Monday, November 26, 2007

Gaaaaaawaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Sorry. Had to get that out.

That's my response to a grown up who says "But....my kid won't wear her/his medical bracelet".

Uh. Duh. My kids didn't know they had a choice!

The medical identification went on their bodies as soon as they were diagnosed. When #1 and #2 were babies, the medical identification was on their ankles as soon as I got the bracelets in the mail. Of course the jewelry was too big for their wrists and ankles....I use two sets of vice grips to remove links and made the chains small enough for their ankles.

They wore the bracelets on their ankles until the ankle sizes fit on their wrists....about 18 months.

We order new bracelets all the time. I don't use the brand name kind because I liked having the medical information on one side and their identifying info on the other (name, address, phone).

I hear parents say all the time "oh, he doesn't like wearing his bracelet"

Uh, who is giving them a choice?

I was all about giving the boys choices when they were little. Damn. I'm a freakin' teacher! I know about Erikson's stages of development! I know my boys gotta be boys!

I gave them choices like "You can put your shirt on first or your pants first" or "you can have a bed night story first or a drink first". Oh yeah, I gave my boys choices. They thought they were in control of their WHOLE WORLD!

Even, the one or two times they said they didn't want to wear their medical identification jewelry, I gave them a choice.

Here's the choice:

"O.K. [snotty, mean, feelin' all full of yourself 3 year old boy] you don't have to wear your medical bracelet. That's o.k."....

Then I'd wait for that big ole' boy to head out the door to the back yard where his gnarly tricycle stood just waiting for him and I'd say:

"oh, wow, sorry. You don't have your bracelet on. You don't have to wear it, but you can't go outside without it". It literally took one time of that happening.


The bottom line was that we told the boys that they didn't have to wear their bracelets at all. But we sure couldn't let them leave their rooms without them on in case something happened.

Sometimes behaviorism does work.

Now they are 9 and 11 and each says their wrists feel "funny" if they don't have the bracelets on. My mind goes back to when they were in their baby-doms and they would whack their bracelets on the highchair tray. Funny how they both figured that out.

As infants/toddlers they played with their bracelets just like any other kid played with fingers and toes. As they grow and I order new ones, I say "take off your bracelet, I have a new one"....I size the new one (removing links) and they both say how weird it is for that brief time without it.

This year they are older.

This year #2 does not want a new bracelet. He wants a necklace. I asked him why...I thought he might be embarrassed by the bracelet...it always draws comments. He says he wants a necklace because he likes the "picture" on the necklace.

#1 found a way cool leather band that the bracelet will fit on. It's very teenager.

I meet new moms and they ask me how I "get" my boys to keep their medical identification on; we just tell new parents that it's not optional. Just like brushing teeth is a given, so is wearing medical id.

2 comments:

Ramble On said...

Smart move! It is all about the choices one is given and the consequences for the decision made.

mama o' the matrices said...

Oh, jeez.

I'm tempted to say that I just don't get it, but I suspect that I do. To be pretty ruthless here, my money is on the parent, not the kid.

If the parent really, firmly believed that the bracelet goes on and stays on, then there'd be a certainty in enforcing it and making it happen. So the question for me is, do you really want your child to wear that thing?

Bet that if you really, truly did, they would...