Peace in the Family

 

We had my stepson and his wife and daughter over for a cookout this afternoon to celebrate Father’s Day. I make it a point not to bring up politics during our family get-togethers, as they are committed Lefties of the unreasoning type. My wife and son-in-law seem to have independently adopted a similar approach; peace in the family and all that. My daughter-in-law, however, can be a fly in the ointment at times. Whether she is oblivious (quite possible) or intentionally provocative (also quite possible) I can’t be sure, but it often feels like she is poking the proverbial bear in hopes of drawing a reaction. The rest of us are generally pretty disciplined, however, peace in the family and all that… which often leaves daughter-in-law sermonizing for a few minutes until one of us manages to change the subject.

Today’s sermon had daughter-in-law extolling the wisdom of children. She related how it is her habit to ask their 9-year old daughter for her opinions on things like trans issues and gay rights and so on. The daughter-in-law explained how valuable kids’ input is because “they are purer and haven’t been polluted by society.” Though it was harder than usual, I managed to hold my tongue… peace in the family and all that… and stop myself from saying: That “pollution” you’re talking about is what most people call experience, knowledge, and wisdom, and maybe we shouldn’t be looking to children, who have none of those things, for guidance on complex issues.

Thanks for letting me say to you what I didn’t say to her… peace in the family and all that. <grumble>

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  1. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Well, it doesn’t seem like experience, wisdom, and knowledge do much for the left.

    But anyway…

    Back before Jonah went totally off the cliff, he had a good part of a podcast on that subject, the episode has “Hillary’s Pillory” in the title if you want to look for it.

    Okay I looked, and it’s from March 15, 2018.

    • #1
  2. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    I suppose you place a higher premium on family peace than I do, but it’s your family and your prerogative.  I don’t believe I could have had your self-restraint.

    • #2
  3. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    I suppose you place a higher premium on family peace than I do, but it’s your family and your prerogative. I don’t believe I could have had your self-restraint.

    Self-restraint wouldn’t be an issue for me, I wouldn’t have had them over to start with, or at least not her.

    And part of the problem with the “surrender” type of “family peace” is that it lets the others think they’re right and you might even agree with them, or something.

    • #3
  4. Freeven Member
    Freeven
    @Freeven

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    I suppose you place a higher premium on family peace than I do, but it’s your family and your prerogative. I don’t believe I could have had your self-restraint.

    I place a premium on my marriage. This is her family, not mine. So I whine and bitch and moan about it to her afterwards. Only seems fair.

    • #4
  5. Freeven Member
    Freeven
    @Freeven

    kedavis (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    I suppose you place a higher premium on family peace than I do, but it’s your family and your prerogative. I don’t believe I could have had your self-restraint.

    Self-restraint wouldn’t be an issue for me, I wouldn’t have had them over to start with, or at least not her.

    And part of the problem with the “surrender” type of “family peace” is that it lets the others think they’re right and you might even agree with them, or something.

    We’ve talked about politics enough that they know I totally disagree with them and think they’re basically wrong about everything. It would be harder to deal with if they actually knew something beyond Lefty talking points. There’s far less temptation to push back against a fool than someone who is rational and reasonable. In this case, my wife was struggling not to laugh out loud.

    Edit: To provide a bit of context, this is a 30-year old woman who today also shared that she’s going to get a tattoo of Taylor Swift. It’s not hard to see the absurdity in all of it, especially since I’ve long last faith in humanity.

     

    • #5
  6. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Freeven (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    I suppose you place a higher premium on family peace than I do, but it’s your family and your prerogative. I don’t believe I could have had your self-restraint.

    I place a premium on my marriage. This is her family, not mine. So I whine and bitch and moan about it to her afterwards. Only seems fair.

    OK, now I understand it a bit better.  Negotiating the terrain of in-laws can be difficult.  Still, Thanksgiving at your house must be a real hoot.

    • #6
  7. Freeven Member
    Freeven
    @Freeven

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Freeven (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    I suppose you place a higher premium on family peace than I do, but it’s your family and your prerogative. I don’t believe I could have had your self-restraint.

    I place a premium on my marriage. This is her family, not mine. So I whine and bitch and moan about it to her afterwards. Only seems fair.

    OK, now I understand it a bit better. Negotiating the terrain of in-laws can be difficult. Still, Thanksgiving at your house must be a real hoot.

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday — in theory. In practice, not so much. Though it can be fun when someone brings up BLM. My son-in-law and his wife are big supporters. My brother-in-law is an outspoken cop. So you can imagine how that goes.

    • #7
  8. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Freeven (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Freeven (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    I suppose you place a higher premium on family peace than I do, but it’s your family and your prerogative. I don’t believe I could have had your self-restraint.

    I place a premium on my marriage. This is her family, not mine. So I whine and bitch and moan about it to her afterwards. Only seems fair.

    OK, now I understand it a bit better. Negotiating the terrain of in-laws can be difficult. Still, Thanksgiving at your house must be a real hoot.

