Opinion » Minerva's Breakdown

Wattle I Do?

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Dear Minerva,

I am dreading Thanksgiving. My husband's family is visiting again, which sends our home into turmoil. They are nice enough, and I want them to have a relationship with our children, but their political beliefs are not aligned with the way in which we live our lives and treat others. Now that our teens are showing interest in advocacy and activism and are well on their way to being open-minded, compassionate people, I'm worried that my in-laws' ignorant and racist comments are going to be a setback. I just want a peaceful holiday.

Sincerely,

Wattle I Do?

Dear Wattle,

This is a touchy subject for everyone involved. I prefer to take a gracious stance, and I usually keep a few topics of common, non-political interest in my arsenal. If your kids are doing anything exciting, those can be great topics to bring up when the conversation starts to wander into choppy waters. Keeping the conversation light is part of successful entertaining. It may also help to chat with your kids about how to process and interact with people who don't agree. If all else fails, talk turkey. Frankly saying, "We need to change the subject" can also move you all on to more pleasant discussions. I am not suggesting you or anyone doesn't have a right to say their piece. I am suggesting that maybe, just maybe, it will keep until the celebration has ended. Our troubles will always be waiting for us, Thanksgiving or not.