Horse Jr.'s mom is a Covid-19 denier. How would you help the kid through this difficult time?

@TheHorse (109429)
Walnut Creek, California
June 30, 2020 4:35pm CST
Horse. Jr's mom came here from Croatia about 10 years ago, with her husband and a 2-year-old toddler son. Her husband soon left her, a woman in a strange land, speaking very little English, and (he) went back to Croatia. Soon, she was working at Safeway and (for the most part) supporting herself and her son. The child befriended me when he was three, and for years, I have loved hearing his little voice on the phone, saying "Horse, can I come over and play?" We started with football (soccer to Americans) and progressed to guitar, cycling, going shopping, baseball, hiking, making up math problems for each other, swimming at the pool, etc. About 100 of his Match Box and Hot Wheels cars are here. He is now 11 1/2 and there's a problem. His mom is a Covid-19 denier, belives Trump is a great president, that con trails from airplanes are actually "chem trails," controlling the behavior of humans, and that there are colonies on Mars where "they" are raising children and selling them into sexual slavery. In short, she's a little kooky. Her son is at the age where he imitates many of my behaviors (he loves sports, plays Bach on the piano, loves math and physics, and enjoys a friendly argument) and many his mom's behaviors. He told me the other day that Trump is great, in part because because he hates Black Lives Matter, and because our stimulus checks come from out of his pocket. I couldn't convince him that the State and Federal governments were involved in our stimulus checks. I have not ever said anything like "Your mom is a bit kooky." I have only said, "It's OK to disagree, and when you're older you'll think for yourself even more than you do now." He and I do not social distance from each other, but when we are out, I require that he stay six feet from others. I've also said "I hope you never lose your love of math and science." His mother believes in astrology and metaphysics but not physics or other sciences. I was a physics and math major before I ultimately became a psychologist. What would you do in this situation? I know he must be feeling "cognitive dissonance," as he loves doing "experiments" with me and loves all things math and science. But when it comes to politics, and Covid-19, mama comes first. Have you ever had to deal with a "kooky" parent? How did you handle it?
14 people like this
13 responses
@MALUSE (59874)
• Germany
30 Jun
I was a teacher for forty years, but I never had such a close contact with the young ones as you have with this boy. The dictionary tells me that this is a 'catch-22 situation'. It's funny that you're asking a community of lay people. *You* are the psychologist! I don't know what to advise. Of course, you can't undermine the son/mother relationship. Maybe you can agree with the boy on a list of taboo topics. Write them on a sheet of paper, pin it on a wall in your house and always have a copy with you. Whenever a 'dangerous' topic comes up, point to the agreement and let it be. You can tell him that it is obvious that you and his mother disagree on certain topics and that you'd rather not discuss them with him in order not to puzzle him and force him to choose sides. As it seems, there is still enough to discuss with the boy.
4 people like this
@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
30 Jun
Thanks for your response. I really just wanted to share what I'm going through. I won't literally make a list for the wall, but I can say, "Your mom thinks this. I think that. Form your own views as you move on. We're all still here for each other."
4 people like this
@marguicha (152937)
• Chile
30 Jun
It is difficult at that age. If Jr. wasn´t so young, I´d say "kill her". But even metaphorically that would hurt your little friend. In this moment I´m asking every believer to pray for my ex son in law to heal (he has COVID and I have posted about it). But when Oscar heals, we could pray for Trump NOT to be reelected. The kooky lady will have to find another monster to idolize and it would give Jr. more time to grow up.
3 people like this
@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
30 Jun
I'll miss him as a kid friend when he grows up. But I'll take pleasure in his development. Yes, it's important that we encourage people up here to VOTE.
2 people like this
@marguicha (152937)
• Chile
30 Jun
@TheHorse Voting is so important. Specially if you can make people understand that it is THE way of non violence.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
30 Jun
@marguicha I am sure my friends in swing states will vote. But we need to get everyone out.
3 people like this
@JudyEv (214357)
• Bunbury, Australia
1 Jul
I guess I'd steer clear of engaging in subjects likely to cause problems. Maybe you could discuss ways in which the government/authorities work/help people without going near stimulus checks. Hopefully he'll work things out for himself as he matures. I think he is a lucky boy to have found such a mentor as yourself.
3 people like this
@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
1 Jul
Thanks, Judy. I actually said something to him like, "Just keep your ears open. We all learn new things as we grow."
3 people like this
@JudyEv (214357)
• Bunbury, Australia
1 Jul
@TheHorse As long as he's exposed to different points of view, eventually he'll make his own decisions.
