Dinnertime Battles

Dinnertime Battles

Just last week I had coffee with a friend and  she started telling me about family arguments that she was having due to the elections.  I must admit that I am guilty of this as well and I realize how many families are dealing with this and are in turmoil.


Preparing for Thanksgiving this week and being thankful for my childhood I was thinking of family and being nostalgic. I remembered all the great debates we had at our dinner table. We were taught to think for ourselves, to put forth good arguments and be convincing. My parents rule was that you could say anything as long as you said it politely. Being at our dinner table was somewhat daunting; eleven children and two adults debating away.


My brothers always sat down by my Dad and they, on occasion would tell an inappropriate joke. My Mother would sternly say, "Theodore, please!" Sometimes she tried to be mad, but my brothers were funny, and she would just burst into laughter. Yes, inappropriate jokes did land at our dinner table with a discussion following. We were taught to have opinions. It did get loud at times and my parents usually calmed it down, but love always prevailed.


As I got into a WhatsApp discussion with my brother last week, I realized nothing has changed. We all have our opinions and know how to argue. So to all of those parents out there that think they failed because their kids debate and get in serious disagreements— You did not! You raised independent minds that think for themselves.


I am proud to be from a family that is diverse. Okay, we get into heated discussions about politics and sometimes about religion. I think these discussions are helpful. I see their point of view and get challenged. No one can tell me I don't understand the other side. My family is just as split as the nation and I love every one of them regardless of their opinions or how they voted. I wish I could be with them this Thanksgiving and debate away and then play some games or laugh as we get into a snowball fight.


Raise your children to live their lives as they feel they should and remember a good argument never hurt anyone. Happy Thanksgiving.


—Allison Ochs


P.S. This one is for you Mom, don't fret you did a great job raising us regardless of our different opinions.