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Parents Should Respect Their Children's Bodies and Decisions - Page 4

post #61 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaLaLaLa View Post
In my experience, when kids don't want to get shots, it's because they are afraid of the shot itself, not that they have done extensive research about the effects of a vaccine.
I'm staying out of the debate itself, except to say that ds1 can decide what vaxes he does or doesn't want. If he wants one, I'll sign the paperwork. If he doesn't, I won't.

But, I did want to address the above. I hated getting vaxes in school. I didn't care about the needle. Needles don't bother me at all (except spinal - spinals are freaky). I got the vaxes, because I did think the authorities knew what they were talking about, and had no idea that it was even possible to refuse them. But, I always felt very edgy about having unknown substances, including diseases, injected into my body. It bothered me on a very fundamental level that had nothing to do with fear of "getting a shot". I don't know how I felt about them as a small child, but as a teen, it was the contents, not the needle, that concerned me.
post #62 of 91
Quote:
Having said all that, the main thing I have learned after becoming a parent is how desperate one is to protect one's children.
AMEN!!!!!!!

When we first realized something was very wrong with our son I still remember almost vomiting in the doctor's office because I was so scared. I can barely even think about that awful day without crying.

Having children is wonderful-it is a life chaging experience. It can also be terrifying because until you actually have a child nothing can prepare for the depth of feelings you have about them being healthy and safe.

So while it is great to think about what you will and won't do as a Mom, don't mistake your ideals with other people's reality.

As an aside-at 16 my Mom could have said water was wet and I would have disagreed. Lots and lots of teens argue about what parents think are right for lots and lots of reasons and many of those reasons don't come from well thought out decisions. They come from being ornery and difficult and well-teenagers!!
post #63 of 91
As my children moved from childhood into their teen years, I tried to become more of a consultant than a manager. I respect their right to make decisions about their own bodies, and don't pressure them unless I feel that there is a really good reason to do so. My daughter chose not to take the Gardisil vaccine, even under heavy pressure from her CNP, and she does not choose to medicate her ADD at this time. I asked both of my children to get the flu shot, but neither has done so at this time. So in this sense, I agree with you. Teens have the right to make decisions about their own bodies.

BUT! I never, ever take kindly to a lecture from anyone about how to raise my own children. I have endured plenty of lectures about why my children don't have a curfew, why I signed for one to get a piercing at 17, why I let them drive hours away to a concert and spend the night. and on and on. I respect the rights of other parents to raise their children the way they want to and I expect others to respect mine.

The biggest lesson I have learned as a parent, and what you will learn someday, is that there is no one "right" way to do the job. We all do the best we can.
post #64 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by faithsstuff View Post
lol, I love that you told them how hard it is to be a teen. I'm sure the mother who was a blind woman thought the teen years were a breeze.
I believe the OP is also blind, although I could be mixing her up with another poster.

I'm not sure what you're getting at, though. IME, many adults look back on the teens and think they're a breeze. I've lost track of how many times I've heard people comment about the teens being "the best years" of one's life or wishing they were 17 again, because life was so much better. And, people who had problems outside the norm (such as blindness) often (not always) tend to assume that if they hadn't had that problem, their teens would have been easy, so obviously, anybody who doesn't have their problem doesn't have any problems at all.

I have no idea whether any of this applies to the woman in the OP, but it's not at all uncommon for adults to think the teens are easy. Selective memory or something, I guess.
post #65 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post
But that's the point, right? At 18 she will be responsible, at least in the legal sense, for her decision making and all the rationale behind it. If she decides never to get another flu shot, that's her choice, as an adult. Ultimately, as a minor, her well being is in the care of her parents.

In our home, dd would never "choose" to get a flu shot. I wouldn't either, nor would DH. But another of my kids is very high risk, and as a family we need to do what we can to protect him, so we get flu shots, among the zillion other things, not vax related, that are part of our arsenal.

