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What are your "rules" regarding dc hanging out with the adults?


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I was going to make a poll but ... I'm feeling lazy so I'll just ask.

 

If you are having a get together with another family either at your home or their's (I'm not talking Junior's birthday party or something specifically geared to the dc. I'm talking dinner or coffee with another family.) and dinner or coffee is over with and the adults are sitting down to visit with each other, do you...

 

1. Let everyone say hello and chat a bit and then send the dc off to play so the adults can chat. For the most part they don't need to be part of the adult conversation, and interrupting\interjecting is not acceptable unless they are invited into the conversation.

 

2. Let the dc hang out with the adults and conversation needs to revolve around topics the dc can hear and participate in. They still need to be polite and not interrupt or monopolize the conversation.

 

3. Think that the dc learn by listening to and participating in adult discussions. If a dc wants to interject and practice his conversational skills then the adults need to be accepting of that and stop their own discussions and listen to what the dc are saying.

 

4. Other

Edited by 5LittleMonkeys
Clarifying my meaning
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Probably close to #1. It really depends on the situation and who we are with really.

 

It really bothers me that when I go to a friend's house she always ends up with 1 or more of the older kids (ages 10 and up) sitting in the same room with us wanting to hear us talk. Makes adult conversation very difficult.

 

Now, while eating dinner, etc. it would be fine to all sit around the table and talk with the kids and involve them as well. I just enjoy my adult conversation time.

 

I tend to find that homeschool kids more so that other kids want to be in the middle of adult conversation.

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I would say 3. Unless the conversation isn't appropriate at all, I think kids learn so much from being involved. I was an only child , raised by my grandparents, and I was always involved in the conversation. As a result I knew about music, politics, and religion from a very early age. It also taught me respect and how to interject into a conversation without being rude.

 

This is something that we do in most aspects of our life though. The kids are right there during meetings (church services), Bible studies, when we eat out they are expected to behave and sit, etc. Scenario 3 might be too much to expect right away if a child isn't used to it.

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We're probably closest to #1 as well. In fact, we went over to make marshmallows with friends this afternoon and I had to shoo my 10yo out (with the promise that we'd call her when we started the process.

 

I guess we more split between 1&2, giving time to each.

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A little bit of all of it.

 

1. The kids are welcome to join the adults.

 

2. The adults are expected to engage in conversation that is appropriate to all present. Personally I prefer to be around G and PG conversation so it isn't just a kid thing.

 

3. Children are welcome to join the conversation but are taught that it is mannerly to defer to those who are older and wiser. In other words, don't try to out-talk grandma. Children should not dominate the conversation and they should NEVER interrupt.

 

4. If a friend needs to have a private conversation with me (has specifically come to my house to "talk"), I ask my children to leave the room. They are happy to do so, but more often than not, I'd meet my friend at Starbucks instead.

Edited by Daisy
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This subject comes up cyclically on this board and I'm always in the minority so I'm going to jump right in with my view.

 

My kids are valued members of my family and our community of friends. If friends come over, my kids are expected to socialize with our friends for at least part of the evening. Conversations range from the mundane small talk to more serious issues. No one has to dumb down small talk for my kids and they participate as full conversational equals. If the talk goes to more serious issues to which my kids do not have anything of value to add, then my kids listen or will excuse themselves. If they have a question on the topic at hand, they are welcome to ask the question, just as anyone would be welcome to do so. The talk would very rarely go to the intensely personal unless someone had made an "appointment" to talk about a personal subject so that usually is not an issue. If it were an issue, then we would ask our kids to please play elsewhere. Usually though, my dh (a pastor) and I know ahead of time if someone is coming to talk about things of a more sensitive nature and we make arrangements for the kids to be otherwise occupied.

 

So I guess my answer is a hybrid of 2 and 3.

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It depends on who we are visiting. In some situations we make dd stay with us and remain still and quiet (not interrupting or interjecting unless she's invited in to the conversations). We've often had her read a book while we visit. If the converstions were highly inappropriate it would be a very short visit. If it's people we know well with children we're comfortable with we go with option 1. If we're with close family like grandparents option 2 with less restrictions on joining the coversation.

