Skipping the white lies and asking a single question is a better way to deal with tiny patients’ great big fears.

If a doctor is prescribing an injection, odds are it’s something the child really needs, but there’re few things that’ll scare a kid more quickly than a doctor with a needle in his or her hand. So to help keep the kid from panicking, many doctors, and parents too, fall back on the old white lie of “This won’t hurt a bit.”

Of course, after it’s over often the kid will scream and cry about how it really did hurt, because, come on, someone just stabbed a needle through their flesh and into their vein! It’d be weirder if that didn’t feel at least a little unpleasant.

Still, the fib gets them to sit still long enough for the doctor to administer the shot, right? But an incredibly kind and clever doctor recently showed Japanese mother and Twitter user @miyacollections an even better way to handle the situation, one that kept her child calm both before and after the injection.

“When my kid needed an injection, the doctor asked ‘Do you want the injection that hurts? Or the one that doesn’t hurt very much?’

‘The one that doesn’t hurt very much!’ answered my kid, and he didn’t cry. When it was over, my kid said ‘It hurt, but I’m glad I chose the one that doesn’t hurt very much,’ and was satisfied with his decision and how things turned out.”

“The doctor’s question was the kindest lie in the world,” concluded @miyacollections, and Twitter commenters were equally impressed with the doctor’s skillful handling of the common kid’s fear, saying:

“I never would have thought of that!”

“I’m an adult, and I wish the doctor would ask me that [before I get a shot].”

“Kids need to feel like their thoughts have an effect, and letting them make a choice like this helps them feel like they’re not being forced into a situation.”

“They say that the sensation of pain is amplified when you feel like you’re not in control of the situation, and lessened when you feel like you are in control. This doctor must really understand that.”

There’s no denying that the doctor has a keen understanding of child psychology, and also a kind heart. But as for his question of “Do you want the shot that hurts, or the one that doesn’t hurt very much?” being a lie? The doctor can probably skate by on a technicality there, since as an experienced medical professional he has the training and muscle memory to at least make the shot hurt less than it would in less-skilled hands, even if that’s a service he already provides to his little patients without being asked.

Source: Twitter/@miyacollections via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso
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