If someone felt I was being small minded, or mainstream, and told me about it, so be it. That person has the luxury of not living in my family, not holding responsibility for a kid w/ a chronic illness, and not having to make the tough choices. Someone hopefully will clue them into how rude it is to act in that manner.
Yes, I agree that as a minor, the final decision rests with the parents. However, at 16 as a child is learning how to manage a long term, chronic condition she needs to be involved and respected wrt her medical care. What are her reasons for not wanting the flu shot?

I do not believe parents who chose to raise their kids differently than mine are small-minded or mainstream (as if that is a bad word). I would not engage in the type of conversation the OP described unless my opinion was invited. I keep my mouth shut. However, I do *have* an opinion and that is that a 16yo teenager is old enough to have a say in her medical care. She may not get everything she wants or doesn't want, but she needs to be heard.

I do have a "high-risk" 17.5 yo child. I have told him I will not authorize a flu shot for him, based on my own research. He has also been told that if he feels differently on the matter, we will discuss it, and of course the decision is his in 6 short months. He has not questioned it. So, I have both exercised my parental authority wrt a medical decision while also demonstrating that my views on the flu vax are not the only ones out there.
post #66 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post
In our home, dd would never "choose" to get a flu shot. I wouldn't either, nor would DH. But another of my kids is very high risk, and as a family we need to do what we can to protect him, so we get flu shots, among the zillion other things, not vax related, that are part of our arsenal.

If someone felt I was being small minded, or mainstream, and told me about it, so be it. That person has the luxury of not living in my family, not holding responsibility for a kid w/ a chronic illness, and not having to make the tough choices. Someone hopefully will clue them into how rude it is to act in that manner.
Bolding is mine.

Hear hear! My son has type 1 diabetes (and has had it since 6 months old), and while I do delayed vaxing, I had to change what I thought we'd be doing about vaxing and flu shots based on his diagnosis. It must be nice to not have to worry about those decisions. I hope all mamas know that we all love our children and make choices based on that love. I sure would hate to be judged because I didn't do A, B, or C that another mama chooses to do. Heck, if there were only one right way to parent we'd all be doing the same thing. But the reality is that we have to do what's right for us, for our family, given ALL of the circumstances life throws our way.
post #67 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deer Hunter View Post
I’m so proud of myself that I’ve calmed down a lot. I find that doing things this way gets me much better results. I don’t feel such an utter hatred when I speak with mainstream parents, as I used to; however, it does not change the fact that I feel so strongly about my beliefs and convictions to be child centered. I’m just so glad I can have such strong discussions without losing control of my emotions. It feels so good.
Though I completely disagree with you about the subject of the conversation you had, I still completely get what you mean about being proud of your response. Good job! I know how hard that is, and I've made similar progress myself. I agree, it feels so good!
post #68 of 91
Personally, I agree with you (op), for my children. But I'll tell you right now that *before* I had children, I was completely on the opposite side of the fence. I thought that children should be forced into things and forced to conform and didn't necessarily think of them as people. I had a lot of grand ideas about how I intended to parent, and then I actually *was* a parent, and things changed... drastically. It's funny, sort of, though, because I really agreed with my MIL's parenting style until I got here and now I'm practically an opposite to her style. It's caused some issues. But anyway... I have to agree with the other posters who pointed out how drastically becoming a parent changes your entire way of viewing the world.

Man, if I had known that my kids would be unvaccinated *before* I had kids? I probably would have freaked out and sterilized myself because I would have thought I was going to be a terrible parent. But, I think I'm a pretty good parent and I'm glad I looked into the depth of the facts for myself (but I acknowledge that other people can easily come to the opposite conclusion than I did). That said, I still worry about my kids...
post #69 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by betsyj View Post
.

Having children is wonderful-it is a life chaging experience. It can also be terrifying because until you actually have a child nothing can prepare for the depth of feelings you have about them being healthy and safe.

