It’s a little awkward sitting in the pediatrician’s office with your 18-year-old. Do you watch the cartoons playing on the waiting room TV? Or let your eyes wander over the Disney or nursery rhyme prints on the wall? Maybe you make due reading the selection of magazines geared to parents of young children or the young children themselves?
I let my oldest continue to see his pediatrician until he was in college. When G, who’s in the middle, was about 16, I switched him and his sister to a pediatrician who specializes in adolescents. So that’s where K, now 18, has been going since she was about 12. But the office still sees small children — thus the cartoons and toys.
And then there’s the dilemma about accompanying your child into the examining room. It’s awkward now. You can go with them to ask the doctor a question or to relay information you think is important for the doctor to know, but then you get kicked out so the doctor can speak privately with your child.
Just one more learning process to go through — mostly for the kids, who need to learn how to navigate the health care system and communicate with medical professionals. An important step we all need to help our kids through.