A recent study has discovered the most important topics that parents would like their doctor to talk to their teenage children about during routine check-ups.
While there were differences between different ethnic groups and genders, these were the top ten most popular subjects overall:
- Physical changes of puberty
- Drug use
- Tobacco use
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Eating disorders
The results revealed that drug use ranked as the second most important topic among Hispanics, while exercise/sports held that spot for whites and blacks. Results also vary according to both gender and age of children. Parents of 15- to 17-year-olds select drinking, tobacco use, STDs and pregnancy prevention as the most salient themes for doctors to broach with this age group. But whereas parents of boys in this age bracket rank drinking and tobacco as significant, parents of adolescent girls point to sexual abstinence and eating disorders.
No mention is made of the reasoning that parents gave for wanting their doctor to discuss these issues, though of course they’re all pretty important.
It would be cynical to suggest that parents are shirking their own responsibility to educate their children. Some, of course, may want the State, education, and the medical profession to do that for them, but I suspect that most parents just don’t feel knowledgeable enough to provide in-depth, up-to-date information about these hot issues.
Parenting a teenager is rarely easy, after all, particularly in today’s fast-paced world.