Does She Get Private Time with Her Doctor?

by Jun 27, 2024General, Her Moods & Mind, Sex + Relationships

As parents, we work hard to find the right pediatrician for our babies – one that we trust to care for our precious littles and support us as parents. But as our littles become bigs – it may be time to reassess the fit for your family. Lots of wonderful pediatricians transition to teen care beautifully, but sometimes your child may deserve a different provider. 

When my daughter hit 12, and definitely by 13, I expected her to have some “alone time” with her doctor, but the visits went by with me in the room. Honestly, it didn’t bother me too much. I mean, she had ME. I was talking with her about ALL.THE.THINGS, and I’m pretty sure her pediatrician knew that..  

But at the 14 year old visit (high school, right?), her doctor asked her all the questions about depression, sexual activity, and substance use IN FRONT OF ME. 🙅🏻‍♀️😶 

I have to say I was not happy. As a teen, my daughter deserves to have confidential conversations with a doctor SHE trusts. Ignoring the importance of confidentiality is not the way to build trust with tweens and teens. And trust ME – they need as many trusted adults as they can find (have I said trust enough?).

Many parents might believe they SHOULD be present for those questions, but we know in adolescent medicine that it’s not a good idea. We’ve all had too many discussions with absolutely great kids who were not being honest with their parent about things like vaping, alcohol, sex, or even their depression and anxiety symptoms.

As a mom, I know we don’t want to think about our kids hiding their risky behaviors or deep feelings from us, but sometimes they just do.

They don’t want to disappoint us. 

They don’t want to get in trouble. 

They don’t want another lecture.

They don't think it's a big deal.

But here’s the thing about confidential medical care: when a healthcare provider ensures confidentiality and can have a heart to heart talk with them, they open up and are amazingly honest. And I’ve never met a healthcare provider for teens that wasn’t dead set on helping them follow a path toward safety and wellness. We’re all on the same team. (Btw, if a young person discloses thoughts or behaviors that are life-threatening for themself or others, doctors are required to report that to a parent and/or the appropriate authorities). 

So – back to my story… 

I asked my daughter if she thought most teens give honest answers when they were asked those questions in front of a parent. 

She just 😂🤣🤭.

So, for her 15 year old check up, I took her to her new pediatrician. Her new doc spent a chunk of time with us together, gathering medical history and asking about my concerns, then she said BUH BYE 👋🏼 to me, and whisked my girl off for a separate chat, making her feel confident about her confidentiality.

On the way home, of course I asked what they talked about. 

Her reply? 

“That was between me and Dr Natalie. I don’t have to tell you.” (btw – that’s SO 15!). 

Perfect answer. I trust that I’ll be informed if there are serious concerns, but now, I know my teen has a trusted healthcare provider she can confide in, and I know she’ll get advice that is focused on helping her stay safe, informed, and healthy.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. ✅


Did you know Girlology offers
grade-by-grade video playlists to support her and you — on ALL.THE.TOPICS she should be talking with her doctor about!
Learn More Here.

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