Dr Amanda Gummer Says... Mum
Dr. Amanda Gummer has dedicated her life to working with children and families in a variety of settings since 1993. As well as running a family support charity in London and teaching children...
Live Clinic Round-Up
Last week we held an online advice clinic as part of our Doc McStuffins week on UKMums.tv. Psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer was on hand to answer all our mummy fans questions and concerns. Find out what was answered and solved below in our round-up.
This took place on our Facebook page over at www.facebook.com/ukmums.tv which saw several concerned mums and also dads get involved in the live surgery and ask all their unanswered questions.
Dr Amanda Gummer was on hand to offer her expert advice and support, please take a look below as there may have been a question you wanted an answer for that has now been answered for you.
Q: My little girl gets so nervous when I tell her we are taking her for a routine check-up at the doctors. How can I make her less nervous about a routine visit?
A: Talk to her and ask what it is that she’s nervous about. You may be surprised at what worries children and often it’s something that’s easy to sort out and not related to illness or injections. Playing doctors and nurses can teach children about to what expect from a routine check-up or perhaps a scheduled injection. Your daughter can relate to a doctor much more by playing the role of one and won’t be so afraid when it comes to check-up time.
Q: We love Doc McStuffins in our household and my kids can't get enough of it on TV. How else can I teach them about the responsibilities of a Doctor?
A: Doc McStuffins is great for encouraging role play and can often take kids into a world of their own; what better way to teach them about a visit to the doctors than playing doctors and nurses themselves? Reading books about going to the doctor is also a good way to open up discussions – we like Topsy and Tim for young children and the Usborn lift the flap books are great for helping children understand about their body – The My World My Body puzzles are great too.
Q: My little girl is poorly, just a cold, today and her big brother is a bit worried about her and keeps asking does she need to see a doctor. How can I reassure him that, sometimes, we don't need to see the doctor if we are poorly.
A: That's a good questions as you don't want to make out that doctors are only for really serious stuff. Try telling him that your body is often able to mend itself and it's good for it to practice at getting itself better by having lots of sleep and eating healthily. You can go to the doctor if your body needs a bit of extra help, but that it's ok to try and get better yourself first.
Q: How can i reassure my little one that it is important to go for check ups when she does not feel well,she hides alot of things and only when we get out of the docs will she say something else, but while in there no matter what she just keeps quite,even though she has said she likes the doctor she will talk about anything else other than how she is feeling.
A: Playing with dolls and transferring the illness to them is a good way of giving the child a safety net. Tell your daughter that the doll's not feeling well (give her similar symptoms as your daughter) and ask you daughter how she thinks the doll is feeling and what she's worried about - her answers will tend to mirror her own feelings but it will be more comfortable for her to pretend she's talking about the doll.
Q: What other ways can I reward my child after a trip to the doctors?
A: It’s important to reward attitude and behaviour and natural consequences work well. You could do a trip to the supermarket to do the shopping after the doctors and your child could choose some healthy treats to ‘help you stay healthy and not need to go to the doctor too often’. Stickers and small things are normally enough as you don’t want to get into the habit of rewarding every small bit of good behaviour as children then start to expect it and won’t behave well unless they think they’re getting a treat.
Q: How can I teach my little one to stay calm whilst having her blood taken as she gets completely freaked out by the concept of having her blood taken from her?
A: There are breathing techniques and distraction can work well, but it depends on a child’s age. Having a doll or teddy who can have the blood taken first can reduce anxiety and playing a game on a tablet or smart phone can engross a child and help them not focus on the needle or blood.
Q: The waiting room is a complete nightmare for me as my youngest one won't sit still. How can I distract him and keep his mind from what is beyond the waiting room?
A: A magazine to take into the doctors’ surgery is a good distraction in the waiting room and the toy on the front can be saved until after you’ve seen the doctor. If your little one is infections, try and keep him sitting down and away from elderly people and babies in the waiting room by giving him lots of attention and helping him with the magazine.