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Don't Hate Your Kid Because He's a Republican (VIDEO)

by Jacqueline Burt on March 29, 2012 at 3:08 PM

conservative teenHere's a scary parenting thought: Let's say you're of a liberal mindset, politically speaking. What's the most terrifying thing you could discover hidden under your 15-year-old's mattress? (Besides a Santorum 2012 t-shirt.)

Give up? A copy of the magazine Conservative Teen, that's the most terrifying thing you could find in your kid's bedroom. In case you've never seen this one on the newsstands, the mag is basically exactly what it sounds like:

Articles with titles like "Why Abstinence Works" and "Hot Air & Cold Facts of Liberal Media Bias." Generic buttoned-up teen cover models who appear to be at the library, perhaps combing Scripture for anti-gay references. (Yes, this is a real magazine, and no, I'm not making these articles up.)

I know what my knee-jerk reaction would likely be:

What kind of trash is this? I raised you on hormone-free milk and The Daily Show! You should know better!

Or maybe you're a conservative parent. Maybe a discovery like this one would make you beam with pride. In that case, imagine finding a copy of Out magazine or a prescription for birth control.

Either way, this is what I'm wondering ...

How are we supposed to react, as parents, when our kids turn out to have a completely different set of beliefs from our own? Are we supposed to react at all?

More from The Stir: Lowering the Voting Age to 16 Is Too Much Power for Teens

It's an incredibly difficult question to answer, especially when you look at it from both perspectives (parent and teen). I know personally how I felt when my devout Catholic mother freaked out because I stopped going to church: Annoyed. (Not to mention unmoved.) But I also know how I would feel if, in a few years, I found a copy of Conservative Teen in my daughter's room: Alarmed. And my instinct would probably be to tell her why, immediately.

In which case she would probably just get annoyed, and whoops! There goes history repeating itself again.

I guess the main thing is to NOT make our kids feel bad about whatever they've chosen to believe in (assuming they haven't joined some murderous cult or something). The only thing that comes of a parent shaming a kid for her individuality is a complete communication breakdown. Plus, that's usually when kids embrace whatever their "thing" is even more wholeheartedly in the hopes of proving us wrong.

All we can really do is stay true to ourselves as parents, be good listeners, and ... hope they come around?

What would you do if your kid liked Conservative Teen magazine?

Image via hulu/Aol

Filed Under: issues, family, news, behavior

Comments

26
  • Brittany
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Brittany

    March 29, 2012 at 3:18 PM
    Haha I can only imagine how my conservative parents felt when I went through my brief "liberal phase" in high school. But they were totally cool about it, and I eventually came back around to hold conservative viewpoints on my own. I'd like to hope that I could act the same way my parents did if my son decides to try out the liberal side.
  • Todd...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Todd Vrancic

    March 29, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Meh.  It wouldn't be the end of the world.


  • zandh...
    --

    zandhmom2

    March 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    You're kidding right??? In my house, my husband and I are on different ends of the political pole but we completely respect each others opinions and we like to have lively debates over many issues.  My two kids are raised in a house with many different news outlets. We watch Fox News (husband and I both like O'Reilly) we watch our local news and other national news shows.  I would NEVER assume that my kids will be either conservative or liberal...I will let them decide based on real information (not biased information and/or emotions) where their hearts and mind lay.  And for the record, people can be conservative and still believe in birth control or gay rights and a person can be liberal and still believe in personal and government responsibility.  Only closed minded people believe that if someone is a liberal or conservation they has to believe everything that group stands for.  There is usually a middle ground.


  • ashjo85
    --

    ashjo85

    March 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    ^ Right. As long as my kid showed evidence of THINKING, I wouldn't be upset one way or the other. I myself am a blend of views.


  • Histo...
    --

    HistoryMamaX3

    March 29, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    This is the saddest thing I have read in quite some time... and very telling. This is actually how I picture stereotype liberal families being- unkind and hateful to those who think unlike them. You just reaffirmed this to be true for some.

    Sadly, there is no difference here in saying- what if you found this magazine or some gay porn... it is a child's choice and their feelings. Just because they are not EXACTLY like you does not make them worse off- in this case, it just might make them better.

     

    Grow up. There are good and bad people on both sides of the political spectrum. Being liberal doesn't make you a good person. Just as being conservative doesn't either. It is your actions and BOTH sides do their fair share of unkind and just plain stupid things.


  • blh
    -- Nonmember comment from

    blh

    March 29, 2012 at 4:25 PM
    If you think that's the worst thing you could find you're kid with, you're truly an idiot.
  • fave82
    --

    fave82

    March 29, 2012 at 4:30 PM
    Wow, close minded much? Sad..
  • AliNo...
    --

    AliNoelle

    March 29, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Well first I would ask him what led him to have conservative beliefs. My oldest has a tendency to just repeat what his ultra conservative evangelical grandmother says but when I ask him why HE believes it he doesn't know. I would rather they went and did their own research and come to conclusions on their own rather than parrot back what they hear from grandparents and even myself ( a pretty left of center progressive). I mean honestly , you may want your children to grow up having the same beliefs as you but ultimately you have to realize they are going to be their own person with their own ideas and thoughts on issues. It's hard. I know but it's part of growing up.


  • Torra...
    --

    TorranceMom

    March 29, 2012 at 5:40 PM
    @Brittany
    I went through one of those phases too!
  • ele4p...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    ele4phant

    March 29, 2012 at 6:04 PM
    "What would you do if your kid liked Conservative Teen magazine?" Oh I don't know...NOTHING. If partnership is inappropriate and ineffective in Congress, lord knows we shouldn't bring it into our homes.
1-10 of 26 comments

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