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Checkups at 14 Years

[14 Year Old Quiz]

What Can Your Child Do at Fourteen?

  • She may be very concerned about her body's changes. She may seem distant and unconcerned about what you say. But what you say may have a greater effect on her than you realize. Therefore, be quick to praise, slow to anger, and reassuring about her positive qualities.
  • Acne is primarily caused by inherited tendencies. Diet has no effect on his acne. However, hair spray and facial creams may adversely affect his skin and worsen acne.
  • Periods may be quite painful to your daughter. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, or Nuprin) is a great drug for menstrual cramps, but should be started as soon as or just before her period begins for the best effect.
  • He may be physically almost an adult. However, maturity level will lag behind because maturity depends on age and experience. Therefore, your child still needs to be guided by you for his own good.
  • She will have the reasoning ability to project far into the future and be worried about her career, marriage, and family life. If she is less mature, she may only be concerned about today. Wise parents can help their teen steer a balance between these two extremes.

What Can Your Child Eat?

  • Your daughter should take extra iron in her diet or in vitamins to avoid anemia from her periods.
  • Moderate exercise 3-4 times a week will help him control his weight.
  • Her daily brushing and flossing of her teeth will prevent decay and gum disease. Flossing is the more important of the two.
  • He should have a balanced diet and should eat breakfast before school. Your example of how to eat will be important since he will have the money and freedom to eat at friends' homes or at convenience stores.
  • Discourage her frequent snacking other than with fruits or vegetables. Do not add extra salt in her food. She should not have red meat and eggs daily.
  • Increase his intake of fiber in cereals, whole-grain breads, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Milk or other calcium-containing foods are important in the teenage years to prevent later osteoporosis (thinning of the bones).

Immunizations

The following immunizations are combined into one injection and may be given about the 14th year:

  • Diphtheria- a respiratory and heart disease that used to kill thousands every year.
  • Tetanus- a bacterial infection of dirty wounds that can be life-threatening.

Tests to Be Done

  • He may have an analysis of his urine when he visits his doctor. This checks for kidney disease, diabetes, and bladder infections.
  • A hematocrit should be done on your daughter since heavy periods can cause anemia.
  • A tuberculin (TB) skin test may be needed if he has been exposed to someone with TB, a chronic cough, IV drug use, HIV disease (AIDS), recent prison time, time in a developing country, or if required by his school or insurance.

Accident Prevention

  • Risk-taking is a common problem among teenagers, more so in boys than girls. She needs to have strict limits set on her use of pellet guns, other firearms, electrical equipment, and power tools. Take away her privilege to operate any of these if she does not show maturity in their use.
  • Know where he is at all times. He may complain that you don't trust him, but if you state the request with genuine concern about his welfare, he will probably accept this rule.
  • Her sports should be closely monitored especially if she competing with older teens.
  • He needs to know a safety plan to get out of your home in case of fire.
  • Teach her to not swim alone, avoid crossing fast-moving streams, enter lakes feet first, and wear a life jacket while in a boat.
  • He should wear a safety helmet at all times while riding a bike, motorcycle, or motorized vehicle.

Emotional and Social Development

  • She needs some freedom and privacy to learn about life. Her possessions and "confessions" should be respected as you would with a friend.
  • Good parents begin to "lose" their job as he matures. You should grow into a relationship with him as a respected advisor rather than the stern director of his life that you once were.
  • She may try to shock you with new ideas and desires. Never attack her personally even if you strongly disagree with some of these ideas. Research shows that most teenagers eventually will live very similar lives as their parents.
  • Encourage him to have a full life by having good academics, time with family and friends, hobbies and crafts, compassion towards the less fortunate, and positive spiritual involvement. Praise his strengths to increase his confidence.
  • Avoid downgrading her friends. She probably sees their faults almost as clearly as you do.
  • Encourage your teen to take on some of the responsibility for planning and organizing hiking and camping trips, trips to museums or the zoo, athletic events, or other family activities.
  • If you use drugs, alcohol in excess, or smoke frequently, he is more likely to use drugs, alcohol, or tobacco himself.
  • No dating until she is 15- or 16-years-old (double dating is preferable initially). The earlier she dates, the greater the likelihood for an unwed pregnancy.
  • He should continue to do chores around his home. A weekly allowance will help him develop some money sense.
  • Extensive television or video games limit family interaction and discourage her creativity.
  • Be involved with his schoolwork as much as possible. Involvement with the PTA will give you some say in how he is taught. If you are not happy about his school, by law, you can be granted a conference with his teacher, principal, and school counselor.
  • Make every effort to attend athletic events, plays, recitals, and other special occasions that occur in her life. Few things you do for her will be so important.

