The vaccination debate is occupied by passionate voices on both sides. This can make parenting with a person holding divergent views extremely difficult, as you both believe you’re doing what’s best for your kids. The following explains how to open a dialogue with an ex who is against vaccinations, as well as further steps you can take.
Parents Magazine recommends tips on how to talk to a person who has anti-vaccination views. First, allow your ex to give their side of the argument. Immediate objections or refutations will only cause a person to become firmer in their belief. Also, think about why your former spouse might harbor these beliefs. In some cases, women who’ve experienced issues with childbirth or doctors in general may be reluctant to trust in medical/scientific data.
Finally, offer your take on vaccinations. Instead of presenting scientific evidence, tie the issue to something personal. Mention that babies are too young to receive vaccinations and could fall seriously ill if exposed to certain diseases. Also bring up that some people are unable to receive vaccinations for health reasons, and they could also become gravely ill.
If this fails to convince your ex-spouse, you may be considering your legal options. According to the Detroit Free Press, Michigan state law stipulates all children must have certain vaccinations upon entering school. Parents can request an exemption however, and in some cases exemptions are based on medical reasons. Exemptions are also provided for religious reasons or other objections, which can be interpreted broadly. If a parent objects, he or she must present an official letter to the school administrator, who would then decide whether to uphold the request.