Office Visits with Dr. V

Episode 9: Conversations for Our Daughters

February 19, 2021

Patients always ask me, “When should my daughter start going to the ob/gyn?” Or “she has _____ and I want her to see you.”  Most often, if your daughter has a gynecologic problem, her first stop should not be the Ob/Gyn.  It should be the pediatrician. This episode addresses the concerns my patients have about their daughters.  Three caring, compassionate pediatric providers answer our questions.  Join Tasha Dial, MD, Kirsten Goolsby, PA and Racquel Tonuzi, MD for an enlightening view into the health issues of our children.

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03:33 - Puberty can be a really confusing time for adolescents, especially girls. With this in mind, it’s extremely important to talk to your kids about puberty from a very young age. This makes them psychologically prepared for the changes that they will experience and makes it easier for them to open up on any issues they might encounter. Unfortunately, many parents don’t know how to talk about these issues with their kids, and that’s why Dr. V. invited three experts for this episode to talk you through the entire process. 

05:19 - Sadly, birth control automatically equals sex for most people. However, that’s far from the truth. From a medical perspective, birth control methods have two main uses, prevent pregnancy and take control of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Some girls experience horrendous menstrual cycles, which, for a teenager, can be overwhelming. So, if your child’s quality of life is being affected by her menses, it’s time you considered using some type of birth control.

12:20 - The pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives, yet we seem to forget a group of people that have also been severely affected, our kids. Sometimes parents rarely recognize that their kids are suffering from mental health issues until it’s too late. Dr. V. believes that responsible parents can never be too busy for their kids. It’s your duty as a parent to monitor your kids and look out for worrying signs such as withdrawal or self-harm. That said, always try and create a conducive environment to have those difficult conversations. And if your child approaches you with troubling topics, the least you can do is lend a listening ear. 

16:42 - We all know that puberty is characterized by several changes such as mood swings. So, how can parents differentiate and deal with puberty mood swings and depression-related mood swings? Dr. V. believes that mothers need to cultivate that unique mother-daughter relationship where girls can comfortably open up to their mothers. This way, you’ll be able to teach your daughters reasonable ways to articulate their frustrations and fears. Nonetheless, sometimes things can get a little tense, and it’s up to you to give your child time to cool off, which allows you to have meaningful conversations. 

20:09 - Even with its proven track record, some people are yet to adopt the HPV vaccine fully. This is because there are still a lot of misconceptions and lies surrounding the vaccine. The good news is that the past couple of years have witnessed a reduced number of cervical cancer cases. If you are the parent of a kid below the age of 15, make it a point to get him or her vaccinated. Vaccines act as preventive measures; thus, it would be best if you protected your kid while you still have control over their decisions. 

26:30 - Even though we all enjoy technological advancements, some aspects of technology, like social media, still need monitoring. Without the appropriate monitoring, your kids can and will consume content that we’d otherwise not tolerate. Even though you’d like to give your kids some privacy, it still makes sense to monitor the type of content they are into. Start by teaching them how to safely use the internet, and if possible, block some apps and websites on their phones. 

33:20 - Over the last two years, especially during lockdowns, the number of obese children has dramatically increased in the U.S. However, the problem has been with us ever since Michelle Obama was First Lady, and it will continue plaguing us unless we do something about it. Dealing with child obesity has to start with the type of foods we make available in our houses.

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