What happens when your children end up holding political views that are different from your own? Just because you may influence them with your views when they are young doesn’t always mean they will follow suit and adopt your ideology when they are grown. Children enjoy rebelling at times … it’s like … what they do! Trust me, I have been there with my own daughter, but I promise, it does get better!
I have been a conservative constitutionalist all of my life and my daughter started out very liberal. Now that she is almost 19 and has her first job, she identifies as a proud libertarian. Funny how paying taxes really opens your eyes! As the saying goes, “If you’re not a liberal by the time you’re 20, you have no heart. If you’re still a liberal by the time you’re 40, you have no head.”
You may have to experience this like I had to, and it can be frustrating! Here are a few pieces of advice that may help:
1. Learn to Let Go
Don’t worry too much, Mom and Dad. Your child is growing and learning. She is stretching her legs and finding out who she is and what she believes. Just know that her viewpoints will change hundreds and hundreds of times before she is set in who she is (like yours did) and your influence bears more weight than you may know right now. However, she may never come around and that’s something you will have to accept.
2. Be the Adult in the “Argument”
Chances are if you discuss politics with your children and they don’t hold your viewpoints, there could be arguments. In fact, there probably will be ugly ones, IF you don’t keep your cool. You are the adult in this situation, so try to act like it. I know it’s frustrating, but keeping your cool will diffuse any brewing pent-up animosity that this sensitive subject can bear. Counting to ten in my head always worked for me. Show your children you respect their opinions, even if you don’t hold the same sentiments. It will teach them to respect others and how to handle themselves in future debates.
3. Don’t Talk About Politics—Period!
You know the old adage “Don’t talk religion and politics”? Well, this may apply to you. If you have had respectful constructive debates with your child about his/her views on the world, then awesome! Keep up the good work! But if you and your child can’t speak on the subject without a tearful explosion, where one or both retreat—complete with slamming doors—then avoid the issue altogether. Nothing is worth hurt feelings and a damaged relationship.
Do you have a child or family member who doesn’t hold the same political views? Tell me how you handled it in the comments section.