We don’t talk politics in our household.
I understand that it is an election year, and talking openly about issues is important. But hear me out.
My husband and I have been married for 10 years, and together for 13 years. We have never once discussed politics. For us, our political opinions are personal decisions and we would never try to sway one or the other to suit our own beliefs. We each have our opinions (strong ones), and sometimes they align and sometimes they do not.
To be honest, I also rarely engage in conversations about politics with anyone outside my home. Part of my reason is that I don’t want to be defined by my political choices.
Another part is I am well aware that I’m not versed enough in politics and I don’t feel I have a fully educated opinion when it comes to political matters.
Most importantly, my husband and I don’t talk about politics around our children. This is HUGE for us. In our opinion, our 7 and 9-year-olds have no need to have political opinions. I also know that they are hearing a lot about politics outside our home whether we want them to or not.
It is heart-wrenching to us when our children come home and make political statements based on what they heard at school from another child. Another child, who most likely only repeated what they heard their parents say, rather than forming their own informed opinions.
I’m not saying politics have no place in conversations with our youth, but with both of my children not even being a decade old, there IS NO PLACE FOR POLITICS IN THEIR LIFE RIGHT NOW!
I do want my kids to understand how politics work before they form opinions about parties, candidates, and hot-button political issues. We’ve begun introducing general themes around elections to both of our kids, but to be clear- at no point have we shared which political nominees we are leaning towards. I’ve seen family members and friends tear each other apart on social media, arguing about their political views. My family has used that as a learning experience with our kids to teach them that everyone has different opinions and that’s ok.
That it isn’t ok to call friends and family names because they believe differently (or even view the world differently).
The question now is, “What is age-appropriate political information”? And truth be told I don’t know. I think it’s a household decision, and one that will vary widely. But I do know that in my household right now isn’t the time to talk politics. I do want my children to have a basic understanding because I never did. I want them to have that in due time though. Right now… let them just be kids. Let them stay out of the badgering that is going back and forth between once tight-knit families.