The grade school boy population can also be a little challenging when discussing medical matters. As a young boy starts to mature, he is likely to start feeling protective of his Mom and be more concerned with her safety. He may be interested in some of the details of the procedure or need more than a cursory explanation. This might allow him to feel some control over the situation or act as part of the “man of the family” even when Dad is standing right there. I am having fun watching this sort of maturity develop in my oldest son right now. When discussing body parts, we have always found it easier to use the anatomic terms in a matter-of-fact manner.

 

Sometimes, it may be easier for a son to hear the “doctor’s prescription” of the procedure in order for it to be justified in his mind. That’s exactly how it went for a 40-something mother of two who was having an eyelid lift. When she shared this news with her teenage children, her daughter greeted the news with squeals of excitement. “Good for you, Mom! I can’t wait to see how you look!”

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Her son, however, was not convinced that he “approved” until she told him that “the doctor said this would only worsen over time”. Then he supported her and remained right by her side for the duration of the post-operative recovery period. Now, many years later, this special bonding experience is one they treasure and frequently recount together.

Older teenagers can be an additional support system for mom and the family, helping keep it all together and even instructing the others. Sometimes when we challenge our children, we are pleasantly surprised at how they can rise to the occasion.


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