"The book evolved over about two years time - as a mom I've been reading to my kids since they were babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics just came out with a position statement on reading during infancy - (here's a link to a news report on the issue) - and as a family physician I've been telling parents of my pediatric patients to read daily to their babies, toddlers, children. So I decided it would be fun to write a book to help foster a lifelong love of reading and learning.
I decided to use an ABC format, as it would be age appropriate for my target audience, the preschool/early elementary age. I've found that there are basically 2 types of kids that come into the office: the ones that are frightened and don't want to be there, and the ones that are really interested in what you are doing (they want to use all the equipment, they ask a lot of questions). So I wanted to help both types - give the one group comforting knowledge about what we do in the doctor's office, so they would feel better prepared and more at ease when they arrive for their visit. For the other group, I wanted to give them fun and exciting knowledge about the human body and medicine.
My 11 year old has a VSD (a small hole in his heart) and we've spent a fair amount of time at the cardiologist's office, so I know what it's like to be on the parent/patient side of health care. But thankfully he's doing great, we've been very fortunate so far."
"I was talking about the book at my office, and a friend and co-worker of 10 years mentioned Emily. (Emily's mom had worked at the front desk of my office at one point.) So we got together and I showed Emily the manuscript, and then she e-mailed me a sample page - it was the 'A is for abdomen' page - it was so cute, I fell in love instantly."
"I think that if parents are open and honest with their kids - 'yes, you may need a shot today but it helps keep you healthy,' and keep the lines of communication open....that can help decrease the fear level. Don't blindside them with a visit to the doctor's office; let them know ahead of time. Letting kids know that everyone goes (or should go!) to the doctor, both kids and adults, and that it's an important part of staying healthy, helps them understand that it is just something that we all do to live a long and healthy life. Don't use going to the doctor as a punishment, or at least getting vaccines - I've heard more than one parent say, 'If you don't behave I'll have the doctor give you a shot.'
Personally, I always try to address the children and get them engaged in the conversation/visit rather than just talking to their parents. Getting the kids involved and really listening to what they have to say helps put them at ease. While it's generally faster to get the answers from the adults, talking directly with the kids let's them know that they are the most important person in the room."
"I have an 11 year-old boy currently reading the Alex Rider books, he generally likes adventure books and sports books.
And my 6 year-old daughter would sit and listen to anything; she just loves to read and to be read to. We've started the Rescue Princesses series - I really like to read books with her that have strong female characters that encourage science, math, friendship, being brave, athleticism, etc., rather than books that steer girls towards all glitz and glamour. I feel there is enough of that in society as it is, and I want my daughter to know that she can do anything she wants to. I want to foster her interest in all sorts of things so we try to mix up what we read."
"I think that the best advice is to try to keep it a positive experience, let them know that they are going to the doctor's office for a well child visit, sick visit (whatever the visit may be) and let them know that the doctor is on their team, working to help keep them healthy."
THANK YOU Stephanie!! For the interview and your delightful book! You can also check out Dr. Cox's 'My Doctor and Me ABC' Facebook page for more tips on helpful medical or social issues regarding kids' health, diet, activity, and new recommendations (i.e. reading, seat belts, etc).
My friends, I've got TWO of Dr. Stephanie's marvelous 'My Doctor and Me ABC' books to give away today ~ just leave a comment down below before midnight on Saturday the 19th, Pacific time, and I'll announce two winners on Sunday, July 20!
~the giveaway is now closed~
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