This post is specifically about children and appointments.
I am sure that the counsel of perfection is that children should attend all appointments of other family members and wait, beautifully behaved, in the waiting room. I aim for the latter part of this but if they are having to attend many appointments, I may be provoking them. So,
- we try to avoid taking children to multiple hospital appointments where the waiting rooms may not contain toys.
- we schedule appointments, where possible, in the holidays when the older children can babysit.
- our local general practitioners' surgery has plenty of toys so it is easy to take the younger children
- Hospital appointments in term time often mean taking the younger children.
- Read the appointment letter. A very few appointments, such as some nuclear medicine appointments, do not allow children.
- Explain your expectations to the children, both for the appointment and behaviour, and be realistic. The appointment may take a long time.
- Beware water machines-they seem to cause chaos and I always forget to give the children instructions about use-once, not too much and please, please don't spill the water.
- Pack a backpack with drinks, books and small quiet toys.
- If there is a long wait, does the receptionist know how long it will be? During some long waits for a relative to have treatment, I was able to have an arrangement that the receptionist would phone me at the end. Waits for blood tests are often by number so it is possible to guess whether it is possible to walk for half an hour.
- Don't think that you can read your own book. That is reserved for those occasions when children aren't allowed.
- Have a story or two ready for when boredom sets in. The story of Mummy's holiday aged three or the made up story of the local princess can work wonders at difficult moments.
- Praise good behaviour.
My husband works from home so I can leave Middle Son with him with some reading or writing. I don't like to do this often hence scheduling anything that can wait for the holidays.
Miss Belle is almost school age but not old enough for it to be appropriate for her to work alone. Reading aloud seems the way ahead.
The other possibility, which I've not yet had to try, is to take the day off and catch up later.
Do let me know if you have other suggestions for children and appointments.
This is linked to the Homemaking Link-Up