The political season is upon us, which turns many friends and family members into WWE opponents. It seems that civil discourse is out of the question. Apparently, Morton Downey Jr. has become our conversational role-model.
So, what happens if our political views differ from those of our children?
This question came from one of my readers, and I think it’s worthy of consideration.
How to handle political differences within the family . . .
I remember the day my brother-in-law and I got into a political battle. The conversation started with civility, but soon turned into a screaming match. My sister left in tears, and our family visit was marred. It happens.
Therefore, I suggest the following:
Or, you could use bribery. . .
Unfortunately, this is my most often-used source of influence. My kids, nieces and nephews all know that I like to throw money at things. If you will stop screaming about politics, I will give you $20.00. This approach is a horrible parenting technique, but it works.
I wish all of us would realize that considering another person’s perspective exercises the brain. We need to be role-models of civil discourse, celebrating the fact that our children are forming their own opinions.
Before getting into a political discussion with my kids, I would quote F. Scott Fitzgerald —
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
Then I would throw down the gauntlet of – Do you have a first-rate intelligence?
Because the only thing better than monetary bribery is intellectual bribery.