When politics spoil the playdate party

posted in: Challenges, Playdates | 0

It’s an election year, and that means that politics are at the forefront of many people’s minds – or at least, moreso than usual. You would think that adults could keep this between themselves, but…

Imagine this scenario – you’re at the park with your kid and her best friend, and somebody mentions Mitt Romney. Your daughter’s friend’s mom says, “I can’t see how anyone would trust that crazy, bible-thumping elitist!” You’re no big Romney fan, but you do identify as a Christian, and aren’t comfortable with the way this person has just insulted your religion.

Or, here’s another one – You pick up your child from a friend’s house, and the t.v. is on in the background. The buddy’s dad says, “I don’t know how anyone could vote for a black man.” Even if you’re a serious republican, racism makes you uneasy.

So what can you do when politics (or its peripherals) are making you question your decision to let your kids out of the house?

  • Talk to your kids about it – talk about how parents sometimes disagree, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t like each other, nor does it mean that the kids can’t be friends.
  • Talk to the parents – especially if they are engaging in straw-man attacks that don’t have anything to do with politics, ask them to tone it down in front of the kids. If you have specific concerns, air them – politely!
  • Let it go – even if you disagree, if there isn’t anything morally outrageous or personally insulting, sometimes you have to let it go. Think of it as your own personal attempt to reach across the aisle!

Worst case scenario? It should all calm down in just a couple of months once the election is done! Whew. In the meantime, you can use Mom Meet Mom to meet moms who rank politics way down on their list of things they really care about in a friendship.



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