Child Psychology in Circumcision
Every child of an understanding age should be informed about what circumcision is, what benefits it will have, and what measures to take to avoid pain, both his family and the person who will do the procedure. Circumcision should be performed by physicians who are specialist surgeons!
Circumcision can cause a great deal of stress for the family and the child. Especially as the child gets older, this tension can increase and become a great burden on the family. For this reason, it is very important to prepare the child and the family psychologically before circumcision. There are no strictly defined standards and written rules for psychological preparation. However, I would like to share with you my observations, experiences and the results of my research on this subject over the years.
It is actually the most important issue for parents to prepare themselves psychologically for circumcision before the child is born. The child is the mirror of the family and the attitude of the parents about circumcision directly affects the child. While the calm approach of the parents encourages the child, a stressful attitude on the contrary affects the child negatively.
In short, the institution that prepares the child for circumcision is mainly the family. Before circumcision, it is important for parents to remove all their worries and concerns about the procedure. For this purpose, they can conduct a good research and a preliminary interview with the experts of the subject. Children should not be told about this issue until all their questions have been answered and before they have decided when and to whom they will have the circumcision done. When the parents feel ready for the concept of circumcision, it is time to prepare the child.
Regardless of the age of the child, the point of view and way of thinking about circumcision is different from adults. Children’s imagination is very wide. Since children’s perspectives on the world and circumcision are quite different from ours, he will not evaluate what is told to him like an adult. Children take many things that they hear from their friends about circumcision or that adults say as a joke (for example, the joke that it will be cut with an ax) and draw a very different portrait of circumcision in their minds.
For this reason, explaining circumcision to children in its finest details often has the opposite effect. The two words that cause the most reaction and fear in children are “cut” and “needle”. Although an explanation such as “Uncle doctor will make a small needle in his pipe and then cut off the end” makes perfect sense to us adults, it is perceived quite differently in the imagination of children. While a child who has had an injection elsewhere before remembers this pain, now he learns that it will be done in the most sensitive place, his fear increases 10 times. And for the child who thinks that his penis will be cut off completely, circumcision becomes a truly terrible event. Especially when such information is given to the child a few months before the circumcision, it becomes the child’s nightmare.
It is also very important not to make circumcision the most important agenda item at home and not to talk about this issue much in front of the child. Stress will be minimized if all explanations to the child are made shortly before the circumcision, and if words such as “cut” and “needle” are not used. While the child’s seeing the intervention environment and meeting the doctor who will perform the procedure before the circumcision relaxes some children, it frightens some children more. It should not be forgotten that every child has a different personality. That’s why, the amount and quality of the information to be given to the child and the psychological preparation strategy should be determined in accordance with the personality of the child.