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How is Your Family Going to RE-ENGAGE?

It is summer and we are re-engaging with life and trying new things after a different year. Some children will be apprehensive to play with kids, some kids will be right back in there, other kids will be a wee bit anxious to hang out with friends. How can we help this transition for kids and how do we discuss the topic of vaccination with kids? (Please seek medical professional’s advice from the MLHU or your family doctor. They are there to help.) 

One question I repeatedly hear from parents is what to do when a friend is not vaccinated and your wishes are to not have anyone in your home that isn’t vaccinated? This seems straight forward when I ask physicians and psychologists. “This is about safety and respect. It is your house, your rules.” If you went to their home for dinner and they asked you to take your shoes off, you would respect their wishes. We have a rule: no non-vaccinated people in our house. Personally, this is how our family is moving forward. Each family may benefit from sitting down and discussing what you are comfortable with in order to move forward with clarity. 

The “vaccination talk” is hurting some families and close friendships. One professional shared a story of two girls who have been best friends since they were four years old. Now, one family wishes everyone coming into their home to be vaccinated, while the other girl’s family is not being vaccinated. The one 16 year old girl who was not vaccinated went against her family’s wishes and got herself vaccinated so she could be with her friends and be safe at work in a grocery store. 

Here are some tips to keep kids feeling safe within their boundaries.

  1. Start with outside play – bike rides, flying a kite, sports, swimming.
  2. Talking to our kids about friendships and what to expect from others is always good idea. 
  3. Make the first meeting with their friends casual and easy. Always bring your own water and mask. 
  4. Make a list of all the things your kids want to do this summer and see if they are safe and work for everyone.
  5. Hugs are therapy and kids need them daily.

Larissa Mills, B. A., M.Ed. is the founder
of Iparentgen.com. She is a mother of three, a Parent Coach and a 4KIDS Sports & Educational Consultant.


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