If your child has been complaining that they cannot see the board clearly at school, or if they have been sitting increasingly close to the television lately, they should probably see an eye doctor for an eye exam. But this is easier said than done when your little one is fearful of going to the eye doctor. How can you get them over their feelings of fear and nervousness so that you can take them to an appointment for diagnosis? Here are some tips.
Talk positively about seeing the eye doctor.
Your child may have seen some television shows or movies in which an eye doctor's visit was not portrayed positively. Or they may have heard someone else talking about not wanting to go to the eye doctor. To help ease their fear, you want to counter all of their negative thinking about eye exams with positive talk about the eye doctor. Try bringing up, in the course of regular conversation, how relaxing your last eye doctor visit was. Point out all the people you know who wear glasses, and explain to your child how the eye doctor is the one who helped those people get their glasses.
Show them videos that depict a typical appointment.
Go on YouTube, and look for some videos that show what will happen at an eye doctor's appointment. If you can find a video where the patient is a kid, that's even better. Watch these videos alone first so you can be sure they're age-appropriate and portray an appointment mildly. Then, have your child watch the videos with you. Answer any questions your child has throughout the video. Knowing what to expect can ease their anxiety about the upcoming appointment.
Visit the eye doctor's office first.
Most eye doctor's offices, like Cripe Stephens & Stickel, have a front waiting area with shelves of glasses. You can stop in here any time without an appointment. Bring your child along for a quick visit to this part of the office. Spend a few minutes just looking at glasses and chatting with the receptionist. If this is a good experience for your child, they will have no reason to suspect their eye doctor's appointment won't also be a good experience. They'll feel more comfortable when they know where the visit will take place.
It's not abnormal for kids to be apprehensive about seeing the eye doctor. With the tips above, you can help ease these worries.