Natalie Romero: Putting it Out There


Choosing for Our Sons: Study Re-Opens Circumcision Debate

The latest CDC study unleashes the critics

We made a decision for my son. The decision was made by myself and my husband, after lengthy research and much thought. Discussions were had amongst ourselves, with our doctors, with family members and friends. It wasn’t an easy decision and it was not made lightly.

The decision that we made as parents is not anyone else's to judge, and I do not regret our decision at all, not for a second.

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The CDC has just released a study which claims the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks and, as you can imagine, this has opened the floodgates for harsh, hateful and judgmental comments surrounding the often controversial practice.

This isn’t new - this bashing parents for having an opposing point of view - yet I have never seen a parenting issue cause such discord. I read the comments, the bitter words being tossed about with such ease, and I’m shocked. Adults calling one another names, taunting, throwing out harsh accusations of abuse and questioning someone’s ability to parent because of a decision they made with their child’s best interest at heart.

The insults cut so deep that I was afraid to write about it at all.

Yet I chose to go ahead, not because of my opinions regarding circumcision, but because of my deep and firm belief that we should feel safe to make choices for our families without the fear of being attacked. 

There will be times in our children’s lives that we have to make tough decisions for them. Decisions that will impact them forever and we all hope that we make the right choice. This is one of those times.

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Parenting beliefs such as co-sleeping, whether to breastfeed or formula feed -and yes, circumcision - seem to bring up such intense opinion and emotion. In my research I’ve heard passionate arguments from both sides of the issue. For every argument there is a rebuttal. For every man you show me that is circumcised and wishes he wasn’t there is a man who wasn’t circumcised and wishes he was. For every pro there is a con and for every con there is a pro. These can be very confusing and difficult decisions for parents to make. Yet for some reason we feel that we have the right to criticize another parent for choosing a path that they feel is best for their child. We don't have to agree however we do not have the right to shame someone for their beliefs. We do not have the right to bully someone because they made a decision that doesn't agree with our philosophies.

Could it be that our bad behaviour says more about our own insecurities than it does about the decisions made by other parents? Is this classic bullying behaviour where we make ourselves feel better by tearing someone else down?

The issue of circumcision, for me, isn’t up for debate. It’s a personal decision that a parent must make only after receiving the proper education and information. I don't claim to know the answers or what is best, and I give other parents that benefit as well. Just as with any other parenting decision, I made the best choice for my family as I assume you have done for yours. 

We are all on this journey together and it is tough enough without your peers tearing you down. Each of us live our lives differently and we all have our own beliefs and values. The one thing we all have in common is that we are just trying to do the very best for our children - something we may do well to keep in mind before making comments.