He is our only child so this is a road newly traveled for us.
This is the year he's become self conscious about his body. His annual physical is coming up and I'm wondering at what age do parents let their teens go into the examination alone? I don't feel comfortable with that but I also don't quite know how that works when the Dr. is doing groin check, etc.
He's already said he can go in alone but mama doesn't think so. However, I have been known to hover. It's difficult for his dad to get time off but truth be told, our son is so self conscious rignt now, THAT would even be problematic.
Isn't there usually a nurse in the room if you're not there?
I let my boys go in for their physicals alone at that age - that way, they can ask the doc questions and our pediatricians always talk about drugs and sex during the physicals, and so having privacy and candor were good.
I would certainly let a young man of 14 get his exam and talk to the doctor alone. Seriously, mama, do you think the doctor is going to molest him in the exam room? (If so, why are you going to that doctor?) Look at it this way. If the Men's Health forum is any indicator, teenagers (especially young ones) experience tons of angst over things that someone their mom's age and gender would think inconsequential (or even unintendedly hilarious). But they are neither inconsequential nor hilarious to the teenager.
With mama sitting in, no self-conscious kid is going to ask questions about penis size, masturbation, lumps, STDs, whether pre-ejaculate has sperm in it, or a lot of other things. There are tons of unreliable lore out there among his friends and online. Where would you rather he get his information, and when do you want him to learn to trust a doctor for information and help? No time like the present.
Your line, when his name is called, is to look at him brightly and cheerfully and say "I'll be out here reading this magazine. Ask the nurse to get me if you need anything." But please, give him the dignity of learning to be autonomous in his own medical life. The more you do it now, the less likely he will be one of those adult men who irritates the heck out of his wife because he won't ever go to the doctor.
Take care, mama. First of many times you have to let go. :)
What age will you let him go in by himself - 15, 16, 17?
At age 12 I let my kids go into the exam room by themselves. Before they went, I'd go with them to get weighed and measured. Afterwards, the doctor usually came to the waiting room to have me sign off on any needed shots.
Your child will gain confidence by talking with doctor himself; it's little things like this that will help him become an adult.
Thank you everyone for the reassurance and direction. I'll take your advice and let...him...go...alone. LOL. I think I'll go in for the weigh and measure at the beginning, say hello to the doc, and then vamoose to the waiting room. When I told DS what the plan was, he seemed unfazed. Like, "Whatever, Mom.".
This kid is the product of 8 long years of infertility and 10 in vitro fertilizations. To say that's created some baggage about letting him go is an understatement. I'm a work in progress. Thankfully, he's a great kid and very independent in spite of me. (It also didn't help that when I asked the mother of a 15 year old boy in my neighborhood what she did, she said she stayed in the room and just looked out the window during the groin check, etc. That didn't seem quite right to me either. Uncertainty ensued.)
So thank you again. I'm sure it will be fine and I'll find something else to obsess about. Just kidding.
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