Conflicts on Raising Kids? How to Talk to Your Parents About Your Style, Values

Parents try to pass down their values to their children, but what happens when your parents' values are different from the ones you're trying to teach your children?

Amy Goyer is AARP's family expert, and she appeared on "Good Morning America" today to talk about how people can handle disagreements that may arise when their parenting styles and values differ from those of their own parents.

Goyer, a columnist for AARP.org and the author of "Things to Do Now That You're a Grandparent," said that sometimes parents, rather than grandparents, were more conservative about disagreements with children.

VIDEO: AARP?s Amy Goyer offers tips for talking to grandparents with different values.
Elder Issues: Different Generations, Different Values

Respect Boundaries

You may want your children to make political or religious choices that differ from those your parents made. If you're going to talk to your parents about this, be careful. Goyer said you should be aware that the issues can be very emotional, and conversation can develop into damaging fights.

Don't alienate your parents, she said.

In order to keep any drama out of the conversation, make it clear that you are not trying to change your parents' values.

Don't try to convince them that you are right and they are wrong, but start off by agreeing to disagree, she added.

Be matter of fact in your tone, and ask them to respect your wishes.

Parents have the right to set boundaries for their children, and grandparents need to respect those boundaries, Goyer said.

Do not cut grandparents off from their grandchildren, she said. The more loving adults in their lives, the more children benefit, she added.

Click HERE to visit ABC's resource page for information and advice about how you can talk to aging parents about assisted living, health, driving and other issues.

Find Common Ground

You and your parents may have shared values, but you may also have opposing views. Goyer said you should also try to find common ground.

For example, if you are opposed to having guns in your home but your parents are not, tell them you believe in their right to bear arms, Goyer said. If they have guns, though, make it clear to them that you don't want your children near their firearms.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Their Grandparents

Goyer said it's okay to tell your children that you and their grandparents have different views on certain topics.

You can tell your children that loved ones don't always have to agree with each other, Goyer said, adding that you should never speak in an unkind way about your children's grandparents.

The bottom line is you should get over any ego issues that may be involved, do what's best for your children, and realize that how you treat your own parents will set a clear example for your children for how they should treat you when they grow up, she said.

Click here to return to the "Good Morning America" website.

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