Building Credibility with Parents

Mar 06, 2017

“I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams.”

Jonas Salk, M.D.
Creator of the polio vaccine

Building Credibility with Parents

TISA Description of the Problem: It is natural and healthy for parents to have hesitations about starting children on medications. We all work hard at providing them the information that they need to know to intelligently weigh the pros and cons of a specific medication for their child. Shamshad Haroon, M.D. provides a refreshing suggestion of a simple statement that can be reassuring to parents after they have heard all the pros and cons and are trying to figure out what is best for their child.

Tip: Trust plays a vital role in our relationships with the parents of the children and adolescents that we are trying to help. I find the following statement to be a gentle builder of this trust when it comes to using medications:

“If this were my kid (or family member), this is the medication with which I would have treated him (or her).”

TISA Follow-up: There is a simple genuine quality to this statement that I find quite appealing. Over the years I have often used a similar statement and found it to be effectively reassuring. It has value in another fashion as well. If I find myself unexpectedly hesitant to say this, it suggests to me that the use of the medication should be re-considered as a recommendation. I am a strong believer that I should never suggest a medication that I would not take myself or give to one of my own children.

Tip provided by:

Shamshad Haroon, M.D.
Clinical Faculty
University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, Texas

TISA is a site dedicated to advancing the science and art
Of preventing suicide and teaching clinical interviewing