If you have a child who has a host of medical issues that cause you to need a number of health screenings, it’s likely that you have dealt with your fair share of stress. The stress may be coming from your child, or it may be coming from yourself. Regardless of the origins of your stress, you should find a way to make both you and your child feel more at ease during these pediatric health screenings. While important, these screenings can be scary and can cause mental health hardships, especially if your kid is under 10. Here are four ways to manage and alleviate stress for everyone involved during pediatric health screenings.
1. Remind yourself, and your child, that these appointments are just screenings.
Even if your child is sick and you’re still looking for the source of their illness, try to remember that all these doctors’ appointments are still just screenings. When driving your kid to a pediatric audiology screening, your mind may wander to all the different horrible scenarios that could develop. What if they have hearing loss? Or are partially deaf? Or they have a rare form of inner-ear cancer?! Calm yourself. Remind yourself that you’re doing your due diligence by taking your child or infant to the pediatric audiologist, and any potential diagnoses are survivable and will help you clarify your child’s health conditions.
2. Plan something fun for after a particularly hard day.
If it’s been a long day driving from doctor to doctor, or your child is particularly stressed out by regular health screenings, consider throwing a big party after your day at the doctor. Invite friends, family, and neighbors for an ’80s theme party, complete with 80’s party favors, music from a boom box, and 80s party decor like balloons and vibrant neons. You’ll brighten your child’s mood as they have something to look forward to, and planning the party may take your mind off of more unpleasant thoughts that you may be having.
3. Keep an open line of communication between you and your kid.
If your child has had to attend numerous doctor’s appointments, especially in quick succession, make sure you remain open and honest with them. Let them know why you’re attending each appointment, and what they should expect while the two of you are there. This can reduce a lot of stress on behalf of your young child.
4. Speak with someone, or find a pediatric therapist.
Sometimes, life gets to be a little bit too much to handle on your own. If your child is sick, it makes life even more stressful. Remember that you can always seek help from mental health professionals who understand the best ways to help you. Even during the pandemic, or when you just don’t want to go to another doctor’s office, there’s online counseling available in addition to in-person therapy sessions.
If you talk to a therapist online, you may find more strength in dealing with your everyday hardships as a parent. If you’re looking for someone to talk with both you and your child or your children, you can find an online therapist that’s a practicing family therapist. A family therapist will be able to adequately administer counseling to your whole family through phone calls, video chat, or in-person therapy sessions.
No matter how hard it gets when your child is sick and needs to visit numerous doctors’ appointments and screenings, remember that you’re not alone. Find a community online, in person, or seek an online therapy service to help you talk through how you’re feeling. You’ll be happy that you did.