July 17, 2019   9:30am
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Francine Talks: Do politics cause battles between you and your kids?

What could be more appropriate as we prepare for the inauguration then a missive from Francine, our family advisor …

They’re Family: Don’t Let Politics Divide You

You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family, especially your kids. If friends have political views you find repulsive, you have lots of choices. But when your kids take positions opposed to everything you believe in …. what to do, what to do?

Take me, your typical New York liberal who sent her kids to your typical New York liberal school. My older daughter goes to college, joins a Conservative crowd, and marries a libertarian classmate. They both go into politics.

Sigh.

So, here’s what I learned by trial and error; and it’s what works for me anyway.

  • If you can’t talk about the issues without getting upset, don’t talk politics.
  • Be sensitive to their feelings and they will probably be careful with you: that means you do not call them when your guy wins and grind them into the dirt.
  • When hard decision time comes, decide what’s more important-your kid or your politics.

Here’s an example. My son-in-law was running for local office in another state. He held a fundraiser in New York and asked me to come. Did I support any of his positions? No. But I supported him — and my daughter. So I made my little contribution, sipped cocktails and chatted with the Conservative crowd. Several of his college friends told me they’d come from ultra-liberal backgrounds themselves, and laughed, comfortably or not, at their parents’ dismay. Then I was introduced to a well-known Conservative commentator, a woman about my age. I explained that I was the candidate’s mother-in-law but not of his party. She “got” it. She put her arm around me and said, “Aww, you’re a good mom.”

I was. And, for me, that was the most important thing.

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