Um, no you didn't.
First, though, let's talk briefly about why that argument is illogical. I broke my wrist as a child and my wrist turned out fine. Doesn't mean I should let my son climb onto the roof. My friend was molested by her grandparents and she has turned out to be a smart, caring person. Doesn't mean child molestation doesn't do harm. A positive end doesn't mean the journey was good and should be repeated.
It's an answer that reinforces my suspicion that you don't think things through and that I should stop talking to you.
Nevertheless, for the sake of humor, let's discuss all these things that my imaginary conglomerate "you" have gone through and supposedly recovered from just fine. For all you folks who like to shoot first and ask questions later, this is not an attack on the people who do these things, it's an attack on using faulty reasoning as an excuse.
"I was vaccinated as a child and I turned out just fine."
When you were a kid, there were 10 vaccines on the schedule. Today there are 36, including a vaccination given immediately after birth that wasn't there 20 years ago. (source link) So, it 's irrelevant if you turned out fine.
"I was circumcized and I turned out fine (or another arguement we have heard, "I don't remember it, so it wasn't that traumatic)."
You lost the five most sensitive areas of your penis when you were circumcized, but since it happened to you before you had a chance to choose for yourself, you have no idea that you are missing anything. The foreskin barely retracts in the first few years of life because it is there to protect the penis from infections, so since you probably peed and pooped on a raw wound for the first few weeks of your life and then had exposure forever after that which was not intended by nature, you have actually spent your life MORE susceptible to infections, not less. Your penis also has scar tissue. Every cut male does.
Whether or not you remember it is, like the vaccination argument, irrelevant. When you were a child, it was still common practice to perform circumcisions without anesthetic. It was VERY painful and VERY traumatic, and research is only now starting to uncover what that does mentally to a child that carries over into adulthood.
"I was spanked as a child and I turned out fine."
This arguement is infuriating. Lots of people recover from childhood abuses. And lots of people think they did but still have problems they don't recognize, such as your insistence on not breaking the chain but carrying on this unloving and unpeaceful practice.
First of all, society suffers. "the percentage of children spanked has dropped from 90% to 10%, youth crime has decreased in Sweden since the mid-1990s, and violent crime has not gone up."
If you live in a state where corporal punishment is allowed in schools, your state also has higher murder rates, higher incarceration rates, more children living in poverty, and less adults with high school diplomas. (source link)
Second, if you are woman and were spanked as a child, you are more likely to accept violence from a male partner, and if you are a man spanked as a boy, you are more likely to use it against your female partner. (source link) Let's not forget, violence includes emotional abuse. "...spanking by parents also has negative emotional consequences for girls. "The intention of spanking is to cause pain and the causing of pain to girls and then saying 'I love you' is not healthy."...
"It is important to note that not all children who are spanked will develop negative social behaviors, just as not all heavy smokers will develop lung cancer, says Straus.
"But the potential risk is certainly increased," he says. "And it isn't worth the potential for long-term negative effects." (same source)
"I was carried around in a car seat instead of a baby sling and I turned out fine."
But your mother didn't. From Consumer Reports:
If you opt to use your infant car seat as a carrier, realize that it can be a killer on your wrists, elbow, lower back, and neck if you tote it by the handle or if you string it on your forearm like a handbag. “The greater the horizontal distance from the weight you’re carrying to your torso, the more stress on your joints, discs, ligaments, and muscles,” says Mary Ellen Modica, a physical therapist at Schwab STEPS Rehabilitation Clinics in Chicago, IL. “It’s equivalent to walking around with three or four full paint cans in one hand--something most people wouldn’t do, but they’ll carry a car seat that way.”
And it's possible you didn't really, and neither is your baby now:
"Infants transported that way use their head, neck, and shoulder muscles to stabilize themselves and establish stronger trunk stability. Those muscles may develop sooner in babies who aren’t carried around in a car seat."
(source link for both quotes)
As an added bonus, the person who recently said this called bucket car seats "super convenient." Really? Try carrying your sleeping infant in one of those through a security check point in an airport terminal.
In addition, you missed out on the documented benefits of babywearing. Babies who are frequently carried, either in arms or in a sling, cry less, show "enhanced visual and auditory awareness," experience less anxiety and frustration, receive more exposure to language and the day to day activities of family life, and Dr. Williams Sears even claims they are smarter. (source link)
Also, seriously, don't try to get through an airport without a baby sling.
"I or my baby was formula fed and I/he/she turned out fine."
First of all, be glad that you live in an industrialized nation where you have the luxury of "choosing" between breatfeeding and using clean water and sterile bottles to give your baby formula.
Secondly, whether you like it or not, thousands upon thousands of babies die all over the world because of formula, including in the United States.
"A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, (May 2004), titled "Breastfeeding and the Risk of Postneonatal Death in the United States," reports a 21% reduction in infant death for having EVER breastfed, meaning 27% more infant deaths occur when no breastmilk is provided. The impact is underreported for two reasons. First, deaths in the first month, the greatest amount of deaths, were not counted. Second, the exclusiveness of breastfeeding is a huge factor and is not part of this measurement.
