As children mature and develop, they often become private about their health information and stop sharing concerns with a parent or guardian. Establishing a Pediatrician that children feel comfortable with early on is essential for health concerns as they grow older. Their doctor can be someone that they confide in for advice. As a parent, it can be hard to navigate the line between allowing your teen independence and privacy, while also ensuring they are staying proactive about their health. Here are some tips to navigating that balance without compromising your control:
- Scheduling their own doctors appointments: Allow your teen to call and schedule their own doctors appointment so that they are comfortable with talking to staff, working around their own schedule and asking questions. Allowing them this control will help them feel confident when they arrive at their visits.
- Ask questions: There is no such thing as a “dumb question”, especially when it comes to you or your teen’s health. The more questions they ask, the more clear they will be about their medications, results and health plans. Additionally, the more comfortable they feel with asking their own set of questions, the more they will reach out to medical experts for future advice.
- Making sure to take medication to completion: As an adult, we understand the importance of taking medication to completion, but as adolescents it can be easy to stop taking medication once you start to feel better. In a study from the American Academy of Pediatrics, 80% failed to finish their antibiotics prescribed for ten days. As a parent, this is when monitoring needs to take place. Some of the best ways to ensure medication is being taken as directed are to:
- Post a calendar on the refrigerator and have teen place a check mark each time the medication is taken.
- Buy a pill box or holder so that your teen can easily track dates they have taken their medication and how many days they have left.
- Take medication at the same time each day that fits in with the teen’s schedule.