Yesterday was "Needle Day" for my two little guys. We'd been building up to this for a couple weeks, as my youngest isn't the biggest fan of needles (for obvious reasons). I was truthful when they asked if it would hurt and we talked about different things they could do when the shot was administered. I had to have a lot of blood work done as a child so now, at age 32, I'm "old hat" with needles. They really don't bother me in the least and I credit this with one of my parents (my Mom, I think) teaching me to watch the needle going into my arm. Their reasoning was that it's much easier to be afraid of the unknown than it is to be scared of something you can see. I explained this to the boys, and told them that they could also look away if they thought that would make them feel better.
At the office, when it came time for the boosters, our Doctor told the boys that they should look away and take a deep breath -- that by the time they let it out, the needle would be done. She didn't like my idea of having them look -- thought it would "traumatize" them.
My oldest shot her a rather skeptical look after her explanation and shook his head. I leaned down and asked him which way he wanted to do it and he wanted to do it "Mom's Way". He got a good look at the needle and watched it go in without a noise, wince, or movement. He then told me that it wasn't that bad and waited for his band-aid. The doctor was amazed.
She was doubly amazed when my youngest opted to do it the same way with the same results.
I think she just might have learned something about kids and their fears yesterday. It's a lot easier to meet stuff head on than allow imaginations to fester apprehension until it becomes a phobia. I am so very proud of my boys for, firstly, making up their own minds and, secondly, looking their fear in the eye and spitting at it. My kids are Rock Stars.