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Political differences between you and your child

TheHappinessFundTheHappinessFund 136 replies14 threads Junior Member
Hi all!
I know this is the Parents cafe, but I have a (pretty off-topic) question for the many parents on this site. Here goes:

My mother and I have starkly different political beliefs. It's what you'd typically expect from a young person and an older one (might i say, a boomer?). I'm pretty left leaning and my mom is conservative-- not a trump supporter, but would definitely prefer him over some of the democrats currently running for president. I won't delve into the specifics of our differing beliefs, but essentially, I am a socialist in my mom's eyes. im not a socialist lol, and my beliefs are actually quite moderate compared to people like bernie sanders.

Anyways, my question is: Do any of the parents on this site have large differences in political belief with their child(ren)? If so, feel free to explain. How do you discuss things like this? I also think it'd be interesting to see how culture affects how families talk about political issues. (My mom is asian and we live in a majority asian community, so politics is not often discussed. It's pretty out of the norm for me to be interested in politics at all.)

cool. (:
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Replies to: Political differences between you and your child

  • HImomHImom 35120 replies396 threads Senior Member
    My kids pretty much are aligned with me politically but H has mostly been significantly further right. It’s never been a problem or barrier and I have friends of many different political views. As long as no one is advocating violence, I can peacefully co-exist (though sometimes I do butt my tongue). My parents, brothers and sisters and other relatives and I have varying political opinions—generally we refrain from discussing.

    Politics are pretty forbidden on this site, so this thread may get shut down.
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  • taverngirltaverngirl 1335 replies38 threads Senior Member
    I've got a child on each side of the spectrum, and I'm in the middle as a moderate. S aligns with H. Lots of spirited discussions but everyone is respectful. Outside our immediate family, we usually stay away from political discussions.
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  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay 19406 replies462 threads Senior Member
    We align pretty closely with our kids. In fact, we all took the WashPo quiz about which presidential candidate your views most closely track, and all four us got the same person. That really surprised me.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 40458 replies7511 threads Super Moderator
    Politics are pretty forbidden on this site, so this thread may get shut down.
    The basic question is OK, so long as an in-depth discussion/debate of the political differences does not occur. Should that happen, the thread will get shut down.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1562 replies35 threads Senior Member
    I purposely try not to influence my kid politically. In the age of internet and social media, there're already too many sources of biased influences. Kids should think critically for themselves based on verifiable facts, whether it's politics or academics.
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  • mathmommathmom 32770 replies160 threads Senior Member
    We align very closely with our kids, though our older son does not pay much attention to politics. The younger kid knows a lot more about the international situation than we do, he reads a lot of foreign policy stuff and listens to many podcasts.
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  • HouseChatteHouseChatte 927 replies2 threads Member
    I guess we'd be considered pretty extreme in our views, and entire family seems pretty much on the same page. Any differences that arise usually meet with humor, questions, friendly devil's advocacy. Everyone feels respected.

    We have extended family who hold more mainstream views out of their concern for the public good, and extended family who hold views that are disparaging to those who don't agree with them. We don't engage at all with the latter. With the former we've been able to have a very friendly, informative, and respectful give-and-take, and I refrain from standing up on a dining chair to belt out a terrible version of The Internationale.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9876 replies536 threads Senior Member
    My parents and I are polar opposites. We simply do not ever discuss it. We are boomer and pre-boomers though, and my parents are elderly now.

    If your mom thinks you’re a socialist, rather than argue with her, try finding opportunities to illustrate your point of view in a constructive way. Example: my family thinks I’m pretty far left. When discussing the high costs of having an uncomplicated hospital birth, I pointed out that both of my kids, born in Europe, cost exactly zero money to be born, and that a health worker visited my home a couple of days after each birth to visit me and the baby. They were amazed, as it had never occurred to them that no payment was needed, and that someone would actually come to the home to check in.

