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There are some things we can control as parents. There are many things we cannot.
Such is my daughter's upcoming visit to see the doctor. Oh yes, I suppose I could control this aspect of her life if I really wanted to. I guess there are alternatives, but I know that regular checkups and the immunization schedule are vital to her healthy growth and development.
I'm dreading her doctor's visit. She's old enough to know that, sometimes, the visit to the doctor isn't fun. In fact, sometimes, it hurts. She is due for three vaccines.
I've considered breaking up these shots, moving towards a modified immunization schedule; but then I know we'll just be returning sooner than later to the doctor's office and I'll be back to sweating these shots once more.
What about you? Are you sticking to the recommended immunization schedule or choosing a different route? Why?
Let's face it. Some things we need to teach our children are simply not fun. The fact that sometimes things hurt is one lesson I never wanted to give.
How to prepare for the shots? What to do or not?
First up, don't lie. Children don't need all the details, but they do need the truth. When they have put it together and ask honestly if they will be getting a shot, be honest, even if it isn't the easiest thing to do. Keep the details simple. Shots are one part of a wellness checkup. Share other aspects of what the appointment will include, such as getting weighed or having their eyes, nose, and ears checked.
Do a dry run. Before heading to the doctor's office, it may be good to play, specifically play, doctor and help your child understand the various aspects of what will happen during the visit.
Keep a few tricks in your bag. Even more important than tricks are a few things to keep your kiddo occupied during their visit to the doctor's office. A new book, crayons and paper, stickers, or other quiet time toys, will keep your child's mind off of the anxiety of being at the doctor's office.
Distract. Yep, when it comes to surviving the shots, we all need a little distraction. My kiddo recently heard the old Go-Go's song "We've Got the Beat." I'm thinking of bringing it up on the smart phone for a little groovin' before the shots start moving her way. Another great tip I read about is to help your child to make-believe they are blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. Start by having them hold up a finger which they will pretend is a candle. Work with the nurse who will be doing the injections to establish a countdown for blowing out the candles and, at that same time, administering the injections. As you child blows out the candle, the shots will be given and their physical release of air may help to also lessen the stress and discomfort.
Do something fun. Let's face it, shots are not fun. Getting through this stressful time is reason to celebrate. It's a great reason for an impromptu trip to the library, to the park, a favorite museum, or even to get ice cream.
Have you survived shots with your little one? What works for you?
Jeannie Fleming-Gifford is a mama to one little lady, freelance writer, and the director of education for a non-profit community school of the arts. Graduating with a B.A. in Music and a M.A. in Child Development, Jeannie began her career in quality child developme...Read More