Adolescence: Friend or Foe?
October 10, 2017 01:00PM
As I sit down to write this post, I thought about all of my roles in my life and what makes me qualified to write about adolescence. I am one of the Patient Partners who works with the staff at PANW to give the parent perspective. I feel proud that so much thought is put into providing the best care for my kids. I am a wife, a mom, a student, an employee, a volunteer, a sister, an aunt, and a daughter. I have navigated my own adolescent years as well as somewhat gracefully floundering through it with my 18-year old son and my 15-year old son. I am now anticipating the journey with my 7 year-old son. While adolescence can bring many questions, concerns, and confusion, it is also a time full of growth and learning (for both adolescents and parents alike!). We must focus on helping our children become happy, healthy and successful adults.
When my oldest son was 17, we went through a challenging time. The natural pull to be independent but still needing guidance can bring significant challenges. During this time, my son had an appointment with Dr. Rosenbloom that I did not attend. I was feeling inadequate as a mother and struggling, just trying to do all the right things. Shortly after, I attended an appointment with another one of my children. Dr. Rosenbloom asked me how things were going and handed me a tissue when I started to cry. He was careful to keep his visit with my son private but looked at me with knowing eyes and told me that I was doing a great job and to hang in there. Those simple words were not a medical diagnosis, not a test result but exactly what I needed to hear. We continued with the visit I was there for but I left feeling so much better than when I came. I felt encouraged, like someone understood and a renewed sense of keeping up the hard work of parenting.
After one appointment, my teen told me, “I love Dr. Rosenbloom, I can actually TALK to him!” At a 15 year well child visit, my son came excitedly out of his appointment and told me all about how Dr. Rosenbloom said that at the next well child visit they were going to have the “driving talk.” I’m so grateful that Dr. Rosenbloom is able to support our family in these discussions so it’s not just coming from mom and dad but someone they respect and trust.
Often times, information and resources can help relieve some of the stress of the unknown. Pediatric Associates of the Northwest (PANW) wants to be a support during this time. Their website provides resources including:
- The Patient Portal where you can email your provider with questions and concerns
- Questions and Answers about how appointments change during adolescence
- Resources such as books and websites
- Sample forms to keep you informed about what will be provided at visits to your adolescent
I encourage you to allow the providers at PANW to help you through this season of parenting. They will celebrate the successes with you and support you during the rough patches.
Patient Partner, Tigard Office