When they compare 3 months of any breastfeeding to less or no breastfeeding, the reported reduction is 36%. That translates actually to 56% more infant deaths for those receiving mostly formula! If they were to compare 3 months of exclusive breastfeeding to no breastmilk, the reduction would have been closer to 50% — meaning Double the deaths for withholding of breastmilk: The same number as in my prior analysis BELOW:
(ADDED April 2006): This study and my below article are about industrialized nations. A more-recent large-scale study taking place in poor areas of Ghana, India, and Peru found a shocking 10.5 times the number of deaths for those not breastfed versus those exclusively breastfed. Partially breastfed infants had 2.5 times the risk of death as those exclusively breastfed. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2005." (source link)
That's a lot of babies who did not turn out fine (or alive).
But, the reality is, sometimes formula is necessary. Adoption, low or no milk supply (rare but does happen), in these instances, formula becomes the lifesaver. Instead of fighting the reality of formula's inferiority, parents should use that information as a tool for discovering the things they need to do to compensate, to build the immune system, to nourish brain growth, and to supplement with skin-to-skin contact. Don't use tap water (heard in the news about how many pharmaceuticals are frequently found in tap water?), use BPA-free bottles, supplement the DHAs, and stop yelling at facts for disagreeing with your wishfull thinking.
"I had an epidural and my baby turned out fine."
I had an epidural and my baby's heart rate dropped to 55 and we had to have an emergency c-section. Apparently, that's not an unusual risk - epidurals can cause a mother's blood pressure to drop, which causes the baby's heart rate to drop, which snowballs into a lot of other "interventions," and by "interventions" I mean "major abdominal surgery from which it takes weeks and sometimes years to recover." I still have no feeling around my surgical scar.
I can't blame anyone for getting an epidural because my own two labors were so horrific that one of my evaluating therapists diagnosed me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If I ever give birth again, I am going to get an epidural.
But I don't kid myself about the risks, to both myself and my baby. Respiratory distress is a side effect, and boy did I have it. Babies born under the influence of anesthesia are much more likely to have a difficult time breastfeeding successfully. My son struggled with it for a long time. My daughter, who had much less exposure to anesthesia before being born, was a champion nurser. But that's anecdotal - to read about the research, click here. There is much to be aware of before making the serious decision to be heavily medicated during labor and birth.
"I went to public school and I turned out fine."
If you went to 12 years of public school and managed to avoid all bullying, loneliness, unfair or incompetent teachers, sexual harassment, drug and alcohol abuse, racism, sexism, crowded rooms, outdated or absence of materials, indoor pollution, loss of sleep and social interaction, limits on available subjects, and endlessly boring lectures devoid of creativity or flexibility with regards to different learning styles, then you are awesome, lucky, and probably lying.
Even if you support the public school system, you must accept and acknowledge the many limitations of a system that pays superintendents more than senators while teachers still ask parents to donate school supplies and often themselves qualify for government assistance.
We are endlessly putting money into education and none of that seems to actually reach teachers and students, but gets circulated among the bureaucrats and funneled out to curriculum developers who have no concept of how children actually learn. And now, children are spending weeks and sometimes months just learning how to take tests - a tactic which isn't helping.
""[H]ome schooled minorities and whites both score on average in the 87th percentile on reading tests. In public schools, whites significantly outpace minorities in reading scores (whites: 57th percentile; blacks: 28th percentile; Hispanics: 28th percentile). In math, home schooled whites score only marginally better than minorities do (82nd percentile vs. 77th percentile). In public schools, the disparity is huge: 58th percentile for whites, 24th percentile for blacks, and 29th percentile for Hispanics.
"Public school officials have some explaining to do. Why is that despite their constant lip service to the goal of equal opportunity, public schools continue to deliver abysmally low academic quality to minority students? Home schoolers have broken out of the ugly, demeaning stereotype of racial underachievement. Why can't government schools do the same?
"Whatever the reasons for the dilemma of public-education failure, they don't include inadequate funding. For each home-school child, the average schooling cost is $546 per year; the annual public-school per-pupil expenditure is $5,325.Both figures exclude the costs of the building in which each child is taught."
"...students taught by parents who have not finished high school score 30 percentiles higher than students in public schools."" - Michael P. Farris, President of the Home School Legal Defense Fund
As a personal side note, I can trace a lot of my life's worst decisions to the training I received in public school, including from the Algebra teacher who told me he'd give me a higher grade if I wore shorter skirts. Imagine the useful things I learned from that nugget of wisdom! Who knew corporate America doesn't operate all that differently!
I could go on and on through many more topics, but my point remains clear - you supposedly turning out fine after a potentially damaging experience does not count as actual evidence that something is good or okay. I know, the moment those words come out of your mouth, that we cannot have a reasonable discussion and that, for the time being, you have stopped thinking.