Talking to Your Pediatrician About Behavioral Concerns

How to Talk to Your Pediatrician About Behavioral Concerns

Welcome back ParentTalk listeners!  We’re pleased to return to our ongoing series on how to talk to your pediatrician, and focus this week on talking to your pediatrician about behavioral concerns.

A child’s behavior, or more precisely, misbehavior, can fall along a broad continuum, ranging from benign to potentially dangerous.  Knowing when and how to bring these behaviors to your pediatrician can not only protect a child’s safety and mental health, it can safeguard family relationships and insulate parents from burnout and emotional distress.

In this week’s episode, Arthur and Susan discuss how to broach conversations with your child’s doctor about unwanted behavior, how to identify the potential causes of this behavior, and importantly, how to manage and dispel the feelings of shame or embarrassment that misbehavior can so often cause in parents.

You can find episode one of this series, “Choosing the Right Pediatrician for Your Child and Family,” here.

“The pediatrician’s not judging. They’re really not. They want to help. Just as when your child has an ear infection, we’re not interested who caused the ear infection. We’re focused on how we can get rid of the ear infection. When a parent is concerned with their child’s biting, I’m not thinking, ‘who got him to bite?’ I’m thinking, ‘how do we help this child find another path?’”

– Arthur Lavin

Episode Highlights:

–  Talking to your pediatrician.

– The problem with expectations, and parents idealizing their children.

– Understanding behavior.

– The role that age and culture play in determining appropriate behavior.

– When should behaviors be brought to a pediatrician?

– Categories of concerning behavior: violating family rules, acting inappropriately, endangering one’s self or others.

– How to talk to your pediatrician about behavioral concerns, and what pediatricians can do to help you and your child.

– Dealing with parental guilt or embarrassment.  Seeking nonjudgmental care.

– What to expect from a good pediatrician.

– Talking to your pediatrician alone.