Jodi: Talking to my teenager about politics

Our house isn’t an overly political one.   But when our 8th grade daughter comes home with questions based on what she hears at school – we have to go there.   She’s been upset OFTEN lately because many of her classmates get super serious about it – especially the presidential election.  She hates conflict.  Ut OH!

Where to begin??  I knew I couldn’t let her down.  She was looking for answers.    The questions were:   Why are we so divided?   Why is there so much bad mouthing?   Who really IS good, and who has no business being in Washington??  I took a deep breath and sat down with her.


I first explained that I’ve never been overly political.  It’s the truth.  I do care, but I find myself often torn.  I like to decide how I feel about things issue by issue.  That often has nothing to do with a particular candidate.   I explained that even when I find it hard to vote (hard to choose) I still do.   It’s a right, an important one.

I also explained what party I tend to “lean” toward.  She knows this much.  But I also restated to her that she doesn’t have to feel the way we do.   She seemed to really open up at that.  And I MEAN that.

MOST importantly, I told her I have never ranted about politics and never will, because I think it’s so personal.  It’s not my place to tell others how to feel, and it is not my business what they feel.  I think she appreciated that – I saw it in her face.


I also reminded her – that what she’s hearing from kids at school, is their interpretation of what they’re hearing at home.  We discussed that it will take time, and living her life to really form her opinions and feelings on politics.

She’s so upset by it all, and is just looking to me to help her understand.  I will continue to give her my best.  It’s going to be a long year 😉

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