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday — in theory. In practice, not so much. Though it can be fun when someone brings up BLM. My son-in-law and his wife are big supporters. My brother-in-law is an outspoken cop. So you can imagine how that goes.

    At least in those situations, I hope you can enjoy the show without being blamed for it as being somehow your fault.

    • #8
  9. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Freeven: Today’s sermon had daughter-in-law extolling the wisdom of children. She related how it is her habit to ask their 9-year old daughter for her opinions on things like trans issues and gay rights and so on. Daughter-in-law explained how valuable kids’ input is because “they are more pure and haven’t been polluted by society.”

    I don’t need anyone else’s advice on what to think about social issues like that.  Where I have the most uncertainty in life is in regards to career and finance.  I guess I should ask my 8-year old nephew how much of a down payment I should really have to buy a nice house and if he knows when the next housing price crash is coming.  My wife thinks we’ll be OK if I look for a job that pays less but has better hours, but I just don’t feel safe doing that until we have a lot more money in the bank.  I really need to find that kid for some insight.

    • #9
  10. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I think it is perfectly fair to set ground rules

    • #10
  11. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Sounds like DIL is a total nitwit, and that the rest of the family knows that.  And that, for the most part, you and others have sorted out the ground rules for such occasions, and have decided not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  Hard as it sometimes is, and wherever it’s remotely possible for the sake of ‘peace in the family’ and the possibility of continuing relations,  I think that’s a good decision.

    PS: I think it’s entirely fine to gripe to your spouse after the fact.  Been there, done that in the case of a few of Mr. She’s relatives who specialize in embarrassingly loud, opinionated, and disruptive behavior.  Very glad, in retrospect, that I never insisted he cut ties with them.

    • #11
  12. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    I think you did exactly the right thing.

    Of course she’s a nitwit, but it takes all kinds to make a family.You are never going to change her mind with argument, discussion, counselling, therapy, or anything, really. If she ever comes around at all, it will be from her own experience and maturity.

    I don’t think there’s a danger of her thinking you agree with her; it’s not unlikely that part of their reflexive leftiness is because you (and your wife, presumedly) are from the right – some youthful rebellion against parents extends deep into adulthood. (My beloved beautiful perfect-in-every-way son just graduated from 4 years at Boulder. Hoo boy. I hope to God that this doesn’t last deep into adulthood.)

    The best thing you can do is love them, enjoy their company, help them when they need it, and let them come around, if they are ever going to, by seeing your example and all that flows from that.

    Easier said than done. :-)  Good luck!

     

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    You are a courageous and compassionate man, Freeven. That particular topic would have sent me into outer space–at least internally. That you have chosen to preserve relationships over politics is a wise and practical choice. I feel sorry for her kids, though.

    • #13
  14. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Children are, whatever their innumerable benefits, morons.

    Adults who don’t understand this are also morons.

    • #14
  15. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Children are, whatever their innumerable benefits, morons.

    Adults who don’t understand this are also morons.

    Uh oh, I just remembered something.  Weren’t we supposed to shut up on the topic of children since we don’t have any?

    • #15
  16. Freeven Member
    Freeven
    @Freeven

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Children are, whatever their innumerable benefits, morons.

    Adults who don’t understand this are also morons.

    Thank you for this. It brought a smile to my face.

    • #16
  17. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    I would have responded to the DIL with a smile and say, “That’s great!” And then immediately start asking the child questions like:

    ”So what’s your stance on trans issues?”

    ”Have you ever met a trans person?”

    ”What do you think of people who might disagree with you?”

    “Why would you hate such people?”

    ”Who taught you how to hate?”

    The answers would have provided much opportunity to ask even more pointed questions.

    • #17
  18. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Freeven: That “pollution” you’re talking about is what most people call experience, knowledge, and wisdom, and maybe we shouldn’t be looking to children, who have none of those things, for guidance on complex issues.

    Nailed it . . .

    But there is one aspect about children that we adults sometimes lack, and that’s the ability to call it like it is.  I’m thinking of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” . . .

    • #18
  19. Dominique Prynne Member
    Dominique Prynne
    @DominiquePrynne

    Ah yes…peace in the family.  You absolutely did the right thing and the peace is certainly worth it under the circumstances you describe.  Of my four adult children – one is benignly clueless (trade school student and a Biden voter because of youth and everyone else told her to hate Trump), one is more of an Elon-Musk type (senior in college and I think a Trump voter, but he is surrounded by crazy liberal college roommates); one is pro-Trump/pro-Cruz (she is active duty military and has been red-pilled after a short stint in college); and the last one is a total Bernie Bro. (Senior in college – in her world feminine products should be free and rent should be free and healthcare should be free)  All of them are still on our payroll to some degree or another – car insurance, cell phone bill, tuition payments.  Funny thing is, if we embraced the theories of the Bernie Bro child, we wouldn’t have the means to cover her school/living expenses.   Such a disconnect!  The two most liberal kids have a mother who is now a lesbian and is…well, she is very liberal and resents heterosexuals and successful business owners (so that means me and my husband).  I too adore my husband enough to not create drama with his girls and to embrace those fleeting family moments.  I haven’t reached my limit yet, but I know it is there.  I figure the Bernie Bro child will eventually send me over the edge.  

