Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Where have all the thinking caps gone?

The comments about my reaction to the sign in my doctor’s office have fallen into three categories:

First, people support my position that parents should be active participants in their children’s medical care, which includes having a say in who talks to them and what is said to them. I like these comments! 

Second, people call me a control freak and helicopter mom. I know that’s not true, so these comments don’t bother me. 

But the third category… well, these comments really get to me: these people accuse me of being an ignorant, deluded wacko determined to deny my children information about the birds and the bees. These commenters are convinced that once my 17 year old is out of my house she will be knocked up and teeming with STDs because of my gross negligence in giving her vital health information.

These comments bug the heck out of me. But not for the reason you might think.

People from the third category claim to have read my blog posts. They've commented on them and invested much emotional energy (and some naughty words) to state their dissatisfaction in my decision to not allow a particular conversation between my child and a medical professional. What they say indicates they may have read my posts but not that they have understood them. Because if they had understood, they would not be accusing me of withholding information on reproductive health from my children. Because nowhere in my post did I say anything about denying them information. No. Where.

What I said was I wanted to be the one to pick who would talk to my kids about sex and drugs (and rock-n-roll). Not that we didn't want our kids to have that information.

So here’s what scares me: the incredible dearth of reasoning ability in some of the commenters.

I understand if you feel like the policy is a good one. I understand that you may want your child to have a private conversation with your doctor. I understand that we may disagree. And I’m good with that.

But what I'm not good with is the vitriol spewed in my direction over something I didn't even say.

Of course, I get the inflammatory comments. This is the internet, where sitting behind a keyboard gives people false bravado so they type whatever they want with no fear of reprisal or repercussion. But I don’t get the obvious lack of reasoning skills.

And that, my friends, scares me most of all. Because the lack of rational thinking is going to be our undoing.

When I was little and working on something that stumped me, I can remember my mom telling me to put on my thinking cap. It was a reminder that learning doesn't come easy and we have to work at thinking. I wish she could talk to the commenters and remind them to put theirs on, too.