So while it is great to think about what you will and won't do as a Mom, don't mistake your ideals with other people's reality.
Well said. What's that saying? "I was a perfect parent until I had children "

Setting aside the whole vax discussion, there are going to be times when you gotta do things your kids don't want. Sure as kids get older it's important to include their feelings and thoughts on issues involving them but ultimately, the parent has to make the final decision. If kids/teens could decide everything for themselves then parenting sure as heck would be a lot easier!
post #70 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaLaLaLa View Post
In my experience, when kids don't want to get shots, it's because they are afraid of the shot itself, not that they have done extensive research about the effects of a vaccine.
This. I'm all for kids having some control over their bodies, but was this teenager actually making an informed decision? When I make medical decisions for my children, I don't make them lightly. And I would not allow my child to make their own decisions without good reason either.
post #71 of 91
The responses on this thread have really surprised me!

I'm in my twenties, so I remember very clearly being sixteen. In fact, at sixteen, I was already dating Dh. I started college on a full scholarship at 17, and was really living a pretty fully "adult" life (complete with a great relationship with my parents) from that point onward. Without question, I was probably more mature than the average teenager (no sex before marriage, I didn't drink until I was married, blah blah), but really---

I would have been LIVID if my parents had tried to force a medical decision on me against my will at sixteen! I honestly can't think of much that would have made me feel more helpless and violated.

I have a lot of very strong opinions about medical issues. I'm anti-hormonal BCP, anti-gardasil, anti-lots of other mainstream stuff. Hopefully, by the time DD is 16, we will have a good enough relationship and will have talked about these issues enough that she will choose to involve me in medical decisions and/or make the decisions I would expect/hope her to make.

IMO, even 13 is very different than 16. This is clearly a gray area. If my 14 yo had cancer, and we had to decide between treatments, or something like that... I have no idea what I would do. I certainly HOPE that I would strongly consider the child's wishes and go along with them as much as possible (because, you know, there's always a possibility that the PARENT is wrong). I would certainly not be the first parent to force a child through incredible, futile suffering just because I can't stand the idea of losing him/her.

That, however, is very different than forcing a 16 yo to get a vaccine, or making her get a pap smear, etc, etc. I REALLY think that the most I would feel comfortable doing in that situation is saying, "DD, I feel strongly that you should do X, but it's your body, it's up to you."
post #72 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaterPrimaePuellae View Post
The responses on this thread have really surprised me!

I'm in my twenties, so I remember very clearly being sixteen. In fact, at sixteen, I was already dating Dh. I started college on a full scholarship at 17, and was really living a pretty fully "adult" life (complete with a great relationship with my parents) from that point onward. Without question, I was probably more mature than the average teenager (no sex before marriage, I didn't drink until I was married, blah blah), but really---

I would have been LIVID if my parents had tried to force a medical decision on me against my will at sixteen! I honestly can't think of much that would have made me feel more helpless and violated.

I have a lot of very strong opinions about medical issues. I'm anti-hormonal BCP, anti-gardasil, anti-lots of other mainstream stuff. Hopefully, by the time DD is 16, we will have a good enough relationship and will have talked about these issues enough that she will choose to involve me in medical decisions and/or make the decisions I would expect/hope her to make.

IMO, even 13 is very different than 16. This is clearly a gray area. If my 14 yo had cancer, and we had to decide between treatments, or something like that... I have no idea what I would do. I certainly HOPE that I would strongly consider the child's wishes and go along with them as much as possible (because, you know, there's always a possibility that the PARENT is wrong). I would certainly not be the first parent to force a child through incredible, futile suffering just because I can't stand the idea of losing him/her.

That, however, is very different than forcing a 16 yo to get a vaccine, or making her get a pap smear, etc, etc. I REALLY think that the most I would feel comfortable doing in that situation is saying, "DD, I feel strongly that you should do X, but it's your body, it's up to you."
Well in all fairness we only have a third party account of the story. We have no idea what reasons are that the 16 year old gave for not wanting the shot, or the details of the discussion she and her parents had, and we have no idea what level of "force" was used. We do know that the child has asthma which does put her at higher risk of complications from the flu. Personally, I wouldn't feel right passing judgment on them or their choice with the information we have nor could I say what I would do in their shoes.
post #73 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post
I'd be offended if someone who doesn't even have kids started offering me a lecture on how to be a better parent.
In theory I actually agree with the OP on respecting a 16 year old's wishes.