 

ETA: I realized after reading Jean's post that my answer sounds like we don't let dd talk so I wanted to edit to add that we do feel it's important to have children who comfortably socialize with all age groups and don't have a problem with her participating in coversations when appropriate. That's another reason the answer has to be "it depends" for us because I also feel we need to respect others opinions on where they fall on this issue. We have older family members and families we visit from church who are offended if childrend try to join in adult conversations and consider it to be bad manners so we would handle a visit with them differently than with a family who doesn't feel that way.

Edited by acurtis75@yahoo.com
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I'll add that I have issues with always excluding the kids.

 

I spent many long hours sitting on the basement steps by a locked door because I was forced to be with the children of folks who had come to dinner. I loathed that. I hated being forced to be with them. I would have rather stayed in my room than be locked in the basement with a bunch of annoying, crazed kids.

 

My Dad was a pastor and obviously my parents were doing counseling (though I didn't know that at the time). Man, I just really hated it. I won't do that to my kids.

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I would say somewhere between 1 & 2, but usually my kids are running as far away from adult conversation as possible. There are times when I ask my kids to go play so I can have a more sensitive conversation with my Mom or my bgf regarding issues that would just be worrisome to my sons (ie, how we are dealing with my brother leaving his wife- another of our best friends, etc).

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I wasn't thinking of always excluding kids, but the question was regarding when its time for adult conversation, or at least that was my understanding of it.

 

Ahhh, I didn't read that.

 

I hate adult conversation. I tend to go to my happy introverted place and hope it will all be over with soon. :lol:

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I spent many long hours sitting on the basement steps by a locked door because I was forced to be with the children of folks who had come to dinner.

Oh, that is so sad! I can just picture a little Daisy sitting on the steps, elbows on knees, chin in hands, straining to hear that door get unlocked.:sad:
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If the kids want to be there, they're welcome to participate and we'll keep things kid appropriate. If they're being annoying or the grown ups want to talk about grown up stuff of some kind, I'll happily shoo them away. Usually, they'd rather go off and play anyway so we would probably dismiss them, but occasionally one of mine wants to sit with the adults and be "grown up" and participate in the conversation, which is fine too.

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#1 most of the time. And seriously, my kids would much rather hang out with other kids then sit with the boring adults. Although my two oldest now sit with the boring adults. :lol:

 

Now, if it's a family dinner (Thanksgiving, for example), we're generally all together for the meal and dessert. Then the kids tend to drift away of their own accord.

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This subject comes up cyclically on this board and I'm always in the minority so I'm going to jump right in with my view.

 

My kids are valued members of my family and our community of friends. If friends come over, my kids are expected to socialize with our friends for at least part of the evening. Conversations range from the mundane small talk to more serious issues. No one has to dumb down small talk for my kids and they participate as full conversational equals. If the talk goes to more serious issues to which my kids do not have anything of value to add, then my kids listen or will excuse themselves. If they have a question on the topic at hand, they are welcome to ask the question, just as anyone would be welcome to do so. The talk would very rarely go to the intensely personal unless someone had made an "appointment" to talk about a personal subject so that usually is not an issue. If it were an issue, then we would ask our kids to please play elsewhere. Usually though, my dh (a pastor) and I know ahead of time if someone is coming to talk about things of a more sensitive nature and we make arrangements for the kids to be otherwise occupied.

 

So I guess my answer is a hybrid of 2 and 3.

 

Have you always included them, or just since they have gotten older?

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Oh, that is so sad! I can just picture a little Daisy sitting on the steps, elbows on knees, chin in hands, straining to hear that door get unlocked.:sad:

 

The locked door seems especially sinister, Daisy.

 

I can remember having to hang out with the kids of my parents' friends while my parents had grown up time. Sometimes it was fine, but often it was annoying. I was usually the oldest and the younger kids would make fun of me for being a dork. Sigh. Some of us bring a book to these things, you know.

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I just depends on what is going on. Sometimes I shoo my son away and tell him we want to have adult time. But more and more he is joining in and listening, adding when appropriate. I don't have any problems so far with him interjecting when it isn't helpful or appropriate, but he is shy so maybe that is why. Honestly, I'm glad to see him getting more comfortable with adults! But if we want to discuss things that are not for his ears I send him away.

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3. Think that the dc learn by listening to and participating in adult discussions. If a dc wants to interject and practice his conversational skills then the adults need to be accepting of that and stop their own discussions and listen to what the dc are saying.

