Shots at the doctor

This is a pretty controversial subject and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. Not specifically about the shots per say. I mean, who really likes getting a shot? What I’m unsure of is how to approach "shots at the doctor" with my son.

See, when I was a kid, I wanted to know upfront if I was getting a shot. So naturally I assumed that was the best policy to approach "shots at the doctor" with my son.

Recently PJ had to get his vaccinations for Dominica. We were in the doctor’s office and he was happily sitting on my lap while I read him a Dr. Seuss book. Then the doctor came in, checked him out, and it was time for the nurse to come in (with the vaccinations) to do the dirty deed.

His misery is tangible.

As the nurse entered the room, I looked at PJ and said "Okay buddy, now it's time for your shot". He protested, looking up at me with his big brown eyes. I could tell he was scared. The nurse (still preparing the shot) threw a very nasty look my way as if I just commited a crime to humanity and earned myself the Mother of the Year award.

So, my question is: do you tell your kids when they are going to get a shot, or do you let it be an unpleasant surprise?


  1. Well.. I'm mean. I never tell my kids.
    Atleast not until I absolutely have to. This last visit to the ER, for example with Ethan, I was furious that this idiot nurse told him that he needed to give blood.. which would be ok if she had any plans on doing that soon. But she wasnt going to do it for another hour or more. So he stressed that entire time.
    Bottom line.. I dont think i should cause any more stress by telling them ahead of time. But then again each child is different, so it P responds well or better by telling him first then by all means tell him =]

  2. Steph, It's such a tough subject! He always asks and I don't want to lie to him, you know? But I also don't want to build up his anxiety over it (I only told him right as the nurse came in the room also). Sorry to hear about Ethan and the nurse situation :-(