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Giving Teens a Voice in Health Care Decisions

You've been responsible for most — if not all — of the decisions about your child's health care. But if you have teens or preteens, now's the time to start including them in health care decisions and let them take a more active role in managing their own care.

Why Include Teens?

Adulthood is just around the corner. So now's the time to help teens take more responsibility for managing their own lives — and their health care is part of that.

This can be as simple as having them call in a prescription and pick it up or as complex as letting them choose a new care provider. This helps teens learn about planning in advance, making choices, and being accountable for themselves. These are skills they'll need in adulthood.

Involving Kids

As the parent of any preteen or teen knows, giving kids new responsibilities doesn't necessarily mean that they'll follow through. It's still up to you to encourage, remind, reinforce, and follow up on the responsibilities you give your child.

As kids get older, it's especially important for those with

Leading the Way

Whenever possible, involve your kids in making health care decisions. Though it might take some extra effort and a bit of patience on your part at first, your kids can become more independent when managing their own health care.

With you there to provide support and guidance along the way, your kids can take that first big leap into adulthood while still having you as a safety net.

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