It can be very stressful to manage the behavior of young children ANYWHERE, but especially within a medical office.
Today, a mother and her two children (ages 2 and 3) came to the clinic for annual physicals, but needed to complete the red-tape process prior to being seen. While she talked to insurance reps on the phone, her children were initially engaged with toys, crayons, and coloring sheets. However, that didn’t last long. Soon they were running around everywhere!
As a mental health provider in a medical clinic (i.e., “integrated care” environment), I see situations like this all the time.
Moms|Dads|Caregivers doing their best to simultaneously attend to the children and insurance eligibility checks, phone calls with reps, and visit registration procedures. Depending on the current energy level and stimulation needs of the child, the registration process can be relatively easy or a complete nightmare. Sensing that we were heading into ‘complete nightmare’ zone, I came out of my office and engaged with the children.
We sang, cleaned up crayons and coloring sheets, and danced. This soon morphed into a full-on exercise session.
It was a quick, effective workout!
- Jumping Jacks
- Push ups
- Running in place
- Knee lifts
- Arm stretches
- Leg stretches
- Touching toes
- Reaching toward the sky
- Making animal noises (I do a mean elephant!)
- Giving High-5s
The results were awesome:
- The kids expended some of their pinned up energy.
- Mom was able to focus and handle her business with a smile on her face!
- Office staff were able to keep calm, laugh, and even suggest our next moves.
- The kids went into the exam room calmer and possibly more cooperative. Well, until it was time for shots 🙁
An entrepreneur and idealist-at-heart, I could envision a new genre of medical care. Concurrent daycare is nice. But concurrent fitness sessions is even better!! Tire them out BEFORE they head to the waiting/exam room, lol!
Truth be told, those kids had me moving more than I have in a few weeks (strike that, it’s more like several months). I needed that. We helped one another.