Own direction - Children and young people
In parents, the parents obviously have the responsibility and direction. Yet it is also good for young children to give them control over a part. For example, by having the child remove the cap from the tube of toothpaste.
As a child grows older, it can take more control over tooth brushing, swallowing vitamin or fluoride tablets, medication use and self-monitoring. If the child takes control over tooth-brushing, it must think about it and discipline it to carry out the fixed ritual. In addition, it must also have the necessary motor skills. The coordination of movements is not good enough for young children to clean all areas of the mouth properly. That is why napeting by the parents is important until the child is sufficiently skilled, for example until the child is about ten years old.
Teenagers can take more control. The attention of young people to their dental care can relax in puberty, but also increase. When young people wear a brace, extra attention is needed for oral care. Young people will pay extra attention and time to oral care when they value good teeth (and a nice smile) and fresh breath. However, not all young people can afford that. Brushing and flossing is easy.
There are so many other things that they find more interesting and important. When children go to secondary school, the influence of parents on their behavior decreases, even though their role remains important. Young people decide more and more what they eat and drink, whether and how much they smoke and whether they use alcohol. Young people also take more responsibility themselves for their oral care and medicine use.
The influence of the group in which a young person moves can be great. Young people generally do not want to stand out in their group of friends and often participate in what is common in the group. Healthy eating, taking medication at the right times and taking your limitations into account are often not included. The foods that are often popular among young people, such as soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks and mixed drinks, increase the risk of dental erosion. In addition, smoking has a negative effect on the teeth and gums.
Adherence to the therapy of young people is a point of attention for care providers (see next box). This attention is also needed in young people older than eighteen. Taking control, not just about health but about life (school, job, going out) is a whole process, a transition that does not happen at once. One speaks of a transition (http://www.opeigenbenen.nu/nl/zorg/ziek-of-gezond/behandeling/#leefregels).
Supporting your own management of young people
Extra attention is needed for the youngsters to support their own management. Especially in young people with a chronic illness, such as diabetes, asthma, rheumatism and cystic fibrosis, who use medication for a long time.
Of importance is open contact and genuine interest in the young people's living and thinking world. A good contact promotes the step open of the information arrow and makes a conversation about his illness and treatment easier.
Go into conversation with parents and younger ones. Often first together, but then preferably separately. Try to get into conversation with the young person about how he thinks about his illness and its treatment, about what that asks of him and how his choices go wrong. This way you can better understand why he does what he does. His considerations are often very understandable: do not want to be different, do not want to think about it all the time, do not want to stand out, just participate, be independent, can do things spontaneously without having to think about ... That health will eventually be under suffers, he often finds it not so important. He will see that again. Moreover, if you do not think about the problem, it looks like it does not exist. If the young person receives complaints in the short term if he does not comply with the treatment, it can help to see the effect of his choices.
Show understanding for the youngster and his considerations and judgment. Recognize that it is annoying and quite a job to meet the treatment requirements.
If the young person has not or has not understood certain information, discuss it (understand step). But misunderstanding is by no means always the most important cause of the youngster's treatment being delayed.
Often a teenager does not follow the treatment because he doubts the usefulness of (parts of) the treatment, or because of practical problems, peer pressure or lack of confidence. Also lack of support from parents can play a role. Or the teenager does not like the way his parents offer support and therefore rejects their help. In short, it is about the factors of the step and the barriers and skills in the step of the information arrow. Ask the youngster what he wants to do, what he can do. And discuss together how he can handle that.
Can, do and keep doing
Discuss what goes well and what does not work. Ask the youngster how he will ensure that the faithful taking of his medication, a healthier diet or care for his teeth in the coming period will succeed. And what help he will possibly ask, and to whom. Think of the role that parents can play in this process. With a complicated medication schedule, the pharmacist can, in consultation with the prescribing doctors, sometimes help by simplifying the schedule.
Guiding young people to more directing is teamwork. Conflicting information and several supervisors, each with their own method, do not do the guidance well. Therefore, make sure you know with which healthcare providers it has to deal with and agree on their contributions.