Doctor's Visits

Any tips on how to handle kids at a doctor? I work at the office and parents come in all the time and let their kids go crazy. They trash the office and the patient rooms and leave us to clean up after them. I have crayons and lots of pictures to give to kids when they are needing something to do but not very often it works. It is starting to worry everyone not only for the cleanliness of the clinic but for their safety as well. What is the best way on our part to keep kids behaved for just an hour? HELP!

What a great question. I appreciate the chance to look at this question from a different angle.

I know that personally, I am hyper sensitive in a Doctor's office...I don't really want my children touching anything. If I had my wish I would freeze them in some quiet pose and read my magazine until it was our turn. But unfortunately, going to the doctor's is almost like being on sensory overload. There are so many new things in one room - scales, and tables, and tools. So, Doctor's visits are always a bit tricky...there is a lot of waiting in an unfamiliar (but tempting) environment. When I lived in New York I would save my best toys and special snacks for the doctor -- but the wait time was at least a half an hour. And it was hard.

But, for you, I would suggest making the expectations really clear. When the nurse brings a patient to the room I would suggest that you have them say something like, "The doctor will be here in 5 minutes (or whatever time is accurate) and until the doctor comes feel free to draw with crayons (or read the books--whatever is in the room for the children) and please do NOT step on the scale nor touch any of the doctor's instruments (it would be here that they lay out the expectations). I would hope that everyone would be trying their best, but I think sometimes the lack of expectations keeps the bar too low. So, I say, set the appropriate expectations BUT be sure to share them with the patients. I know that I am never entirely certain what I can and can't touch (so, I usually default to the touch nothing policy) but I am sure that there are others that default to the touch everything policy.

Good luck.

PS - I think that crayons is a really nice gesture, but a little scary. Have you seen those wax sticks or model magic - less dangerous than crayons!
Painting: Norman Rockwell's Before the Shot


Lisa said...

Angie - I love to read your answers to these questions. Usually both the question and the answer are so applicable to me. You are such a wonderful mom to your boys! They are lucky to have you!

Shanna said...

I love ask miss Angie! I am glad you're back!