Yesterday, I posted an article about respecting our teens’ choices.
You can read it here.
My 17-year-old chose to be vaccinated, after doing heavy research. Prior to her research, she was open to my selectively anti-vaccine stance (I do not believe children in developed countries who have instant access to medical care should be blindly subjected to government vaccination programmes). She agreed with me that putting live pathogens in human bodies is not a smart move. We looked at teenagers damaged by the HPV vaccines and the damning evidence released.
But after two intensive days of fact-finding, she decided to go for it. I gave her all the good reasons NOT TO, and she gave me equally good counter reasons to my arguments.
I have to respect my daughter’s decision. Because I have brought her up to be responsible, analytical, to question the norm (these days, anti-vaxx is trendy) and have the courage of conviction. And most of all, I have to accept two things (1) that I do not know all the answers to world problems and (2) there is no one truth – vaccines have damaged, but they have also saved lives. We have to open our eyes to the whole picture, rather than be blinkered by our tightly held-truth.
As a young mum, I would never have allowed my children to be vaccinated. Yet one of them is on the autistic spectrum. One of my friends’ daughters died from meningitis a few years ago – though they had access to immediate medical care (because meningitis is difficult to diagnose).
So, what should you do about whether to vaccinate your child or not?
- Start by drawing a scale.
- Then do your research widely – make sure you read both sides of the argument equally, rather than the side you have a leaning towards.
- Fill up the columns. Total up the “weights” on each side.
- Highlight the most compelling research on each side and circle it.
- Make your decision based on balance.
Nobody knows the Absolute Truth or have The Right Answer, contrary to what they tell you. The world is not black-or-white, but a confusing range of greys. Your decision should be what works for YOU, not what the strongest shouter tells you. Parenting is hard work because you cannot simply copy what your friends do or say – you have to make your own decisions. Simply because your child is too precious, and you only have one shot (pun intended).