There is new co- parenting issue looming during Corona Virus Pandemic. Do parents agree when and if they vaccinate themselves [parents] and vaccinate the children?
The pandemic has already presented some very challenging parenting decisions for families parenting in two households. Parents have had to navigate:
- The ‘lock downs’,
- Juggling work and home through school openings and closings,
- To mask or not to mask,
- Attending church services and religious instruction or not,
- Determining appropriate social outlets under the health mandates,
- Handling potential parent or child exposures.
Parents have found these matters fertile ground for conflict.
And now vaccine eligibility will soon open for parents and children. California is targeting to have 70 – 80% of the population vaccinated by July 2021.
Polling by IPSOS/ABC in December 2020 showed that eight in 10 Americans say they would receive the vaccine, with 40% saying they would take it as soon as it’s available to them, and 44% saying they would wait a bit before getting it. Others are hesitant or say they will refuse the vaccines.
It seems like conflicts will be inevitable as parents have to decide when and if they’ll vaccinate themselves and, shortly thereafter, when and if they’ll vaccinate their children.
SEVEN WAYS TO RESOLVE THE VACCINE DILEMMA
- Be Proactive. Start the conversation now. You may already think you know whether you and your co-parent are aligned on this topic but check in. Will you each be taking the vaccine? Do you agree whether and when the children should? If the children are teens, what are their wishes, fears, and concerns?
- Seek First to Understand. Begin the conversation with the limited goal of sharing and understanding each other’s thoughts, fears, and concerns. Talk it through before proposing solutions.
- Identify Common Ground. Remember, the policy of California Family Law that parents’ decisions [or a court’s order] must meet the best interests of the child standard. Most parents agree on this as a general statement. Identify the areas of agreement, the details that may make the plan, and pledge to support each other in following the plan.
- Respect Differences. It’s okay to not agree. Parents do not have to agree with the other’s politics or philosophy or reasoning. Focus, instead on something you can do, action that you can each live with; you can each have your own different reasons for agreeing to a solution. It’s okay.
- Gather and Share Pertinent Information. Seek the advice of professionals who know the risks and know your child. Consult their pediatrician, the current recommendations of public health officials or, for older children, counselors to safely ascertain their own voices. Armed with this information and advice, parents really are the best suited to assess the best interests of their child.
- Non-Court Options. Seek help from a mediator or counselor professional. This type of non-court process allows parents to be the decision-makers.
- Court Option. If you ask for court intervention, the judge is going to look for the best interests of the child based upon the pertinent information.
For assistance with your custody & co-parenting and other family law questions, contact us at Family Peacemaker for a free one-hour consultation. Family Peacemaker provides mediation and collaborative family law services in Orange County and the surrounding areas.
This article is not legal advice. It is general information. You should not rely on it regarding your specific situation. Please seek individual consultation if you have questions about your situation.