Moral Development of Your Child

  • Teenage pregnancy is not the result of a lack of knowledge about contraception. Irresponsible sex on TV, movies, and printed material and sometimes young adults taking advantage of young teenagers largely cause the problem. Do not be afraid to tell him that sex should be delayed until marriage. Studies show that if you encourage him to wait he will likely delay sexual activity.
  • Provide healthy environments for teenagers of both sexes to be together such as family get-togethers, church meetings, or athletic events.
  • Her morals have largely been formed. However, talking openly with her about sex, drugs, alcohol, and schooling and being a good role model will help her adopt similar values as yourself.
  • He may be confused by the differences between your values and what he views in others, hears on the radio, or sees in television and movies. Discuss these differences with him and advise him on the differences between right and wrong.
  • She will learn more from your example than from what you say. If you smoke and drink often, divorce easily, or have sex with many partners, she will likely repeat this in adulthood.
  • Actively set limits on the amount and type of TV programs and movies he watches. Teach him to evaluate what he is watching for its moral content.
  • About 80-90% of the sexuality shown on TV is premarital, extramarital, or violent, and most of the marital sex is shown as unenjoyable. Unwed pregnancies, diseases, or divorces are seldom mentioned. Teach your child how unrealistic this is.
  • Violence as shown in movies and television is usually self-serving or vengeful. If you do not want her to think of violence as acceptable behavior when she is angry or selfish, then limit her exposure to that philosophy.
  • It is philosophically difficult to maintain firm moral standards without some form of religious instruction. Traditional Christianity and Judaism place value on the individual, the healthy family, and compassion towards others. The media and most other world views emphasize selfishness, irresponsible lives, and hunger for possessions. This is one of the main reasons so many children, teenagers, and young adults are confused and in trouble.
  • Provide him with religious instruction. Otherwise his values will be shaped by others with whom you may not agree. One of the greatest gifts you can give him is to join a traditional Christian church or Jewish synagogue that has a good high school program.

 

 

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14-YEAR-OLD QUIZ

These questions, based on research, are meant to teach you and your teenager facts that will help her have a fuller life.

  1. Most teenagers have sex because they just can't help themselves (True or False).
  2. When a teenage girl gets pregnant by a guy who is several years older, he almost always marries her (True or False).
  3. Having sex with several people can cause you to develop cancer (True or False).
  4. Cigarette smoking causes the smoker to have more colds and causes the people around her to have more colds (True or False).
  5. Chewing tobacco is a safe form of tobacco (True or False).
  6. People who stay married tend to make more money and get better jobs (True or False).
  7. Divorce has no lasting effects on children (True or False).
  8. Teenagers who make themselves vomit have mental problems (True or False).
  9. Educational TV helps teenagers to do better in school (True of False).
  10. The best way to avoid getting overweight is to eat moderately and exercise at least 3 times a week (True or False).
  11. The 2 situations that are most likely to keep a girl from ever marrying are to have a baby and to drop out of school (True or False).
  12. Teenagers involved in a good church or synagogue tend to be happier (True of False).
  13. Divorced persons tend to be less healthy and die younger than married persons (True or False).
  14. The very thin models on TV and in ads usually have had surgery to change their bodies and have eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia (True or False).

Answers and Explanations for Questions

1. False. Research shows that most teenagers have sex out of curiosity, not knowing how to say no, or  because of peer pressure. In the past, most teenagers had waited on sexual activity in large part because most parents and society as a whole disapproved. Now, teenagers hear a much more mixed message from adults, a development that is most disturbing given the research demonstrated destructiveness of teen sexual activity. 2. False. Almost always his intentions are not honorable, meaning he is only interested in using her sexually and then leaving her. Because of this widespread problem, many states have discussed enforcement of statutory rape laws. 3. True. Human papillomavirus is a common cause of cervical cancer in girls and may cause penile cancer in boys. The earlier this infection is acquired the greater the chance for cancer to eventually develop. This is one of the most important reasons for teens to delay sexual activity. 4. True. Tobacco smoke increases the chance of getting a cold in the smoker and in persons nearby. 5. False. Chewing tobacco has a lower chance of causing lung cancer but a higher chance for cancer of  the mouth, lips, and vocal cords. 6. True. The stability and commitment to one another in a marriage leads to better effort in work, higher pay and more secure jobs. 7. False. Many long term problems in children are increased when parents divorce including physical problems (more illness, poorer medical care), mental health problems (more depression and suicide), and social problems (poorer peer and parental relations, increase in divorce themselves). 8. True. Bulimia, or forced vomiting to stay thin, is classified as an eating disorder, an abnormal mental condition. 9. False. Educational TV may seem interesting and attractive, but has not been shown to improve the average child's school performance. Insofar as TV interferes with homework, it can also be destructive. 10. True. Exercise and moderation of diet lead to a healthy weight loss and decrease in heart disease. 11. True. Having a baby and not finishing school both make the girl much less attractive as a marriage partner, regardless of her other qualities. 12. True. Teens involved in spiritual activities have many advantages over those who are not. 13. True. Divorced persons, even if they later remarry are more likely to have health problems.14. True. The body shapes one sees on TV are the results of exercising for hours every day, starvation diets, and often surgery to improve on natural appearances.

 

 

The information contained within this website is no substitution for timely medical care.

Feel free to copy the information on this web site and give to friends and family. Contact Dr. Glenn Wood at Carousel Pediatrics (512) 744-6000
We are located at 7112 Ed Bluestein Blvd., #100 - Austin, TX 78723

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