    I think many political differences are due to misunderstanding and misinformation, especially now. I personally make it a personal policy to never read any news story that doesn’t come from a 100% credible source.
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  • PublisherPublisher 9527 replies119 threads Senior Member
    "from a 100% credible source" ?
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  • abasketabasket 20184 replies891 threads Senior Member
    My kids and I lean pretty closely - my H leans farther right and loves to "debate" this views - much to my chagrin. One of my siblings also swings right quite a bit. We don't talk politics with them because really, it won't end well - even though we love them dearly and are quite close to them!

    Point being, I do think it can be a good experience for my young adults to have these people who think differently right in their own family - the emotional connection they have with these family members is still there - but politically while they draw the line, they TRY and see things from their point of view - more than they would just with any Joe on the street that has differing views.

    I will be honest though - for me it is VERY difficult to have my H somewhat in the "other camp". I can't EVEN sometimes!
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 39946 replies2197 threads Super Moderator
    Didn't we just have a thread on this topic recently?
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  • onemoremom12onemoremom12 62 replies5 threads Junior Member
    We have had many conversations about this in our family, especially given the upcoming transition to college. Some college campuses have become grounds for hostility and fear of discussion. It has been a question my kid has asked in college interviews ... is the climate one that truly allows for opposing views. For those families with differing views, what a great learning experience for your kids!

    Younger kids can be so concrete, we parents need to make sure we are not teaching them that there is just one "truth."

    Adolescents can want to buck against parents (and other adults) and may form opinions just to go against them.

    I think helping kids know that there are good people who disagree with you is most important.
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  • Coun2316Coun2316 73 replies5 threads Junior Member
    We all align somewhat in that we all support the same political party. As I've gotten older, I have become more moderate and H has become more left leaning, so D20 is more aligned with him than with me. S22 is not very interested in politics other than in agreeing with our opinions on the current administration.
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  • HeartofDixieHeartofDixie 267 replies8 threads Junior Member
    I, like my parents, am pretty conservative. There are some points that we do not agree on, but for the most part we are on the same page. I tend to be more of a calm discussion person and my family, especially my mother and brother can get pretty wound up discussing stuff so I try not to engage in too much discussion with them.

    My ex-husband and his family are classic Southern yellow-dog democrats, though not as loyal as they used to be due to the increasingly liberal bent of the party. They are much more heated in discussions than my family, so I learned early on not to engage in discussions with them.

    As far as my kids, it's not clear yet which way they are going to go. I think my whole family would be mostly in the pro-life camp, not sure about some other things. I think my son that is a college freshman has picked up views from both sides and I imagine by the time he is out of college his views will have changed and evolved somewhat. My daughter that is in 9th grade seems the most likely to be more aligned with my views, but she is quite complex and it's hard to really get a handle on her thought process. As of right now, my 6th grade son would completely go along with whatever his father says, just because he is in that stage of following after anything he says, I suspect to win his approval.
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  • TheHappinessFundTheHappinessFund 136 replies14 threads Junior Member
    @Nrdsb4 of course, my apologies for that impression. I don't believe that haha.
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  • MomofJandLMomofJandL 1710 replies36 threads Senior Member
    DH and I have different views, the kids are mostly closer to his views. I try to model how to have good conversations about policy and issues, and how to avoid name-calling and meme quoting. MIL/FIL never learned how to voice differences about anything, including politics, without getting confrontational, and it left them unable to communicate about important things. I want my kids to have better role models, their specific views are up to them, but they should be able to discuss and defend them on policy grounds.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23821 replies17 threads Senior Member
    edited January 21
    When discussing the high costs of having an uncomplicated hospital birth, I pointed out that both of my kids, born in Europe, cost exactly zero money to be born, and that a health worker visited my home a couple of days after each birth to visit me and the baby. They were amazed, as it had never occurred to them that no payment was needed, and that someone would actually come to the home to check in.

    It may not have cost YOU anything, but someone paid the bill. Other taxpayers, I assume.

    My daughter was born in the US and her hospital bill was $300k. I paid $0, not even a co-pay. In fact, I received $470 per month as SSI for her. Nurses and therapists came to my home after she came home for more than a year.
    edited January 21
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