How Can We Help Our Children Overcome the Fear of Going to the Family Doctor?

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There are ways to make the dreaded doctor’s visit less painful
(emotionally and physically) for our children.

You can help your child work through their fear of the doctor with some understanding and patience. If your little one seems to fear the doctor, talk with your physician beforehand and share your child’s concerns. Every child fears something at some point in their life. But what may be frightening to one child may only be a bump in the road for another.

During this episode, Lee Ann elaborates on how you can help your child overcome the fear of going to the doctor and shares suggestions to help your child navigate the waters of fear.

Here are some ways to help your children overcome their fear of the doctor:
  • Purchase a toy doctor’s kit and let them practice being the doctor on you or a stuffed toy.
  • Talk to your child about the doctor’s visit in a positive way.
  • Explain what the doctor will do and why it is important.
  • Invite your child to bring a favorite toy or blanket to the appointment.
  • Help your child relax with deep breathing. Encourage them to think of Jesus holding them in his arms.
  • Finally, praise your child for being brave during the visit.
Lee Ann elaborates on the following suggestions to help your child navigate the waters of fear:
  • Pray and ask God to help you and your child. Pray for wisdom, discernment, and patience.
  • Reassure them that you love them, and God loves them, and no matter what happens, it will be okay. Share with them the story of Joseph and how his brothers treated him (Genesis 50:20).
  • Routine is important for children – maintain a scheduled routine.
  • Always be honest and tell the truth.
  • Look for triggers. Identify what upsets your child and try to avoid those situations if possible.
  • Diet, rest, and exercise help the body and the mind. Make sure to limit stimulants like sugar and caffeine. Help your child to learn to relax with deep breathing by listening to soft worship music.
  • Look for opportunities to have fun as a family. You may be able to replace fear-filled memories with fun memories (2 Corinthians 10:5).
  • Watch uplifting movies and read books that are fun and have a happy ending.
  • Some experts say to address the fear head-on and not avoid those situations that trigger fear but to work through them instead.
  • Ensure your child is around positive, kind, loving friends and family members as best as possible.
  • Make note cards or post Bible verses around the house for older children to read; for example, some about fear are 1 Peter 5:7, Isaiah 41:10, or Deuteronomy 31:6.

Resources for children: Fear & Anxiety: Learning to Overcome God’s Truth, For Kids, by Love God Greatly & Braver, Stronger, Smarter: A Girl’s Guide to Overcoming Worry & Anxiety, by Sissy Goff.

Resources for parents: Raising Emotionally Strong Boys: Tools Your Son Can Build On for Life, by David Thomas & “Quick Guide to Panic Disorder,” by Child Mind Institute.

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