 

 

This. We have always included the children in adult conversation as soon as the children were old enough to participate in a meaningful way and to be interested. When my kids were younger, they would be with the adults for a while and then ask to be excused when they had enough; now at age 12 and 14 they prefer to stay and participate in adult conversations.

If a confidential conversation between adults is necessary which would not be appropriate for children, we would arrange for an opportunity to talk among the adults only, but not necessarily at that gathering where the kids are around.

 

I find my kids benefit greatly from being involved in, or even just listening to, adult conversations. They are both able to talk to adults about various topics, see how discussions and debates are conducted and how polite small talk works.

Edited by regentrude
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Oh, that is so sad! I can just picture a little Daisy sitting on the steps, elbows on knees, chin in hands, straining to hear that door get unlocked.:sad:

 

LOL. I'm sure my parents just wanted to make sure we didn't interrupt a serious martial counseling type conversation. Understandable, I guess, given my dad's occupation.

 

I just didn't like it and I think it probably has had an influence on the choices I've made with my own kids. Frankly, I'd rather end a conversation than force my children to sit miserably in another room.

 

The locked door seems especially sinister, Daisy.

 

I can remember having to hang out with the kids of my parents' friends while my parents had grown up time. Sometimes it was fine, but often it was annoying. I was usually the oldest and the younger kids would make fun of me for being a dork. Sigh. Some of us bring a book to these things, you know.

 

Oh, and I read books. The problem was that my parents didn't WANT me reading. They wanted me to socialize with the kids. :glare: It's good for me, don't ya know. Torture!!!!!!

 

LOL. I haven't needed a shrink yet so I don't think the emotional damage was too severe. ;) We move on and get over it.

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I was going to make a poll but ... I'm feeling lazy so I'll just ask.

 

If you are having a get together with another family either at your home or their's (I'm not talking Junior's birthday party or something specifically geared to the dc. I'm talking dinner or coffee with another family.) and dinner or coffee is over with and the adults are sitting down to visit with each other, do you...

 

1. Let everyone say hello and chat a bit and then send the dc off to play so the adults can chat. For the most part they don't need to be part of the adult conversation, and interrupting\interjecting is not acceptable unless they are invited into the conversation.

 

2. Let the dc hang out with the adults and conversation needs to revolve around topics the dc can hear and participate in. They still need to be polite and not interrupt or monopolize the conversation.

 

3. Think that the dc learn by listening to and participating in adult discussions. If a dc wants to interject and practice his conversational skills then the adults need to be accepting of that and stop their own discussions and listen to what the dc are saying.

 

4. Other

 

Other. It really depends on who it is and what we want/need to talk about. There is a family we get together with every Tuesday. Sometimes the kids sit and chat with us, sometimes not. The kids get up or stay. We've been doing dinner with this family before she or I were pg with our oldest kids. But there are times we tell them "to go away" depending on what we are talking about.

 

And I guess that is true with most people we get together with. If we are talking adult subjects, they are told to go away. (Even if the adult subject has to do with the news.) But the kids tend to be welcome to stay and chat. They have input or not as we talk.

 

But my kids are in general older than yours. I have one younger than your oldest - 11, 14 and 17.

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If the kids want to be there, they're welcome to participate and we'll keep things kid appropriate. If they're being annoying or the grown ups want to talk about grown up stuff of some kind, I'll happily shoo them away. Usually, they'd rather go off and play anyway so we would probably dismiss them, but occasionally one of mine wants to sit with the adults and be "grown up" and participate in the conversation, which is fine too.

 

#1 most of the time. And seriously, my kids would much rather hang out with other kids then sit with the boring adults. Although my two oldest now sit with the boring adults. :lol:

 

Now, if it's a family dinner (Thanksgiving, for example), we're generally all together for the meal and dessert. Then the kids tend to drift away of their own accord.

 

:iagree: To both of these. And honestly, it depends on the kids that we are socializing with. In general, my kids are pretty well behaved and can hang out with the adults. But some of the kids that come over...not so much. For the most part the kids would much rather go off and play together than hang out with the adults, but they're always welcome to sit around and chat or play in the middle of the room as long as they're quiet. But my kids are still young so I imagine as they age, they will be more a part of the grown up talk.

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Two or three, depending on the mood.

