Adolescents experience many changes, some requiring them to care for themselves independently. However, when it comes to health, many parents or caregivers hesitate to relinquish the responsibility to the teenager, fearing they may leave out significant loopholes. While this is an understandable fear, you must involve your child in managing their health once they reach teenhood.
First, these kids experience mental and physical changes, which is part of healthcare. If these changes aren’t broken down properly, they can be overwhelming. Second, they can learn more about their bodies by encouraging your adolescent child to go for checkups from experts like https://rexburgpediatrics.com/services/adolescent-care/. It helps them make better decisions that may affect their health and well-being. Lastly, allowing them to participate in their health care actively instills a sense of responsibility, which is a crucial skill to have early in life.
This article guides you through more ways to involve your teenager in healthcare.
A Guide To Make Teenagers Take Care Of Their Well-Being
Caring for yourself is a valuable skill that young people should learn. Here is a guide to help teenagers be actively involved in their health:
Talk To Them About The Importance Of Their Health
Many teenagers don’t know much about their health. Therefore, they won’t know what to do if you don’t talk to them about it. Encourage teens to take an active role in their well-being by telling them about the importance of monitoring their health and how to detect any conditions. Explain any risks that can harm their health and how they must care for themselves.
Let teens know if they have any health conditions and that they should take the necessary steps to manage their health. It can encourage them to learn about risk factors for their health and how to manage or reduce them. For instance, if your teenage child has a specific food allergy and is aware of it, they can avoid foods that trigger allergies.
Also, encourage open communication. Given the rapid physical and emotional changes that adolescents experience, they may find it embarrassing to talk about their health needs. Building trust with young people and encouraging them to express themselves freely can foster open communication. They can tell you about their health experiences and needs without feeling judged. In addition, open communication can help reduce the stigma associated with seeking health advice. They can also feel more secure and empowered to make healthy choices.
Effective communication may also require you to ask questions about how they stay healthy and their health issues. Allow them to also ask their question, then take your time to listen actively to their responses and answer any questions they may have.
Encourage Healthy Lifestyle Habits
An excellent place to start is by being a good role model, creating a healthy environment yourself, and encouraging minors to follow suit. It can help them understand the importance of healthy choices that benefit their health.
First, motivate young people to get involved in physical activity, which is one of the main ways to stay healthy. For example, regular physical activity can help teens build strong bones and muscles. It also reduces their risk of chronic conditions like obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Therefore, encourage adolescents to participate in sports, dance, outdoor activities, etc.
In addition, encourage teens to make healthy food choices, which include preparing healthy meals, eating more homemade foods than fast foods, serving more fruits and vegetables than junk snacks, drinking lots of water, and having a balanced diet. A healthy diet is essential for teens, promoting proper growth and development while preventing problems arising from poor nutrition.
More importantly, discuss with them the various risky behaviors and consequences of sex, alcohol, and substance abuse. Discourage early sexual activity. If your teen is already sexually active, teach them to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections and diseases.
Promote Preventative Care
Preventative care is essential for young people, as it can help detect any health issues early enough. It includes regular checkups, immunizations, screenings, counseling, etc. Adolescent preventive care mainly focuses on anticipatory guidance encompassing social, medical, developmental, and environmental issues.
Advise minors to seek preventive care twice a year. If one already has any health condition, they should go for this care more often, depending on the nature of their underlying conditions.
First, let them have access to a healthcare provider on their own. This can help them have a trusting relationship; your teen may feel free to ask health questions that would be embarrassing if you were in the room. Additionally, a healthcare provider can monitor your minor’s health and guide them in establishing healthy habits.
Secondly, provide teens with information about their health insurance coverage and options. Explain to your child how insurance works, how they can contact customer service, and which services they can access and where. This can also empower them to advocate for their well-being. In addition, they can understand their health rights and access quality care when they need it.
Most importantly, educate your minor on how to deal with a health emergency. Teach them essential first-aid treatment tips and give them contact information for doctors and ambulances. In addition, during hospital visits, let them fill prescriptions independently and encourage them to go through the process alone but under your guidance.
Involve Teens In The Decision-Making Process About Their Health
This can include allowing young people to participate and express their concerns to doctors privately and actively. Also, consider their opinions and preferences, such as which doctors they want to see or which health institutions they prefer. Also, please provide them with accurate information about their health so they can take charge. For example, if your minor is suffering from HIV, don’t hide from them. While it is understandable to keep it a secret, hiding it can unknowingly make them engage in risky behaviors or activities. On the other hand, when they’re aware, they can follow the doctor’s instructions and monitor their health.
Provide Opportunities To Learn About Health
Opportunities to learn about health can help people be more aware of their well-being and make informed choices. Classes and workshops related to health are a great way for teens to explore their health. They can include wellness workshops, fitness sessions, meditation, support groups, and nutrition classes. You can also give them access to resources like health websites and books to give them more insights about their health and the healthcare system in your region.
With proper support and guidance, teenagers can take on the role of caring for themselves.
Getting teens involved in their healthcare is crucial to their overall well-being and development. By empowering them to take an active role in their healthcare decisions, teens can learn valuable skills that will serve them well throughout their lives. From encouraging open communication to providing education and resources, there are many ways parents, healthcare providers, and educators can support teens in their healthcare journey. By working together, we can help ensure that our teens receive the care they need to thrive and lead healthy, fulfilling lives.