I took the Strength Finders test several years ago. It helps you understand what your natural strengths are and how to work with them. My number 2 strength was “harmony.” I love when people get along. I really don’t like conflict or confrontation. If I’m in a group of people, I try to find the common ground and figure out where we all agree. When people argue it is torture for me. I really don’t like it, even if it’s a good and healthy disagreeing type of argument.
Vaccinations is a hot topic. You bring it up in almost any circle of people who are involved with children in some way or another, and they will have a strong opinion on vaccinations for children. Living in California, it has become an especially hot topic over the past year due to the new law that passed. Read a basic article about it here.
I’m not writing this to tell you my view. I don’t want to stir up conflict with this post. I’m actually not going to tell you what my husband and I decided for our family. What I’m going to do, is what I wish someone had done for me. I wish someone had given me a few resources for where I could research both sides of the issue for myself.
When our children were young, we put off vaccination, because we didn’t know what we wanted to do. We had heard a little of both sides of the argument, and we were sitting on the fence. Both sides were convincing, so for a while we just didn’t do anything. Then when our daughter started preschool, we knew we really needed to make a decision one way or another, because in California, at the time, you had to get a special exemption if you didn’t want to vaccinate.
How to Research
I love research so I started to read. I did not read Facebook posts or blogs. I had heard people’s opinions. I read books by doctors and also reviewed some government websites. What I needed were facts so I could make my own decision.
I think the most important aspect of vaccination is feeling at peace with what you’ve decided. Knowing both sides of the argument and issue and going with what you feel is right. As a parent, it has been the hardest decision I’ve made. For others, I know it’s not hard. They might know that they want to vaccinate no matter what. For others, they know for certain they will never vaccinate. The parents I respect the most are those who have done their research on both sides of the issue and not just gone off the opinions of others. The key is to research both sides. If you are leaning against vaccinating and only read resources that are against it, you probably aren’t getting the whole story. And same goes for if you are leaning towards vaccinating, but only read sources that are pro-vaccination. Don’t be afraid of the other side. Research both. See what they both have to say. That’s how you will make an educated decision.
Resources I Used
Here are the resources I used when researching:
2 | Information sheets given to me by my children’s pediatrician
3 | Dr. Sear’s The Vaccine Book – I happened upon this book in the library. He is pro-vaccine, and he does a good job in his book of breaking down what is in each vaccine and the possible side effects. He also gives an alternative vaccination schedule that spaces them out differently than the CDC recommends.
4 | Neil Miller’s Vaccine Safety Manual for Concerned Families – He too, like Dr. Sear’s, reviews what is in vaccines, but he is anti-vaccine.
5 | Dr. Tenpenny’s Saying No to Vaccines – She is a famous doctor who is anti-vaccine.
It’s Your Decision
I cannot and will not tell you what to do for your children. This is an important decision for you as a parent and for your children. I can tell you, my husband and I feel really good about the decision we made, but it is only because we did our research. There are risks with choosing either side. One thing I encourage is to not judge parents for their decision even if it isn’t what you decide. It is a hard decision for some to make, and even harder when people are adamantly against you. No matter what you decide, some people won’t agree. It’s one of those issues where there will be strong opposition whatever you choose. The important thing is that you and your spouse feel good about your personal decision for your family.
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