 

If the kids want to be there, they're welcome to participate and we'll keep things kid appropriate. If they're being annoying or the grown ups want to talk about grown up stuff of some kind, I'll happily shoo them away. Usually, they'd rather go off and play anyway so we would probably dismiss them, but occasionally one of mine wants to sit with the adults and be "grown up" and participate in the conversation, which is fine too.

:iagree:

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Have you always included them, or just since they have gotten older?

 

They've always been welcome to be with us and our friends. Their participation in the conversations has been a gradual progression. When they were very little (birth to about 4), they were too little to understand what was said. They stayed and played quietly in the vicinity. When they were old enough to understand the conversation but not really old enough to contribute at all (4ish to 8), they were allowed to play quietly in the vicinity or to be excused, esp. if there were other children around to play with. Often my kids chose to stay quietly. During this time they experimented some with joining in on small talk and they were encouraged to do so. At this point dd9 zones out with more serious talk but ds14 is very interested in listening and at times has pertinent questions or comments.

 

Our more serious conversations usually revolve around our faith. We want our children to hear adults seriously talking and encouraging each other in our faith. Related to this, we want our children to participate in Bible studies and hymn sings. I've noticed that our friend's children who are pushed out of serious discussions of faith are loathe to come and participate in Bible studies and hymn sings because they have a habit of finding alternate entertainment. I am extremely grateful that the men's Bible study that my dh leads went out of their way (without my dh's input) to ask my son to join them as an active participant when he was as young as 12. Now participating in the "great conversation" with regard to faith issues is something that is dear to him. At this point there is nothing comparable to that for women and as dd gets older I hope that something will develop.

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My kids are valued members of my family and our community of friends. If friends come over, my kids are expected to socialize with our friends for at least part of the evening. Conversations range from the mundane small talk to more serious issues. No one has to dumb down small talk for my kids and they participate as full conversational equals. If the talk goes to more serious issues to which my kids do not have anything of value to add, then my kids listen or will excuse themselves. If they have a question on the topic at hand, they are welcome to ask the question, just as anyone would be welcome to do so. The talk would very rarely go to the intensely personal unless someone had made an "appointment" to talk about a personal subject so that usually is not an issue. If it were an issue, then we would ask our kids to please play elsewhere. Usually though, my dh (a pastor) and I know ahead of time if someone is coming to talk about things of a more sensitive nature and we make arrangements for the kids to be otherwise occupied.

 

So I guess my answer is a hybrid of 2 and 3.

 

:iagree:This is pretty much how are too. Something intensely personal, with the need for privacy, is generally done with the kids out of the house. If it's unexpected/urgent, I try to go outside to the deck or with the friend needing a little one-on-one.

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for my family it would be #4.

I am under the impression that homeschoolers brag about how their children are socialized better than school children because they mix with all age groups including adults.

 

If the conversation is inappropriate for my children to hear than it is probably gossip and inappropriate for me to hear as well!

My children don't talk much and have to be coaxed to say anything. I encourage them to listen in on adult conversations.

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Thanks for all of the replies. It isn't often that I get to enjoy adult conversation so I tend to be pretty protective of it. I'm actually very much in the 1 camp with my younger children but my older dc are welcome to stay as long as they are polite and their interjections are pertinent. Sometimes I wish my older dc would join in more often but I don't think I've offered them enough opportunities to practice.

 

However, we have friends who usually never ask their dc to go play. I'm trying to get a better sense of how they may view it so that I can try to contain my annoyance.:tongue_smilie: They are a wonderful family but they tend to let their dc monopolize most of the conversation even when they interject with tales of their backyard battles, the best of their 101 jokes book, or a narration of the "cool" video they just watched on youtube. I don't think they are going to change anytime soon so I'm trying to accept it and see it in a different light.

 

I do think I may need to allow my younger dc to sit in more often. Right now they aren't too good at sitting still and listening and if I allow them to play nearby they have a bad habit of not respecting the noise ordinance.

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Closest to 1.

 

This became a really contentious subject in the past with some people getting all high-horsey about "I do not banish my children", etc. (Not speaking of any pp here on this thread, just saying that THAT was the gist of it).

 

I expect kids to learn normal cadence of conversation by being in the room during hellos/goodbyes and dinner conversation, but, c'mon adults deserve to have some chitchat that does not involve the two cents of little kids. As the sole adult in this house atm I NEED adult conversation!

