Manic: Discovering that our long-time pediatrician had retired! And this was at the start of the school year last August!
Managed: Asking my great gal pal, Liz who she takes her kids to see, and wow…what an amazing doctor! I have to tell you about her because if your pediatrician isn’t doing this, you should be doing it yourself. Read on to see what I mean!
We loved our pediatrician. My kids adored him, so we were surprised to find out that he had left the practice. Really surprised, so now with the new school year in full swing, I had to quickly find a new doctor for my now teen and tween. I really had needed to find a new doctor, only because our beloved physician was quite the drive from our home. But we loved him that much. Would we find a new doctor that our entire family liked that much? Well, I knew who to ask and that is my good friend, Liz!
She has two kids the exact same age of my two and through the years we had taken our babies to infant massage together, supported them through their church confirmations and most recently attended the big high school orientation. So she looks for the same qulities I do when it comes to the folks who care for our kids.
Without hesitation, Liz told me that Dr. Diane Matsumoto with TLC Pediatrics was the pediatrician of choice in our neighborhood and wow, was Liz right! At the first physical, Dr. M. took her time with both of my kids and really listened to their questions and concerns. And she knows how to get the teens talking. That is important! Now here is what she did that I’m wondering if your pediatrician does….
When it was time for my oldest, my teenage son, she asked little sister to step out of the room. She then asked my boy if I could stay or if he wanted Mom to step out, too. Lucky for me, he said that I could stay. After the physical exam, she asked my son a few questions…
1. Do you do drugs or smoke pot?
Whoa, I thought! He doesn’t do those things. He is a straight A student in honors courses and he is very committed to his hockey team, too.
He told her no, that he has no interest in that stuff.
She then looked at me and told me that she has to ask that question because she is seeing a lot of that with today’s teens. Fair enough, I thought. And then I realized that these are questions that I should be asking, too….even if I’m sure that he doesn’t do any of that and even if it makes me uncomfortable to ask those questions.
2. Do you have a girl friend?
I thought to myself, no, not yet, thank goodness.
He kind of smirked and told her no. She then went on to tell us that even if he wasn’t ready to ask a girl out yet, to know that the girls are indeed interested in him and to be aware of that, Mom.
This I know because I have a girl, too! Again, another good topic to discuss, just so he knows that when he does become interested in a girl, we can talk about it.
3. Do you have a Facebook page?
When he answered yes, her next question was for me…..was I a friend on his Facebook page and do I check it? Yes, I told her and I let her know that we didn’t allow him to have a Facebook until he turned 13, which is Facebook’s minimum age. She liked my answer.
4. Do you have a cell phone that you text on?
Yep, he told her and again she directed her next question to me….do you check his texts, Mom? I sure do, I told her. And then I realized that it was pretty cool that she was asking me these questions in front of him so that he knows that we check his phone, his Facebook and that it is our job to ask questions during the tricky teen years.
So, after his exam concluded, little sister came in for her turn. Since she is younger, she didn’t get the same questions. The conversation turned to sugar. How did Dr. M. know that my girl loves and sneaks sugar? She explained to my little lady that her plate should be 50% fruits and veggies and very little sugar. Thank you Dr.M. My girl gets tired of hearing that from me, so it was nice to have her doctor tell her this. And it got my tween thinking about her food choices. Good stuff!
So does your pediatrician do this? With the world we live in filled with drugs, bullying and more, these are important questions to ask your teens and tweens and having a good dialogue with your kids helps to guide them to make good decisions.
Kudos to Dr. Matsumoto with TLC Pediatrics! Oh and did I mention that she has five kids? That experience certainly helps! I do believe that it takes a village and so far, my kids are behaving pretty darn good, but we take it day by day and we remember to ask questions and communicate with our precious children.