Do you ever wonder just how much of your adult conversations your little ones pick up? Like a lot of couples, when everyone is at home together, it’s hard for Jose and I to hold a private conversation without the kids around. By the time Jose gets in from work, we get two hours a day together as a family before the kids go to bed. In those two hours we really involve Diego in our conversations as we all talk about our day. But in his young five year-old life we have had to make major decisions such as, moving, school choices, and extended family issues that just can’t wait until 9pm! We know he has picked up on A LOT. Luckily, he hasn’t ever expressed concern for anything discussed. But he is one boy out of our three. We don’t know how Santi and Jordi will react to our discussions. It just made me wonder, how much and what type of adult conversations are appropriate for kids to be involved in? I asked four friends yesterday and this is what they said:
Friend #1: “We try to have light conversations in front of her. But occasionally when I’m mad, she’ll hear me reprimand my hubby. But I kind of try to make it sound like a forceful suggestion when it’s in front of her.”
Friend #2: “We pretty much talk about everything. Our place is so small so they can probably hear everything. I assume that if my oldest doesn’t hear her name, she doesn’t pay attention.”
Friend #3: “I talk to my husband after I put my daughter down to sleep then we have our discussions. She has never heard us argue or discuss our family members. We just had a big argument and she never suspected.”
Friend #4: “My husband and I do a lot of texting. Other than small disagreements, we never argue or ‘fight’ in person. We are pretty open with everything. If they ask about our gay friends, we usually say that ‘everybody is different’ or that ‘God makes everyone different’. We don’t swear or talk about things that are inappropriate for their age. I want them to feel safe and secure but we also don’t want them to live in a bubble”.
These friends are all exceptional mothers and yet they all do things a little different. They all have pretty young children so I understand that arguing in front of children is a major concern right now. I wonder how things will change with all of us when our children are older? How will we discuss finances, career conversations or news controversies in front of older children?
I believe each child is different and how much they can participate in adult conversation is unique. I do believe that if something big such as a change in a babysitter or a family trip will affect Diego, then I want to be as open as I can with him so he isn’t surprised. I like to treat children as little people when it comes to making a family decision and feel strongly that some adult conversation is necessary with them present.
What are your thoughts about children listening to your conversations? If you have older children, how does the conversation change? Would love to hear! As always, I hope you have a fantastic weekend!