1 person likes this
@Alexandoy (59904)
• Cainta, Philippines
30 Jun
I will focus on the covid of his mother and avoid talking of other things especially politics. The boy is too young for those issues.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
30 Jun
I hope his mother does not have Covid-19. Where she works at the grocery store, she does not come in in direct contact with a lot of customers. If her son got it, I would probably get it, though we don't cough or sneeze on each other. We're often closer than six feet apart, though.
1 person likes this
@Alexandoy (59904)
• Cainta, Philippines
30 Jun
@TheHorse do you wear face mask when you are with Jr?
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
30 Jun
@Alexandoy No. But I do when I enter any establishment. Or at an outdoor banking macine, etc. You?
1 person likes this
@oahuwriter (14578)
• United States
1 Jul
Me, I'd show the numbers if what covid19 do. It's so sad what this invisible enemy does. Good luck, if you succeed you're saving his life and maybe he'll save his Mom's life too.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
1 Jul
He repeats what his mom says: fake news.
1 person likes this
@oahuwriter (14578)
• United States
2 Jul
@TheHorse Gee, it's hard. Well, guess giving the problem to God to solve is what I usually do at this point. At least you tried.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
2 Jul
@oahuwriter God always tells me: This is a first-world issue. Do what you can and stop complaining. I listen.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Jul
I think you did the best thing by telling him that he doesn't have to agree with everything. The only thing you can be is respectful. Hopefully he will learn to think for himself as he gets older. He's getting to that age now anyway.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
1 Jul
He is indeed. I hope his mom keeps working hard and doesn't totally lose touch with reality. I don't think we have colonies on Mars yet. Astronomers would notice.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Jul
@TheHorse Right. I hope she doesn't lose touch with reality either, especially as it would be hard on the boy. Without going into politics, I will say that the past few years has shown a lot more people with varying and strange opinions. More so than I've heard of previously.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
1 Jul
@ScribbledAdNauseum Me too. But I HAVE had conversations with 9/11 deniers, school shooting deniers, etc. It's odd.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (177025)
• United States
1 Jul
I'd stay clear of disagreeing with him and do as you're doing. As you said, he'll make his own decisions later.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
1 Jul
Yeppers. I did say "Trump is an idiot" in front of him. But I'm just going to keep modeling what I model, and hope that he internalizes the values I represent.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (177025)
• United States
1 Jul
@TheHorse You will do the right thing, although it’s extremely difficult to keep one’s mouth shut when one hears any talk of Don.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
1 Jul
@DianneN I wonder if her limited understanding of nuanced English contributes to what she believes.
1 person likes this
@CarolDM (83075)
• Nashville, Tennessee
1 Jul
Sorry but no advice for kooky parents. Good luck.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
1 Jul
I'll just support his critical thinking without talking about what she says too much.
1 person likes this
@CarolDM (83075)
• Nashville, Tennessee
1 Jul
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@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
1 Jul
@CarolDM Gracias.
1 person likes this
@DaddyEvil (29519)
• United States
2 Jul
Yes, I did... I divorced her. Thankfully, Pretty takes after me, not her mother. I'm sorry, pony... I usually have something I can tell you than might be of some help in situations you find yourself in but this time I'm at a loss. Kids usually believe what their parents tell them and anything someone else says is suspect. *shrug* I wish you luck in this situation. You'll need it.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
2 Jul
Yesterday, with mom there at the pool, I figured out a sort of "compromise" statement. When Horse Jr. said "Corona Virus is a hoax," I said "Maybe so, but a lot of people are getting sick with some kind of virus right now, and I don't want to catch it! I will continue to err on the side of caution." Hopefully, his young brain will "chew" on that one in a good way.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (123429)
• United States
1 Jul
You are helping him be ready for life, where many people, even people he likes will disagree. You can disagree and yet still get along. You are doing a good thing, Horse.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
1 Jul
Thanks. I'm just going to keep on keeping on.
@sallypup (39143)
• Moses Lake, Washington
1 Jul
Guess just keep being a good male role model. Her beliefs are way deeper than just politics. They shape the kid's life and that is why I hold a deep dislike of Trump. His nastiness is messing with generations.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
1 Jul
That is a good point. Young people seeing him with think in terms of black. v. white, poor v. rich, etc., and will see narcissism and vulgarity as acceptable.
1 person likes this
@wolfgirl569 (30825)
• Marion, Ohio
1 Jul
There isnt much you can do that you are not doing. Just try to be a good example for him.
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@TheHorse (109429)
• Walnut Creek, California
1 Jul
Yeppers. I always try to be a good example for him.
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@gr8nana6 (3741)
• Hamilton, Ohio
1 Jul
He will think for himself when he gets older, I'm sure.