A fresh new school year holds promises of new beginnings. With the launch of a new school year comes new classrooms, new teachers, new goals, new friends and new opportunities. These last few weeks of summer leading to that first drop off, or bell ring, often hold just as much anticipation and renewal as the change of a new calendar year, sometimes more so. Closely related to the excitement of anticipation is its shadowy alternate – anxiety about the unfolding unknown. The two often come hand in hand. When the hubbub of new school year preparations frequently include school-related vaccines and boosters, anxieties for non-vaccinating families are very real.
Until homeoprophylaxis becomes a publicly recognized method of infectious disease prevention in the Unites States, and I’m hoping to see it as such in my lifetime, families who choose to educate their children’s immune systems via HP are faced with navigating their state’s vaccine exemption systems. If you live in Texas, check out the Texans for Vaccine Choice link to exemption Q&A.
In addition to filling out our registration paperwork and checking off the supplies on the list, many of us have a few extra new school year jitters – Will the school push back on my family’s health decisions? Will my child be ostracized from his peers by otherwise well-meaning parents and/or teachers?
And, now that my son is old enough to quite overtly speak his mind, how do we talk about our family’s decision to use HP rather than conventional vaccines?
Up until recently we’ve kept it pretty simple for Little Man, if not a bit dramatic: “If anyone comes at you with a shot or says you need a shot, you yell NO! Shots are bad for my body! And run.” We leverage his strength – his need for speed. He giggles at this permission to run screaming from an adult.
On a regular basis, main stream life confronts us with the general acceptance of the vaccine paradigm. Vaccine injections are normalized in our culture. This is confusing for a young child who knows that he does not receive this commonplace, yet invasive, medical procedure.
From the vaccine episode of Daniel Tiger that we stumbled upon, doctor’s play-sets that tend to be a part of early childhood classrooms or the play place we recently visited, to conversations with his young friends and other trusted adults, Little Man, and all of our children, are inundated with the vaccine paradigm. I’ve noted his reticence when, once upon a time, another child approached him brandishing a toy syringe. I see his four year old wheels turning and the confusion with which he asks me about shots, as well as his attempts at sorting the mixed messages he receives from the other adults in his life.
Unfortunately I am also privy to the tinges of mistrust towards my husband and me in his underlying questions: “My friends get shots. Other family members that I love say shots are good and healthy. Who is right? Who is wrong? Can I trust my mom and dad?”
We grow with our children and so does this conversation. Little Man is still given permission to yell No! and to run. In addition to that he now understands, in four-year old terms: that every family decides what is best for their children’s bodies. He now knows, and proudly repeats, that when he was a baby, he got a shot and his body did not like that shot. His body got sick. But then, with remedies, he got better. And, of course, he must add, that he is now stronger. (Imagine the image of a little boy flexing his muscles here.) And, instead of shots, he takes remedies, so that his body knows how to fight those illnesses if they ever come around.
He recently finished his entire HP protocol and yesterday we did an antibody blood titer draw. While HP does not purport to raise blood antibody titers, it concentrates on general immunity, parents can opt to draw titers to ascertain if any have been created. Homeopathy is highly individualized, each person has their own susceptibilities and their vital force responds accordingly. Once results are in, we’ll save this topic for another more in depth post.
How do you talk to your children about your choice to do homeoprophylaxis? How do you salute yours and your family’s health and well-being?
Cheers to yours and your family’s health and best wishes for a new school year!