How to Raise a Child With Different Political Views
Until a few years ago, Abigail Reed’s policies coincided with those of her parents. She understood their point of view and followed it. Then Reed, a recent Indianapolis high school graduate who is heading to college in a few weeks, began to think for herself. She started talking to people with different ideas and doing her own research. The result was a leap to the other side of the ideological passage. Her new political stance is not popular in the Reed household; this caused periods of friction and tense silence.
The political divide between Reed and her family is hardly unique; more and more children across the country, how could they describe it, are waking up. It has long been thought that child policy is inherited from parents, but a study published in the American Sociological Review in 2015 casts doubt on this notion. The researchers found that of the parent-child relationships surveyed, more than half of the children were unable to correctly perceive and / or accept their parent’s policies.
Political disunity has put an end to many Facebook friends, especially in recent years. But this does not necessarily destroy the family relationship if everyone is trying to treat each other with respect.
Remember it’s natural for them to part ways.
Before plucking your hair out for your independent dependent, remind yourself that pushing buttons is just part of a child’s job.
“The [role] of a teenager is to sort things out on their own and separate from their parents in a different way,” says Ashley Herndon, a licensed marriage and family therapist.
Disagreement and seeking are all part of growing up. While growth and development is natural, it is also natural to take all this “growth” as a blow to yourself and your upbringing. The good news is that it’s only good luck if you think so.
“It’s easy to think your kids are doing this just to not be you,” says Herndon. On the other hand, “it could be that the values you put into them were presented differently than you might think.”
Before you suggest that your kids are rebelling against your policies to spite you, flip the script and ask yourself: is this a rejection, or is it actually an unexpected expression of how you raised them?
Don’t fire them because of their age
According to Darlene Moorman, a member of the Ohio Student Association and public relations officer for the Alliance for Youth Action, just because your child is young doesn’t mean that their beliefs are automatically wrong.
“It’s important to respect the experiences and voices of young people,” says Murman. You shouldn’t discriminate against them just because of their age.
As recent events have shown, today’s youth absorb news and opinions from all walks of life. Although they have made fewer journeys around the world, that doesn’t mean they are standing still, Herndon said.
“When we talk about trust and respect, you can’t say, ‘I’m firing you because you didn’t have the [experience] of mine,” Herndon says, although she admits it can be difficult. “It takes a long time to realize that this person takes time to get to where you are now,” she says.
Set some boundaries
Opening up a dialogue is important, but it is even more important to set some boundaries. Work with your teenager to determine which political topics are discussed and which are prohibited. While you don’t want a house of silence, part of setting boundaries can involve recognizing that certain topics are best avoided.
“If you’re open-minded, developed and willing to discuss, let’s set boundaries,” says Herndon. “Maybe you can’t talk about politics at all, or maybe you only talk about [easier things].”
Whatever boundaries you set, the key is recognizing breakpoints and comfort levels for interaction. And try not to defend yourself.
“When someone younger than you calls you, it can trigger a defensive reaction,” says Moorman.
Before you blow up and file these exemption papers, Herndon recommends asking yourself why you are so excited. Is it because you don’t think your child has all the facts? Is it because you find it difficult to be around people who do not believe in the same as you? Or do you just stick to your point of view?
The answer may surprise you and make you rethink your next step.
Make a truce
Managing difficult relationships while supporting your political con man can make you feel isolated, but remember that you are not alone. Others in your social circle may now be solving the same problems.
“Activate your network,” Herndon suggests. “Friends, someone in the church, people who will challenge you and support you as you discuss raising your child.”
For now, Abigail Reed and her family have agreed not to talk about politics at home.
“I’m interested in hearing from other people,” says Reed. “But this often leads to the fact that” I am right and you are wrong. ” I think in the long run it’s better to just not talk to your parents about politics. ”
Concessions like those made by the Reed family are not the same as admitting defeat; think of them more as a truce. You may not always agree, and of course you don’t go in tandem to the ballot box, but you can at least appreciate the fact that you have raised a strong, independent thinker.