Need help with young child first visit to psych.

  1. My 5 yo. daughter is seeing a psychiatrist for the first time next week (don't want to disscuss in open forum)
    How can I make this visit easy for her? What shall I tell her? Should I treat it like a regular peds visit?
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    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 2,537; Likes: 369


  3. by   mercyteapot
    Hard to answer without knowing what the visit is for, although I understand why you wouldn't want to discuss it in open forum. I overheard a Dad at my son's occupational therapist tell his daughter they had an appointment with the "feelings doctor" once. When my son was experiencing a lot of anxiety and the school suggested he talk to their counselor, I remembered what that Dad said and told my son that the counselor was like a doctor to talk to about feelings.
  4. by   kids
    That is a good answer from mercyteapot.

    Another approach is "Dr. _____ is going to talk to you and give Mom & Dad ideas how to help you with ________." Also explain how this doctor is different from her regular doctor (no disrobing/physical exam).

    I assume your daughter knows why she is going to see a Psych, unless you have been advised not to please reconsider and tell her.
    Last edit by kids on Jul 9, '04
  5. by   lucianne
    Both of the above suggestions are good. I think the main thing is to be very matter-of-fact about the visit. If you are feeling uncomfortable about it, she will pick up on it. Child psychiatrists are, naturally, very good at putting young children at ease. He or she will probably spend more time "playing" with your child than talking to her. There should be some interesting toys and things to do in the office. There probably won't be a lot of just sitting and talking with your daughter. The psychiatrist will most likely talk with you separately after the evaluation.

    I hope things go well for both of you. Good luck!
  6. by   dawngloves
    Thanks for the ideas! I was wondering, should I call the doctor my friend and not "doctor" at all? She really fears the pediatrician and I don't want her to think they are going to give her needles and look in her ears.
  7. by   finness
    i am not very experienced with children but my gut tells me the answer is to be upfront. can't you just tell her that she is seeing a different kind of doctor, and expalin that she will not be examined? or maybe i am way of the mark....

    Quote from dawngloves
    thanks for the ideas! i was wondering, should i call the doctor my friend and not "doctor" at all? she really fears the pediatrician and i don't want her to think they are going to give her needles and look in her ears.
  8. by   dawngloves
    You may be right Sarah. I don't think she'd buy it anyway. Wish us luck!
  9. by   CharlieRN
    Whatever you say make sure it is true. You are, or at least should be the person who your child trusts most in the world. Don't throw that away just to make it easy to get her into the office the first time. Some people seem to think it is ok to say things that are not true to a child. It is not ok, it is just easy.
    The psych professional is not your friend. Your child knows what a friend is. Your child knows what a nurse or a doctor is. She knows that sometimes people need help with things they can't do for themselves. Tell her that she is going to some one who will try to help.