Prepping for Your Doctor Appointments ... WITH Kids

August 13, 2019

 

    When you live with chronic migraine (or other illnesses), you spend a lot of time at doctor appointments. For me, with the combination of chronic migraine and PCOS, I am constantly in and out of various offices. With our decision to take a break from the fertility clinic, I have far less appointments right now which is very necessary with the stress of selling our home and moving back to Michigan. However, one thing that is consistent about all my appointments is that I have one or both boys with me at all of them. It can be hard to have them there. The following are my tips for successful appointments for yourself with bringing the kids along... 

 

 

 

 

1) Talk to them about where you are going...


    I usually tell the boys a day in advance about my appointments so they know what's coming up. I will get them ready for bed and say, "And tomorrow we will get to go to Mommy's doctor and it will be so exciting/fun. I'm glad you get to come with me." This preps them for the day and makes them feel involved. 

 

 

2) Talk to them about what is going to happen to you while you are there...

   

    This is crucial! You cannot over prepare them, trust me. Children have no idea what kinds of things happen at grown up appointments and sometimes it can be overwhelming or even scary to see their parent in the hands of a doctor. My boys have both been present for my several rounds of Botox. Luke is still pretty little so he just sits in his stroller and plays with a toy. Nathan is older and can understand what will happen, so I prep him like crazy. I told him for the Botox exactly what would happen, that he can watch if he wants to and if not that's ok too, that Mommy is not afraid and that at the doctor is helping me. Same goes for all my ultrasounds and blood work. It's important they know what is happening to you so that they stay calm in the room and you can focus on what's happening instead of them. I also answer all the questions he has in an accurate, age appropriate way. When it comes the body, I want them to have accurate information and I want it to come from me. 

 


3) Contain the little ones... 


    I always put Luke in his stroller whether he likes it or not. He stays strapped in until the main event is over and then if he's fussy I will let him get out. 

 


4) Snacks and distraction are KEY...


    You cannot bring enough snacks, trust me. The  one you think they will want will be tossed on the floor and a demand for a different snack will be made. If they are old enough a lolly pop goes a long way and will buy you a lot of time when you are talking with your doctor. For my fertility clinic appointments, Luke had a very set snack routine. One time I forgot the yogurt raisins and it was not pretty! Also bring other distractions like a couple of favorite books/toys and even a tablet or video game for older kids. Sometimes you can be stuck waiting a long time and they get bored fast.

 

 

5) Encourage their interaction... 


    "Tell ____ hello/good morning/thank you" I always encourage the boys to interact with the staff and doctors at all of my appointments. They are little humans that deserve to be respected and involved, not ignored. It also is a learning opportunity for them in manners and communication with others. If they want to tell a story, show off a toy or ask a question I always encourage them to do so... And when it's time for me or the doctor to talk, they know not to interrupt. 

 

 

6) Respect...


    It is so important to make sure that the boys are not only respecting the space we are in - no climbing, no getting into cupboards, no playing with/touching instruments - but also the people. I tell them we are not the only people having appointments. We need to be quiet and respectful of everyone being seen and working in the office. 

 

 

7) Review and praise them on the way home...


    After the appointments I like to take the time on the drive home to review what happened. Very rarely if behavior was not up to par we discuss it and what I expect for the next time. If behavior was great I praise them and tell them how proud I am and that they should be proud too. It's important to have these discussions right after an appointment (even their own) and then for the next appointments I can reference back and encourage them to make good choices and foster good, respectful behavior. 

 

 

    

    
    If you have any tips, favorite parents hacks or questions please feel free to comment/share! XO 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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