|Doctor's appointment?...I'd rather go swimming.|
As the kids prepare for back to school, it’s also a good time to schedule a visit to the doctor. It can sometimes be a challenge trying to encourage our children to live a healthy lifestyle. Scheduling a doctor’s appointment for my teen son brought back memories of an appointment he had several years ago.
I had forgotten about the questions the doctor asks or I would have prepared my son and myself. But what ten year old can’t speak for himself? The doctor asked, “How many times a day do you brush your teeth ?” I looked away because I knew the answer and it wasn’t good. There was a pregnant pause as my son stared at the doctor with a smirk on his face.
I finally blurted out, “One time a day.” The ugly truth was out, I didn’t follow through to make sure my son brushed as he should. Although I tell him repeatedly to brush, I don’t stand over him to be sure it is done (clearly this is what he needs).
The doctor tried her hand at reasoning with my son. She said, “You have to brush on a regular basis. What if you go to school and someone says you have stinky breath?” My son softly replied, “It doesn’t matter what other people think of me.” I silently thought to myself, you’re on your own doc.”
I’m glad my son has a positive self image, but sometimes I wish he would learn when to use it. The volley of questions and answers continued. “Do you eat fruits and vegetables?” the doctor asked.
“Yes, when my mom gives them to me.”
Oh, sure the ball was back in my court now. Of course I provide fruits and vegetables. My son even knows the number of servings he should have each day.
“Do you drink milk?” She continued.
“Only when I eat cereal.”
The doctor looked at me and suggested giving the kids a multivitamin daily. “Chewable vitamins are sufficient and they taste pretty good too,” she said looking at my son.
“Can I get the gummie ones?” my son said with a wide grin.
I’m sure the doctor wasn’t sad to see us leave. She had experienced my daily challenge first hand. My kids understand what it means to be healthy. The challenge is getting them to practice healthy living (eating balanced meals, brushing teeth regularly, etc.).
A fun website for teaching kids about health and nutrition is www.nourishinteractive.com. The site has interactive games that teach kids about the food pyramid. It also tells them how to balance eating and activity. There are individual sections for kids, parents and educators.
Has your child ever had a doctor’s visit that was out of the ordinary? What do you do to encourage a healthy lifestyle with your child?