Waiting in a doctor’s office is tough. Add young children and a little (or a lot) of anxiety, and the waiting can be brutal. Even if doctor visits are not a part of your regular routine, many children are just plain afraid of the doctor. Whether you are waiting to be seen, waiting for a test, or waiting for results, those moments seem to last much longer than they actually are. So how do you keep your kid’s mind off the wait or fear and stay positive during those times?
You may have thought ahead and brought toys, activities or a game on a phone or tablet. Your children may be old enough to hold a conversation about upcoming plans or something they enjoy to help take their mind off the anxiety. In our family, I use this as an opportunity to put into practice the saying, “laughter is the best medicine.” Here are three easy ways that you can make your kiddo(s) laugh in a doctor’s office and help the time pass a little quicker and more enjoyably.
1. Make A Latex Glove Balloon
I think every doctor’s office I’ve been in has a box or two of latex or nitrile gloves on the wall. Believe it or not, these make great balloons! Grab a glove and blow it up like you would any other balloon. Tie it off, and voila!
Even if your child is old enough to roll his or her eyes, a little chuckle can go a long way in showing you care.
2. Make a Tongue Depressor Puppet
A doctor actually introduced me to the tongue depressor puppet. She helped our youngest stay distracted during a checkup by writing a face on a tongue depressor and naming it “Inky Winky.”
This can be especially fun if your child has an especially active imagination and enjoys making up stories. For younger kids, a simple game of “peek-a-boo” with the puppet might be just the distraction he or she needs. Older children may have fun coming up with a cast of characters, giving them names and personalities (just be careful not to empty the jar of tongue depressors).
3. Make Silly Faces
Short on supplies? My girls and I have a ball making silly faces at each other (even when we aren’t at a doctor’s office!). Tensions can be high, anxiety can be thick, and frowns may be strong, but there is something about an obnoxiously silly face that makes it a little harder to keep a straight face.
If you find yourself waiting in a doctor’s office occasionally or on a regular basis, a little laughter or levity can go a long way in helping your child cope with the stress. Our kids look to us and learn from us on how to walk through life. You have an opportunity to set an example of not being ruled by fear or anxiety, and your kid(s) will never forget that.
In the comments:
Do you have any creative ideas for how you get your child/children to laugh or better cope with the stress of a doctor’s visit?
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