Q: School is ending, half our kids are now vaccinated! Woot woot!! We are so grateful to see what we hope is the forever end of zoom school and kids being kids again. That said, we have children under 12 who aren’t vaccinated yet and I’m torn. Everyone wants to get back to normal and I get it. I know the risk is low for them, but it still makes me nervous the idea of having them play with others unmasked or having older kids come over to hang out who could be unmasked. I hate to continue to restrict my younger kids while they see their older siblings getting back to normal, yet I feel weird asking these families if they’re getting their kids immunized. I don’t want to be the vax police. Any advice?
A: We hear you. This is an exciting time but we are not yet across the finish line of this pandemic and this final stage is filled with confusion and a patchwork of masking and social distancing policies. Follow the science as best you can as you make your decisions. If you have a parenting partner, try to negotiate a shared position before enforcing a policy. Ask your younger kids to be patient with the process and your rules, but also look for ways to make it work, such as outdoor get togethers and play dates with families you know have similar philosophies on safety precautions. Finally remember that our younger kids are accustomed to waiting to do things that their older siblings can do (think bedtimes, curfews, and driving), this is another one of these times. Reassure them that their time is coming, sooner than later.
Originally posted in The Lakelands Leader in June 2021.