    • #19
  20. Dave of Barsham Member
    Dave of Barsham
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Children are, whatever their innumerable benefits, morons.

    Adults who don’t understand this are also morons.

    As a father of three incredible children whom I love dearly, I completely agree.

    • #20
  21. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    Freeven (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Freeven (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    I suppose you place a higher premium on family peace than I do, but it’s your family and your prerogative. I don’t believe I could have had your self-restraint.

    I place a premium on my marriage. This is her family, not mine. So I whine and bitch and moan about it to her afterwards. Only seems fair.

    OK, now I understand it a bit better. Negotiating the terrain of in-laws can be difficult. Still, Thanksgiving at your house must be a real hoot.

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday — in theory. In practice, not so much. Though it can be fun when someone brings up BLM. My son-in-law and his wife are big supporters. My brother-in-law is an outspoken cop. So you can imagine how that goes.

    Sounds like dinner is a great spectator sport!

    • #21
  22. Dave of Barsham Member
    Dave of Barsham
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    Freeven (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Freeven (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    I suppose you place a higher premium on family peace than I do, but it’s your family and your prerogative. I don’t believe I could have had your self-restraint.

    I place a premium on my marriage. This is her family, not mine. So I whine and bitch and moan about it to her afterwards. Only seems fair.

    OK, now I understand it a bit better. Negotiating the terrain of in-laws can be difficult. Still, Thanksgiving at your house must be a real hoot.

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday — in theory. In practice, not so much. Though it can be fun when someone brings up BLM. My son-in-law and his wife are big supporters. My brother-in-law is an outspoken cop. So you can imagine how that goes.

    Sounds like dinner is a great spectator sport!

    Son in Law – “I don’t want to get political but I think…”
    (sits back, cracks open beer)

    • #22
  23. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    Oh, boy. Family dinners… I know what you mean.

    • #23
  24. aardo vozz Member
    aardo vozz
    @aardovozz

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    Freeven (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Freeven (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    I suppose you place a higher premium on family peace than I do, but it’s your family and your prerogative. I don’t believe I could have had your self-restraint.

    I place a premium on my marriage. This is her family, not mine. So I whine and bitch and moan about it to her afterwards. Only seems fair.

    OK, now I understand it a bit better. Negotiating the terrain of in-laws can be difficult. Still, Thanksgiving at your house must be a real hoot.

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday — in theory. In practice, not so much. Though it can be fun when someone brings up BLM. My son-in-law and his wife are big supporters. My brother-in-law is an outspoken cop. So you can imagine how that goes.

    Sounds like dinner is a great spectator sport!

    Sounds ok, but finger food only and no sharp objects.

    • #24
  25. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    Freeven (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Freeven (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    I suppose you place a higher premium on family peace than I do, but it’s your family and your prerogative. I don’t believe I could have had your self-restraint.

    I place a premium on my marriage. This is her family, not mine. So I whine and bitch and moan about it to her afterwards. Only seems fair.

    OK, now I understand it a bit better. Negotiating the terrain of in-laws can be difficult. Still, Thanksgiving at your house must be a real hoot.

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday — in theory. In practice, not so much. Though it can be fun when someone brings up BLM. My son-in-law and his wife are big supporters. My brother-in-law is an outspoken cop. So you can imagine how that goes.

    Sounds like dinner is a great spectator sport!

    “How come we always have popcorn for dessert?”

    • #25
  26. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS
    @user_54742

    Sports used to be the safe conversation for Left/Right family gatherings.

    Of course the Left has finally managed to poop all over that one.

    The Left has absolutely no compunction to pooping where ever on what ever they want …. pretty soon we’ll all be forced to live in a society decimated by the great Leftist poop storm.

    • #26
  27. Pony Convertible Member
    Pony Convertible
    @PonyConvertible

    I don’t think 9 year olds should have an opinion about such things. It shouldn’t be something they have ever thought about.

    • #27
  28. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Pony Convertible (View Comment):

    I don’t think 9 year olds should have an opinion about such things. It shouldn’t be something they have ever thought about.

     

    • #28
  29. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    One of my daughters-in-law is a self-described Mass-Hole, and she spouts off on Facebook a little too often. I never respond. Never. If something she writes is about her mom (I love Mom) or her other family members, I’ll “like” it or say something. But…when she is going on about politics (I thought she might have an aneurysm when Trump was president) I just ignore…ignore…ignore. Sigh.

    (I hope you’ve heard the term M-Hole before…it refers to an ill-tempered native of the Bay State. I learned it from her. I guess it is a prideful self description.)

    • #29
  30. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Cow Girl (View Comment):
    I hope you’ve heard the term M-Hole before…it refers to an ill-tempered native of the Bay State.

    I’m putting that arrow in my quiver.  Thanks!

    • #30