This is a sponsored guest post.
All parents wish parenting came with a book filled with infallible recipes. It would certainly make new parents’ lives a lot easier. Since this never happened so far, throughout history, parents had to figure out many things on their own. Fortunately, the modern era fixed some difficulties while creating others, but the good news is parents can now rely on science and other resources to learn and manage raising their children better. In the past, parents had their own families and neighbors teach them how to care for a child. Today, we have the internet, plenty of books, psychologists and development experts, and so on. One thing that did not change with time is the presence of a doctor to advise, prevent, and treat. One of the most revered members of the community, the ancient healer or the modern doctor were and will always be the go-to choice for parents when they need support and adequate care for their child. The pediatrician or the family doctor know everything about the entire family. They are the ones that teach, comfort, and intervene in times of distress. Knowing this, we have to ask ourselves how doctors behave as parents. Are they extraordinarily cautious? Are they obsessed with their children’s health? Are they spoiling their kids or not? We aim to find out today!
1. Doctors teach their children to be mindful of their own health
When very young, children cannot properly explain their symptoms when something ails them. This is why parents rush to emergency rooms or call their pediatrician whenever the small human seems to be in pain or distress. However, as time goes by, parents should learn and teach their children how to recognize the signs of a health problem and express it so everybody understands. This early training in understanding symptoms for both parents and children leads to fewer cases of misdiagnosis or improper treatments. Moreover, doctors teach their children to refer to the right doctor for the right problem, and this is something all people should do more often. The key aspect is that parents should learn about common illnesses and health issues from doctors and not the internet and pass this good practice to their children. Recent statistics show that four in ten Americans self-diagnose on the Internet. The worst problem is that young adults (under 45) think they are medical experts simply because they use the internet for medical information and are less likely to visit their doctor annually. They are usually parents and their children are likely to learn such behavioral patterns. We will not cover extensively the dangers of self-diagnosis here, but the bottom line is this: parents and children should learn about health problems from doctors and they should always refer to a professional whenever something is wrong.
Doctors also need to take good care of themselves to avoid physician burnout.
2. Doctors offer their children everything they want without spoiling them
One of the first things a child learns about his doctor-parent is that the parent is an extremely responsible, hard-working, and busy adult. Many doctors’ children miss their parents and wish to spend more time with them. Many busy parents end up spoiling their children to compensate the fact that they work too much and spend little quality time with the little ones. However, there is a fine line between spoiling a child and educating the little one into becoming a responsible person. Doctors usually do not spare any expenses when it comes to their children. Considering that a physician’s yearly salary is very high, affording plenty of things for their children and offering them a comfortable life poses no problems. Nevertheless, buying things for the kid does not equal proper parenting and most doctors know this. Moreover, compensating absence through gifts or spoils is not the proper way to turn a child into a future successful adult. Doctors’ children learn even from the earliest ages that you need to work hard for everything that you have and you want to achieve in the future. If we have to learn anything from doctors who are parents we have to understand what spoiling is in reality and when we can talk about spoiling a child – as doctors say there is no such thing as spoiling an infant for instance!
3. Doctors encourage their children to develop healthy social interactions
Even if the American Academy of Pediatrics relaxed the rules and recommendations regarding children and media use, this does not mean parents should allow their children more screen time, even if the little ones insist. Setting boundaries and making children understand that some limitations are for their own good (even if they will not believe you very soon) works towards the unspoiled, more responsible teenager and adult we were talking above. The 2017 UNICEF report on the state of children in the digital world highlights some of the benefits of young children accessing the internet and learning their ways around computers and mobile devices. However, the same report warns about the dangers of children spending time online and trading real, meaningful social interactions for online ones. If you went to your pediatrician recently with the little one, you probably heard the doctor telling you that children should benefit of free time for outdoor play and opportunities to play together with other children. Moreover, you probably heard the doctor saying that you should design media-free time and media-free locations at home, according to the new recommendations coming from the AAP.
Doctors are not the perfect parents. They know a bit more about the importance of vaccines, healthy diets, exercise, using the right resources to solve a health problem, and more – but they are not infallible. In fact, more and more doctors nowadays experience burnout and fatigue, symptoms of depression, and emotional detachment. Surely, these problems are likely to reflect on the way they interact with their children. However, no matter how much they feel suffocated by bureaucracy and a chaotic healthcare system, doctors do their best to turn their kids into happy, responsible, mindful, self-aware, and smart adults.