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Marriage on a Tightrope: 007: Teaching Our Children (Part 1: Being Alone with Adults)

Allan and Kattie introduce the first in a multi-part series, Teaching Our Children.  In this first edition, they talk about their experience teaching their children it isn’t appropriate to be alone with an adult that isn’t their parent or grandparent.


2 thoughts on “Marriage on a Tightrope: 007: Teaching Our Children (Part 1: Being Alone with Adults)”

  1. My wife and I loved this episode and plan on having similar talks with our children!

    I know we are late to this podcast (just now going through them), so hopefully you see this comment, but I’m curious to know your thoughts about the possible exception to this rule at doctors visits.

    I’m a current family medicine resident and see all ages of kids to adults to the elderly. During training we were always taught that around the time of Jr High school we should invite the parents to step out of the room so we could confidentially ask adolescent patient questions about tobacco (vaping is huge right now), alcohol, and sex and provide medically relevant teaching and recommendations regarding these behaviors (STIs, birth control, risks of substance use, etc). Adolescents are told that this is beginning of physician-patient confidentiality and that we would not reveal anything to the parents without their permission unless they are a harm to themselves or others. The reason behind this practice is that adolescents were less likely to endorse these behaviors in front of their parents. Of course, any sensitive examination at my clinic is done with a MA or RN present as a sort of ‘chaperone’ and the parent will stay or leave depending on the preference of the adolescent (17-year-old boys often kicking out their mothers).

    I personally see the value of this private interview in the medical context as several patients who have denied drugs, alcohol, or sexual activity in front of their parents have completely reversed answers to these questions when parents have stepped out of the room. I was then able to subsequently provide appropriate counseling or treatment as applicable. And even more frequently adolescents have asked me questions about tobacco, vaping, or even acne treatment that they felt uncomfortable discussing with their parents around.

    You two obviously felt strongly about this issue and I was wondering how you feel about a possible “doctor” exception. From your perspective, what can the doctor do to make things as comfortable as possible for the parents while still providing the opportunity for adolescents to discuss their own medical care privately (if desired)?

    I hope you see this and look forward to your answer as I’m sure many parents feel similarly as you do. Thanks so much and my wife and I look forward to listening to the rest of your podcasts.

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