a fun time with the right perspective.
Each time something unexpected and unpredictable comes up we make the most out of it. Sure, it doesn’t make all the issues go away but it makes it easier to get through it.
This is not the list about bringing papers, charts, records or information. That will be another list. This is all about how to make the visits suck a little less and find some laughter during those less than awesome times.
Tips on Making the Most Out of Visits to the Doctor
- Stay positive. That means you first. Even if you are freaking out and stressing! Your child will feed off of your energy and take cues from you. If you take the advice from Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction and just BE COOL then your child will more than likely follow. When my 5 year old son got his teeth extracted I went in there like we were shopping for dinner. I kept my emotions, worries and fears in check and even when they started to examine him I kept cool. He kept looking at me the whole time. I smiled at him, we made jokes, we talked about what he would buy when the tooth fairy visited.
- Pack some fun stuff. First of all toys and play centers in doctors offices are nasty. Other kids who are sick were playing with them and I still do NOT understand why offices keep germ factories in there. We pack a bag that has a few small toys, a notebook or coloring book, crayons and pencils. If we are in for a long haul I will pack the DS and a few games. My ten year old always has a simple craft (this past visit she made bracelets) and she has a book. Keep it light and simple and have a variety to change it up.
- Wear comfortable layers. I’ve always found that if we are comfy and can shed clothes or add layers as needed then it makes everyone in better spirits. It can go from hot and unventilated to antarctic in minutes. What is with that?!
- Take pictures. Sure, not every family is like mine where we like to take silly pictures. However, I found that having my child pose during the process made it fun and something they can show off. I have dozens of pictures of my daughter at different ages flexing on a scale. I have multiple pictures of her with a big grin on her face pointing to how tall she is this visit. Sometimes we wear masks and take silly pics. Once my daughter tried to wrap herself like a mummy in the tissue paper that covers the exam table (we asked.. they thought it was funny). When you spend anywhere from 3 – 12 hours in appointments, xrays and labs you have to have some fun.
- Always make a chicken glove. We have never found a doctor that wasn’t okay with sparing a glove for us to make a chicken out of. Bring stickers and markers to color it and “dress” it up. We use stickers like tattoos. Then my kids pretend that the chicken is attacking them. Then we take pictures! haha
- Maybe bring your ipod and listen to some music. Something upbeat and fun. My daughter likes to listen to “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz. It is fitting. We listen to rock out empowering music. Or something fun like the soundtrack to Little Shop of Horrors. There is always a lot of car dancing and silliness on the way to and from the appointment.
I hope these tips on making the most out of visits to the doctor are helpful! Try to make the most of it and keep on ninja kicking!
About Leila DontSpeakWhinese
Leila, aka The Ninja, is the advocate for all things not whining. Parenting is fun when everyone stops b*tching! She is a single Mom with two amazing kids. They ninja kick through life together. Oh and she is a total jackass.