Adolescence is a far from simple for most.
With so many things changing mentally, socially and physically, children can become overwhelmed during this time and often take this out on their parents. Parenting during this time becomes increasingly difficult. New issues arise as children grow older. These include health issues that children may find to be embarrassing to talk to their parents about.
This is where a GP can come in. GPs can provide teenagers and children with confidential advice without the “parenting” side of things. It can be difficult for parents to hand over the reins to their children and allow them to begin to look after their own health. Yet increased independence is a vital part of growing up.
The question is when is the ‘right’ time to allow children to visit the GP alone. There can be no right answer to this question because whether or not your child is ‘ready’ depends entirely on your child. Many children hit puberty earlier than others so they may want privacy earlier. Yet other teenagers may be fearful of going to the doctor alone so they may need you there for support.
The most important thing is to find a GP that both you and your child are comfortable with. This may mean finding a new separate doctor to your usual family GP. Ensuring that your children are comfortable with their GP and know that all GP sessions are confidential is vital.
Although it is saddening when your child stops coming to you for help, your child’s health is the most important thing and if that means seeing a doctor alone then that’s okay.
Sadly, they all have to grow up.