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How do I tell 3 year old he is having surgery?
crunk05177 posted:
DS2 is going to be getting minor surgery done in March. He has what is called curly toes where his fourth toe is so crooked it sits under his third even when he is standing/walking. It doesn't bother him not but it definitely will when he gets older so we want to have it corrected. How do I tell him that he is going to be having this done? I can't say the doctor is going to make him all better, because nothing hurts him. Do you have any suggestions on what I should say to him?
Me (29), DH (31), DS1 - Michael (6) and DS2 - Nathan (3 - severe peanut allergy and an egg allergy)
kc_94920 responded:
I would be upfront and honest with him. Tell him that is toe needs to be fixed so that his foot will stay healthy as he grows older, bigger and stronger. Reassure him you will be there for him and that everything will be fine. Between now and then mention it occasionally but try not to make it into a big ordeal, which will only cause anxiety and worry on his part (not things he should be faced with).

My oldest has had a few oral surgeries and this is how we've approach each one. She has done fabulously and while the morning of is always a bit scary, with support and encouragement and non emotional explainations she has never been frightened.
KC~ Mady (10) Logan (7.5) and Coco (4.5)
laney0705 responded:
I agree with KC, explain it very basically. How this will help when he wants to play sports and as he grows taller. Give him a day or two to think about it. After a couple days talk about it again and ask him if he has any questions you can answer for him.
crunk05177 responded:
I wasn't sure if I should be honest or not because I was scared I would stress him out. But you guys are right...I need to be honest with him. I am so worried myself but won't let him see that. Thanks for your advice!
Me (29), DH (31), DS1 - Michael (6) and DS2 - Nathan (3 - severe peanut allergy and an egg allergy)
mrswhitecastle responded:
I would say he has an appointment with the doctor, and the doctor is going to fix his toe. I would explain why it needs fixed.

My opinion differs with the PPs, though. I wouldn't mention the surgery part until the day before, at the very earliest. In fact, at age 3, I probably wouldn't fully explain what was going to happen until that morning. It may depend on the personality of your child, but I know my girls would worry themselves to death if I mentioned it sooner.
Emily (7) Elizabeth (6)
earleyml1012 responded:
Last February (wow it's been a year!) my DD (then 3) had to have 5 cavities filled so they opted to send us to an oral surgery center. We just talked to her about her "surgery" to fix her teeth while she was asleep. Unless a lot of people around him have had surgeries, he'll have no idea what this means. We just told her that they would give her some medicine that made her go to sleep. Then the day of the nurses did a great job explaining to her about how she would have to wear a mask that gives her air and to take deep breaths. They even brought a mask to her for "practice" that way she could get use to it and it wasn't scary. She was allowed to bring a stuffed animal for comfort and they gave her little toys/stickers before hand for being so braved. I was able to stay with her until they wheeled her into the room and surprisingly she didn't cry.

To warn you, he will freak out when he's coming out of it b/c it's a crazy experience for kids. We could hear DD screaming before they allowed us to go back to see her but she wasn't hurt or in pain, she was just confused. So don't let that freak you out. Even once we went back to her, she was still confused that she continued to scream. It took about 20 minutes for her to snap out of it. THIS IS VERY COMMON!

Good luck! It's going to be harder on you than him.
crunk05177 replied to earleyml1012's response:
So I told him last week that in a few weeks we would be going to the doctor so he can make his toes straight that way they won't hurt him when he runs around and plays sports. I told him that everything would be fine and mommy and daddy would be with him the entire time. He pretty much said, ok, and went on playing.

If it were my older son who suffers from anxiety, I would have never thought about telling him until the day of. Nathan is easy going and has "whatever" personality. I am going to mention it again as we get closer and I just pray that they let me be with him every moment he is awake so he doesn't get scared....
Me (29), DH (31), DS1 - Michael (6) and DS2 - Nathan (3 - severe peanut allergy and an egg allergy)

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