If ever an ounce of prevention was worth a pound of cure, it's when patients have teenagers at home. While most teens do okay, rattling in my head are stories of basically good kids from basically good homes who got into serious trouble:
One story is one too many. So whatever the medical situation...patients with teens must address their children's extra needs. Unfortunately this may not happen unless those parents are pushed.
[Parents] may tell you their troubled teens are fine, because they believe it. Or they may admit they're worried about their teens but feel too overwhelmed by their health issues to deal with that now. Still other parents may report they've tried talking with their teens, only to have their children plug in and tune out....
Here's a minimalist guide to helping...patients who have teens at home:
- Shine a spotlight on the needs of their teens.
- Encourage and empower [these parents]
- Recommend My Parent has Cancer and it Really Sucks (Cancer Sucks, for short).
If my years as a mother raising three children in the shadow of my cancer have taught me anything, they've taught me this: The greatest gift we can give our children is not protection from the world, but the confidence and tools to cope and grow with all that life has to offer.
[Excerpted from View From the Other Side of the Stethoscope]