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#1 most of the time. And seriously, my kids would much rather hang out with other kids then sit with the boring adults. Although my two oldest now sit with the boring adults. :lol:

 

Now, if it's a family dinner (Thanksgiving, for example), we're generally all together for the meal and dessert. Then the kids tend to drift away of their own accord.

 

Same here. My dc love to talk to adults, but usually more one on one. If given the choice, they would rather run around and be kids. :D

 

We have always been more #1, and yet my oldest is complimented frequently now for her mature conversational skills when she has to speak to adults or groups of adults for her robotics team, volunteer job, etc. They don't need constant practice, just talking with parents/coaches/etc. some is enough. And having parents who take time to talk to them is very helpful, too. (One of the biggest rude interrupters I know is a kiddo with super busy parents who never talk to her. She seeks adult conversation from other adults instead, even if they are in the middle of sentence with someone else. :D) I think parents can teach this just fine and fill the need.

 

As far as learning to sit still and pay attention, my dc learn that in Bible study, lecture halls, etc.

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Some seem to think that this is an either/or situation. Either you let your kids converse with your adult friends OR you banish them during all adult conversations. Our kids have both and that seems to be what the OP is talkingabout, especially after she clarified.

 

Some have said that "if it is not appropriate for kids then it's just gossip and not appropriate for me, either". Is it gossip if I want to ask my friend a personal question ABOUT MYSELF?! I want HER input, not her 12 year old son's, not her 7 year old daughter's. It's not selfish to want and need some adult conversation sans kid input. I hear constant kid chatter all day long. It doesn't make people bad parents to have adult conversations without children.

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The great majority of the time, children are just part of our lives. Like Nicole said, they are right there from infancy, during Christian meetings (think "like church"), Bible studies, volunteer work, whatever. We go out as a family. We, as a family, have people over. And everyone we associate with do it like that also. So kids learn things about life (like Nicole said, topics of interest from Bible to government to music, etc), learn to contribute meaningfully, learn the give and take of a conversation, etc. Conversation cycles so sometimes is more weighty and sometimes lighter or more child-friendly. Kids can filter in and out as they wish but generally aren't shoo'd away. And a couple cues to encourage a child to step back or speak up is all we really need to help them learn the ropes of discussion.

 

I think it helps that we take parenting very seriously. We aren't talking about children who are allowed to think the world revolves around them. We believe it is our job to guide them carefully along the way. Now my littles are still in the process of learning and it may take them longer than my big two simply because they are starting later.

 

But unless one just doesn't like kids around at all, they wouldn't be bothered by my children.

And if they didn't like kids around, we probably wouldn't be the friends/family to have over much.

 

ETA: It isn't that my friends and I *never* suggest kids go "do something."

It's just that it is pretty rare or I use the times they naturally drift away to discuss certain topics.

Edited by 2J5M9K
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When I'm talking to other moms, especially homeschool moms, we're most likely talking ABOUT our children. We talk about curricula, schools, health, learning issues, differences among various children, etc. The kids know perfectly well that we're talking about them -- it's typical mom chit-chat and not destructive gossip. Children need to learn that parents enjoy an occasional chat with their friends in private and it is not a rejection of them.

 

However, I do keep it limited. Some women I know spend hours a day chat-chatting endlessly on the phone, at co-op, in the front yard. I don't do that -- in fact, I'm cooped up in the house a lot and it's a rare treat for me to get out and visit another mom. So I'm protective of my chances to talk to other moms and don't really want kids hanging around.

 

It's possible that kids will pick up mistaken ideas through eavesdropping on conversations they're not meant to be part of. Hearing parts of stories (without knowing the background) or hearing a person's opinion of something (without hearing every side of the issue) can skew a child's thinking in a weird way and give impressions that aren't easily erased. Parents don't always know what bits of conversations their children will retain -- I still remember many pieces of conversations I overheard as a child, and they (irrationally) prejudiced my feelings about certain people ever after.

 

General dinner-table conversation is different. Kids should be included, and the conversation should be kept interesting to all parties.

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My 9 yo has started wanting to hang around and listen to the adult conversation, if he's not with kids who are his own age (we have a few friends with younger kids that he gets bored with after awhile.)

