DEAR HARRIETTE: I was raised in a conservative family and now work at a progressive media company where I create content that my parents do not approve of. I do not think we will be able to reconcile our ideological differences, and I’m worried that our relationship has been strained as a result. How can I maintain a good relationship with my parents when we fundamentally disagree on a topic that my entire career is based on? -- Creative Son
DEAR CREATIVE SON: Sometimes you have to agree to disagree. You can remind your parents that you love them and appreciate all that they did for you to bring you to adulthood. You also need to have the difficult conversation that explains that as an adult you have to make your own decisions. Make it clear that you understand that your choice of employment runs counter to their beliefs. You need to own your choice and be unequivocal about why you have made it. Tell them that hurting or embarrassing them is not your intention. At the same time, you need to live your life.
You can offer a truce, in the sense that you will live your life, promise to be the best person you can be and not flaunt your ideological differences in their faces. You can agree not to talk about your work but simply to enjoy one another when you are together or when you communicate.
As difficult as this seems, know that many parents and adult children do not agree on important issues. Your job is to help your parents love you in spite of your choices as you love them in spite of their judgment.