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Old 07-18-2010, 10:56 AM
Location: Lake Charles, LA
2,073 posts, read 2,256,778 times
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When I grew up, we were not allowed to just chime in on adult conversations, uninvited. Yeah, children are people, but they still should not be able to come into any adult conversation that they want, b/c then you get a five yr old child who thinks that he/she is an adult, and there is nothing cute about that.
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:44 PM
5,065 posts, read 13,268,624 times
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Originally Posted by JustJulia View Post
Spending time with adults is how kids develop their vocabularies and language skills.
ITA. We never sent our children away, and as long as they were being respectful and not interrupting, they were allowed to remain with us. Often even encouraged. When we go to friend's homes, their children are allowed to remain, too. It has worked out well for us, and our two oldest are now in college and feel very close to our friends as well, they are like family. Any conversation not appropriate for children's ears tends to happen way past the children's bedtime anyway. Also, I think asking a young child to disappear while adults are conversing is a bad idea, because who knows what they are getting into. I certainly don't let our six year old out of my sight for long. Perhaps parents should consider getting a babysitter if they don't want their children around while they are entertaining guests.
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:01 PM
32,538 posts, read 29,319,241 times
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I was the 5 year old who was dying to hear what the adults were saying. It was just all so fascinating. My mother and her friends would spell things out. Or, when I didn't understand what they were talking about, I'd start asking questions and would get the famous, "I'll tell you when you are older" answer. I got sent out of the room a lot. Which just sent me into my bedroom with my ear pressed up against the wall. And I never joined in the conversation. I just wanted to hear what they had to say.

It made my mother nuts but my father thought it was a good sign that I was curious. Of course any REAL adult conversations were had when we kids were at the kiddee matinee or three doors down the street playing baseball.

Later I actually became a reporter and consider my "early training" to have been tremendously beneficial.

With my own kids it was, have a listen if you want but no one is going to be discussing anything "juicy" in front of you. None of them had my undying need to know.

(The most adult thing I ever heard was the group of Little League mothers who were discussing the 20 hour labor another woman had suffered through. I had no idea babies could get that big before they were born. The gossip continued all afternoon. My mother didn't participate. We talked and discussed in my family but we did not gossip. The closest my mother came to gossip was discussing what Jackie Kennedy was wearing.)

Last edited by DewDropInn; 07-18-2010 at 01:11 PM..
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:25 PM
Location: California
29,580 posts, read 31,900,225 times
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Usually, unless the topic was something private or sensitive or extremely adult.

My kids listened to us a lot, even if they didn't talk much. As they grew up they were very comfortable talking to their friends parents and people would constantly compliment them on that. When I meet a new young person or a friend of my kids I can always tell how they grew up by the way they relate to me. Some barely make eye contact and go in and out as quietly as possible to avoid me, others come in, sit down, ask me what's going on, etc.
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:34 PM
Location: Colorado
1,706 posts, read 2,921,379 times
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Yes, I allow my daughter to listen in and participate in adult conversations. Otherwise, how will she learn how to participate in the conversations when she is older? I don't force her to stay but if she wants to, why not?
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:47 PM
Location: South Carolina
13,103 posts, read 17,634,355 times
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Okay when I was growing up the old saying was "children should be seen and not heard " well when the adults talked and if I dared butt in and say something I got the evil eye and i knew to go to my room . Adults are exactly that and should be able to have an adult conversation without a 5 yr old chimming in and say why ? why ? why ? . I had a friend who has a 4 and 5 yr old that would do this and it was very rude to me and we are no longer friends and some of her other friends are gone as well . I think children should not be in adult conversation . the operative word here is children not adults .
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:51 PM
Location: Canada
3,432 posts, read 3,265,550 times
Reputation: 2186
I think they should be allowed to participate in appropriate adult conversation. I remember as a kid I always tried to contribute to the conversation around the dinner table. I was basically ignored and no one listened to me. It really hurts a child's self-esteem if they are not allowed to participate.
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Old 07-18-2010, 02:25 PM
852 posts, read 1,135,419 times
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My kids check in and out when our adult friends and family are over, but they don't stay in the room with the adults the whole time. Usually, it's not a problem because the kids don't want to stick around. They are happy to run upstairs or outside and play with their cousins or friends, and that's how it should be. We've always just said, "Okay, grown up talk," and the kids have never complained. I think it's because by then, they've gotten a healthy dose of attention from their adult friends/family. However, I do think my oldest daughter and my niece have been honing their eavesdropping skills, but that too is a part of growing up, isn't it?
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Old 07-18-2010, 03:16 PM
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,604,245 times
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Why should adults have to wait for a "private adult-themed conversation," in order to have any conversation with adults where children aren't invited?

What if I just want to talk about the new book I've been reading, that isn't adult themed at all, but simply above the mind of a kid..there's lots of things that kids -could- listen to..-could- hear..that aren't "adult" in nature at all. But when it's time for adults to -be- adults, and interact with other adults, on an adult level, there's no reason why kids should be allowed to sit in.

I mean, unless you define yourself exclusively as a mom, and have completely lost your humanity. But if that's the case, I'm guessing the only people who would have anything in commmon with you to even -have- a conversation, are other people who have lost their humanity right along with you and define themselves exclusively as parents.
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Old 07-18-2010, 03:51 PM
852 posts, read 1,135,419 times
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Well, many of who actually are parents have cultivated adult relationships and attend adult functions to which we don't invite our children that afford us the opportunity to have conversations about books, films, politics, etc. I, for example, am involved in local theater, two books clubs, and a writers' group. I have no problem maintaining an individual identity that includes motherhood. And when we say "grown up talk" we don't mean that we're talking about penises and vaginas (I'm guessing that's what you mean by adult-themed), we mean that we want to have a conversation without children around, and yes, that conversation may be about the Frank LLoyd Wright exhibit at the Guggenheim or it may be about Margaret Atwood's retelling of her earlier novel Oryx and Crake.

We've lost our humanity? I almost spit out the Diet Coke on that one.
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