Stop Lying to Your Kids About Their Shots

Jeanne Sager

vaccineVaccines are a necessary evil in our kids' lives. Yes, this pro-vaxing mother is going to call them evil.

Shocked? Don't worry, I haven't been reading Dr. Google lately. I just took my kid to the doctor for her flu shot, and had to hold her down while the nurse stuck a needle in her arm.

Not fun.

And here's where it gets worse:

To calm her down, the nurse said, "It will just tickle."

Um, excuse me, Mr. Nurse? Bull-pucky. Tickling makes me giggle. Shots make me breathe in and out really fast and grit my teeth. Shots hurt. I have probably had dozens by this point. And every single time, I've had to look away and steel myself for the needle entering my fleshy parts.

There's nothing pleasant about the experience. And I refuse to lie to my kid about them.

So here's how we lay it down:

"You're getting your flu shot today."

"Ooh, Mommy, no. I hate shots."

"Yes, honey, but this will keep you from getting sick with a very yucky disease."

"But it will hurt."

"Only for a minute, honey. And if you're super-well behaved at the doctor's office, we can go get stickers!"


Fine. I resort to bribery. Although I prefer to call it a reward. She's going through something pretty crappy; she earns the sweet ending.

But what I don't do is tell her that a needle in the arm is going to be all sunshine and rainbows. It won't, and the minute it hits, she would look at me like I've betrayed her.

It's hard enough holding a screaming child when she's got all the facts. Having her look at me like I've failed her is something I just can't stomach.

So am I taking the easy way out? Do you tell your kids the truth before a shot?


Image via US Army Africa/Flickr

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