What sleep training taught me about anti-vaxxers and the Big Lie.
As a toddler mom, I can completely relate to the frustration of making a toddler go to sleep.
Maybe it was about two months ago that I stopped getting upset (although I do not show it) at my patients who refuse to get vaccinated. The ones who used to upset me the most were those who scoff at me for suggesting it as if it was the worst recommendation that I could have ever made "No way! That thing has killed so many people". So now, even at a current vaccination rate of 26% in our county, I have learned to go past the feelings of disappointment and frustration at those who refuse to get vaccinated. It has helped me to listen more and understand where they are coming from. I always end with, "just please keep mind open to this possibility."
As long as they know that I truly care for them, that is enough. I had a patient who told me, "I am sorry the government is making you say these things." To which I replied, "I want you to know that I truly believe in this and no one is forcing me to say these things."' The look of surprise on his face was priceless.
Anyway, I just hope that if I can create enough "cognitive dissonance", ("Oh she truly cares about me BUT she wants me to get vaccinated") , I feel I have accomplished something.
My former toddler is now a remarkable 22–year-old college graduate currently studying at Yonse University on S. Korea’s response to Covid-19. For all those current parents of toddlers, this too shall pass. I should be embarrassed to admit how long I coslept with my daughter, but suffice to say I was convinced she would be a permanent fixture until she was 40. My sister told me at that time I should tell her and HER HUSBAND it was time to sleep in their own bed! 😂 Anyway, she is incredibly well adjusted despite the sleep wars. In that same vein, we must not assume all will be forever lost. Some people will be lucky, but too many will have to learn the hard way. We can’t lean into their poor choices based on fear, but we also can’t scream, Go get vaccinated! The fact that some people are doubling down on hoaxes, the big lie, and the fervent belief in the reinstatement of the loser of the election is discouraging. Still, there may be a precious few who will come to the light. Those we must embrace and encourage them to spread the word. 🙏🏾🤞🏾
Sympathies extended. Though you have these qualifications, you do not have to be a psychiatrist or a doctor to solve the good night sweet Emmalee dilemma. Your tools as knowledgeable, loving parents are sufficient. In fact, they will be more effective. I’m sure you know that now that you have established the “ Bed Line” you cannot go back. Persistence, reassurance and expressions of love will work over time.
As for that loser guy, I am sorry that the diagnosis of megalomaniac has been replaced by the benign sounding one of narcissist personality disorder. Actually, I prefer malignant megalomaniac. Some pundits have diagnosed paranoid psychosis. Without an examination, that is unethical speculation. I simply say that the loser guy has significant psychopathology.
Perhaps you can convince Emmalee that the darkness is good for her, that it helps to relax her body and ease her mind to welcome sleep. She doesn’t need to learn about the role of darkness to increase melatonin until she is 4 years old or so. Maybe a song from Simon and Garfunkel, The Sound of Silence, could help the process along!
Love your pieces - thought provoking💕
Could part of Emmalee’s reaction, and Trumpers’ reactions too, be a lack of being more transparently included in the decision making? Autonomy (feeling powerless) is so big as an unseen motivator. So maybe another thing we could all do is make time to include kids and citizens in deliberations more respectfully and transparently. If going to bed in your own room in the dark is so great, prove it. And be prepared for kids to come up with some good workable strategies you hadn’t thought of, or even choose the same path as you, once they’ve heard your arguments and know their ideas are valued.
Thanks as always. (go single payer!)