At this moment in history, the country is divided. Regardless of politics, there is conflictual, sometimes hateful rhetoric being spoken everywhere we turn... even within families, among aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins. So, how are parents supposed to address this complicated reality with their kids?
After receiving many questions about this topic, Brené Brown made a video to offer her advice, as a part of her COURAGEworks learning community ― and it’s been going viral. The full clip is worth watching, but Brené sums up her advice succinctly around the three-minute mark.
“If something’s happening, you say, ‘This is happening. We don’t agree with it. This is not our value in our family, and here’s why,’” Brené says. “But if all you do is put down and bad mouth other people and spend no time explaining why something is important or serious to you, then what you’re teaching is compliance and not commitment.”
It’s an important distinction, she continues, and it isn’t one that we’ve been paying much attention to as a society.
“We’re raising kids to be ideologues, parrot what we think and vilify other people,” Brené says. “That is not our job. Our job is to prepare them to stand their ground for what they believe in ― and fight for it while being understanding and respectful that there are good people who may even love us and we love who believe something different.”
Watch Brené’s full video above for powerful, everyday examples of this philosophy in action. You can also sign up for Brené’s parenting-focused COURAGEworks course, The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting, here.