That being said, I would be extremely offended if someone tried to tell me how to parent my child, especially if that person had no children. I would probably forgive a close friend if they had pulled that on me, but I would always remember it. If the person was just an acquaintance, I probably wouldn't speak to them again. I wouldn't hate them or wish them ill-will, but I wouldn't associate with them again.

I did the same thing with one close friend before I had children . I have since apologized to her. I still don't agree with the decision she made, but now that I'm a parent I understand the position I put her in. It was not my place to tell her how to parent her child, she did nothing immoral or illegal, and I have 100% confidence that her actions were out of love for her child. I'm not sure I would have been as gracious as my friend was had I been in her place.
post #74 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
If something is troubling you, and you talk to a friend about it, you don't want any feedback at all? I see no point in talking, then. That's like talking to a wall. All I'm saying is that you can't expect that people will always give you the responses that will make you feel better.
Really? Sometimes it feels good to get stuff off your chest especially if a problem has been bothering you and as friend you can learn when to just listen and when to give an opinion.
post #75 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by baltic_ballet View Post
Really? Sometimes it feels good to get stuff off your chest especially if a problem has been bothering you and as friend you can learn when to just listen and when to give an opinion.
Sorry, I can't relate. If I don't want any sort of outside opinion or comment, it doesn't make me feel better to tell someone my troubles.
post #76 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by baltic_ballet View Post
Really? Sometimes it feels good to get stuff off your chest especially if a problem has been bothering you and as friend you can learn when to just listen and when to give an opinion.
Yeah that. I'm usually careful about who I vent to if I know they are strongly against what I am venting about though.
post #77 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaterPrimaePuellae View Post
The responses on this thread have really surprised me!
They've really surprised me, too. For the most part, they haven't shown a difference in how a parent should treat a 2 year old and a teen.

Quote:
I'm anti-hormonal BCP, anti-gardasil, anti-lots of other mainstream stuff. Hopefully, by the time DD is 16, we will have a good enough relationship and will have talked about these issues enough that she will choose to involve me in medical decisions and/or make the decisions I would expect/hope her to make.
As my DD gets older, I mostly just want her to make informed choices based on loving and caring about herself. The specifics aren't so important. When I listen to parents who kids are just slightly older than mine and the issues they are dealing with, getting all freaked out over a flu shot seems pretty silly.

And if my DD ever decided that hormonal BC with the right thing for her, I'd want her to let me know and I'd want her to have full access. Her having control over her body and her fertility is SO much more important to me than her ~doing everything my way.~

I feel that when I treat my DD with respect I'm teaching her to do the same, and that is so much more important any single medical decision.
post #78 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by SactoMommy View Post
Yeah that. I'm usually careful about who I vent to if I know they are strongly against what I am venting about though.
It doesn't sound like they knew she was strongly against vaccinations until after they vented.
post #79 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
They've really surprised me, too. For the most part, they haven't shown a difference in how a parent should treat a 2 year old and a teen.
I agree. My DS is almost 2 so I have no experience in parenting a teen, but I remember being fairly mature and responsible at 16. Obviously we don't know all the specifics, but if my child came to me and had researched reasons why s/he did not want to get the flu shot, I would certainly respect their decision. It is their body and therefore IMO, as long as it is an informed one, their choice.
post #80 of 91
thank goodness may parents didn't let me make choices about my body for myself when I was 16. I would be covered in head to toe in tatoos and pireced all over

My child will be expected to follow my rules while in my home, I'll let them voice their opinions and their idea's, but ultamitly I will make the final choice for them.

I am the parent, thats my job.

If someone lectured me like you did them, especially if they didn't even have kids I would be extreamly angry. I sure wouldn't talk to them again. Thats so disrespectful.
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