Indoctrination

My husband and I were raised by very politically progressive parents. You know, liberals. The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree for both of us, and while I consider us to be open-minded and left-leaning, there are some areas where our parents might out-leftie us. I consider this an advantage, and yet I am always so curious when I meet people who are now socially progressive, yet grew up in conservative homes. What made the change? What do their parents think? How awkward are family holidays? Then again, I like to pepper people with a lot of questions.

So, as someone who has worked at non-profits and now works for a union, my family remains committed to various causes. And we talk about them with Miss Red. Some might call it indoctrination. Whatever you call it – family conversations, belief structures, family plans, goals – I hope she grows up knowing that she can make a difference. I mean, with more than a year of Capitol protests under her belt, how can she not?

My favorite protestors.

What about you? How do you discuss and navigate the waters of social causes and issues in your family?

- MD

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    • Nikki Gamble
    • March 13th, 2012

    Oh man…I am the only NOT tea-party conservative in my family. Black sheep right here! It is really hard. Not only because we don’t agree, but because they are basically brainwashed from having Fox “news” on 24 hours a day. It would be one thing if we could have a conversation, but that is not the case. My mother frequently “baits” Rick and I to try and start an argument, but I just ignore her. It is not worth my energy. I sometimes write these very eloquent, well-thought out responses in my head to her inane political BS, but I never actually say them to her, because I know she won’t even hear my legitimate points and will just chalk it up to me living in Madison. I just steer WAY clear of any of the big 3. You know politics, sex, religion.

    Rick’s family is quite the opposite and while we don’t agree on everything, there is mutual respect and and actual conversation. Refreshing for sure!

      • MD
      • March 13th, 2012

      This fascinates me! At what point did you realize that you didn’t align with their beliefs? How do you manage that if something comes up and the boys witness this? Do you ask your parents to not talk to your boys about The Big 3? Whew – I get the sweats just thinking about it!

    • Nicole Gamble
    • March 14th, 2012

    I think I realized it while going to social work school. I would go home and all of sudden realize that the things my parents were saying, really just didn’t sit well with me. It took me quite a while to come to my own set of beliefs. Believe or not, I just don’t talk about those things with my parents. If they are having a conversation about something I disagree with, I just leave the room. The boys don’t really pay much attention yet, but I guess it won’t be long before they do. I haven’t really thought about how I would handle it. I actually don’t really want to “indoctrinate” them one way or the other. I woud love for them to come to their own set of belieft without thinking that I will love them any differently for it. I don’t want the same dynamic I have with my parents. But then again, I do want them to have a strong sense of right and wrong, moral and social justice, contentment…so I guess I do have ideals for them. Parenting is hard:)

      • MD
      • March 14th, 2012

      Thanks for sharing, Nikki. What a great gift to share with your boys, too!

  1. Looking at that picture, I’m fairly certain I saw you and your family on the Main Street side of the Capitol on last Saturday. I follow you on Twitter and I thought I recognized you from your profile pic, but I wasn’t certain so I didn’t say anything. But your daughter’s Badger hat makes me think I should have. Oh well.

      • MD
      • March 18th, 2012

      Be sure to say “hi” next time! I walked up to someone I recognized on Twitter that afternoon, too, and introduced myself.

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