We conducted a survey of 2,000 American parents and asked about the political conversations happening between family members since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our research revealed on average, Americans have discussed politics with their child eight times over the course of the past four months.

Nearly seven in 10 believe that talking to their kids about politics is more difficult today than it was for their parents.

Eighty percent of the 2,000 parents we polled say they are concerned about the current political climate in the U.S., with 44% saying they are “very concerned.” And more than half say they find it “painful” to discuss the current political divides in the country with their child.

Nearly one in three parents say that they themselves are “disheartened” by the state of the country, and sadder still that they need to explain it to their child

While 44% of respondents were happy to have the opportunity to discuss these topics with their child, about one in eight parents said they are “angered” by the state of the country, and angrier still that they need to explain it to their child.

Nearly one in five parents say it was their own child who initiated the conversation by asking them a question about politics. 

Top reasons parents begin to talk to kids about politics
  1. Child asked a question about politics (19%)
  2. To ensure child’s political opinion isn’t influenced by biased media sources (16%)
  3. Parent or other family member was impacted by a political situation (10%) 
OnePoll - parents discuss BLM with children

Black Lives Matter

About seven in 10 parents have discussed Black Lives Matter and racism in America with their children over the past four months. 

Sixty-seven percent have even discussed police brutality with their child. 

Approximately six in 10 have talked about white privilege and slavery, and one in four parents say it was the first time they had ever discussed the latter topic with their child. 

LGBTQ+, equality and immigration

More than half have discussed LGBTQ+ rights, wealth inequality in the U.S. and immigration policy with their child in this time period. 

The outcomes of these conversations appear to be largely positive for the children of respondents, with more than half of parents (54%) reporting that their child is interested and eager to learn more when they discuss political issues with them. 

Family politics

We asked respondents about political discussions with other members of their families, including their own parents. 

Twenty-nine percent have fought with a family member other than their child over their political views in the past four months, and nearly three in 10 (28%) have cut a family member off during this time due to the political opinions they’ve expressed.

Close to one in five respondents say they have never discussed politics with their own parents.

More than half of respondents (54%) say their parents have influenced their political views, but 44% say that this influence was in a direction opposite their parents’ views.

While more than half of respondents (51%) agreed with the statement “It is important to me that my child holds the same political views that I do,” 42% say their child’s political beliefs differ from their own.

Top political issues discussed during the pandemic

  1. Covid-19 lockdown and stay-at-home orders (79%) 
  2. Black Lives Matter movement (74%)
  3. Debate over government reopening following Covid-19 (73%)
  4. Racism in America (70%)
  5. The 2020 presidential primary and / or election (67%)
  6. Police brutality (67%)
  7. White privilege (61%)
  8. Slavery (59%)
  9. Wealth inequality in the U.S. (56%)
  10. DACA / Immigration policy (54%)
1 in 5 never discuss politics with parents
OnePoll online survey conducted in July 2020, with a sample of 2,000 American parents.
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