When your child is young, you likely accompany him or her to every doctor's appointment. As the child ages, however, you'll need to think about stepping back a little. While you may still wish to drive the child to the medical clinic, it may soon be time to sit in the waiting room while your child sees the family doctor. There's no perfect age to make this change; many factors, including the reason that you're taking your child to the doctor and even the child's maturity level, can influence when it's time to step back. Here are some reasons that you should consider letting your child see the family doctor alone.
It Will Save Embarrassment
At some family doctor appointments, your child will need to get at least partially disrobed for an examination — and this definitely isn't something that you need to be present for. While your child may have been comfortable being nude in front of you when he or she was younger, this comfort eventually gives way to feelings of discomfort, and you don't want to put your child through this. This is especially the case when your child reaches puberty, as the child may be shy about the changes his or her body is going through. When you stay in the waiting room, you'll be saving your child from feeling embarrassed.
It Encourages Ownership Over His/Her Health
When you sit in on your child's visits to the family doctor, the doctor will be relaying information directly to you. This dynamic can cause the child to become passive and disinterested in what is being discussed — even though it's about his or her own health. When you stay out of the appointment, it provides your child with an opportunity to take a degree of ownership over his or her own health. For example, if the child is overweight, the doctor may gently suggest some techniques to shed a few pounds. Ideally, your child will hear these messages and put them into practice.
It Allows Your Child To Build A Bond With The Doctor
Sometimes, your child may need to talk about issues with the family doctor that he or she won't want to share with you. Perhaps the child is stressed and matters at home are compounding this feeling. With you in the room, the child won't likely relay this information, and this could cause the stress to worsen. However, when the child and the family doctor meet one on one, they can begin to form a trusted bond that will allow the child to open up about whatever is going on in his or her life.