 

I've told him that if he wants to listen in, that's fine, but we don't want to notice that he's listening in. He can not hover or interject. He can be in the room, but unobtrusively. I don't mind him learning how adults interact, and I don't mind if he's interested in what we're saying, but he doesn't need to join in until he's older.

 

If the conversation suddenly took a very serious turn, I would ask him to play in another room, if it wasn't appropriate for him to hear.

 

Children and adults are different and there are times when they need space from each other. I'm sure my son would NOT appreciate it if I picked up a nerf gun and insisted on playing with him and his friend the entire time he had a friend visit. He needs some space with his friends, and I need mine.

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We have no rules but we alternate situation 1 without the rules and situation 3. Quoting Pamela H

ETA: It isn't that my friends and I *never* suggest kids go "do something."

It's just that it is pretty rare or I use the times they naturally drift away to discuss certain topics.

In the kind of dinner guests etc situation you described, our children naturally drift away over 90% of the time. We have no need to "shoo" them. If they don't drift away there is usually something going for them (coming down with an illness etc).

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Even though I said mostly 1, it really does vary depending on who I am with, the situation, topic at hand, etc.

 

Now, dh and I (along with others) have had Biblical/theological discussions with the kids present and asking questions. I take my kids lots of places where they interact with the adults, etc. but there just are those times when *I* need a kid free time to chat and even vent to a friend or get advice on something, etc.

 

Most of the time, kids around or in the room don't bother me but there are some that just seem to want to "hang" on each and every word we say--not really to participate but more to be nosey type thing. As someone else mentioned, at times the kids could get the wrong idea by only listening to part of the conversation or not understanding where things are headed, etc.

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I was going to make a poll but ... I'm feeling lazy so I'll just ask.

 

If you are having a get together with another family either at your home or their's (I'm not talking Junior's birthday party or something specifically geared to the dc. I'm talking dinner or coffee with another family.) and dinner or coffee is over with and the adults are sitting down to visit with each other, do you...

 

1. Let everyone say hello and chat a bit and then send the dc off to play so the adults can chat. For the most part they don't need to be part of the adult conversation, and interrupting\interjecting is not acceptable unless they are invited into the conversation.

 

2. Let the dc hang out with the adults and conversation needs to revolve around topics the dc can hear and participate in. They still need to be polite and not interrupt or monopolize the conversation.

 

3. Think that the dc learn by listening to and participating in adult discussions. If a dc wants to interject and practice his conversational skills then the adults need to be accepting of that and stop their own discussions and listen to what the dc are saying.

 

4. Other

 

Depends on the age, company, sitaution, and sometimes the topic....

 

But generally 3. However, I do tell my kids that when it comes to religion and politics, they need to not comment unless it is only to ask a clarifying question.

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I send my kids to play. Even dd 17. When the complain about this, I remind them that I came to play with my friends and they came to play with theirs. When they protest, "But you're just talking!" I tell them, "That's how adults play." On occasion I have threatened to come play with them and their friends. That gets my point across.

 

Tara

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But unless one just doesn't like kids around at all, they wouldn't be bothered by my children.

 

 

I think that's an unfair statement. I love my kids, and I like being around them. I wouldn't homeschool if I didn't. But that doesn't mean I want to be with kids all. the. time. Sometimes I just want some adult time.

 

Sometimes the kids hang out with us when we're just chatting with friends. But I also have no qualms about telling them to run along.

 

Tara

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Most of the times when we have friends over, they come with kids of their own and so the kids are happy to disappear and have their own time. When we do have the kids want to sit in on our conversations, we either allow them to join or tell them it is an adult conversation and please find other entertainment. Family is usually a free for all with several conversations going on at once.

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Closest to number 1 but if a little one wanders in and wants to cuddle with mom or dad a few minutes conversation switches to child friendly things, and if older kids pop in to tell us something or ask something that's fine. If they linger too long they might be told to go play so the adults can chat. Kids and adults alike are always happy with this arrangement! The kids like the chance to play with other kids and the adults like the chance to chat and joke about adult topics and enjoy adult company.

Edited by NanceXToo
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2. Let the dc hang out with the adults and conversation needs to revolve around topics the dc can hear and participate in. They still need to be polite and not interrupt or monopolize the conversation.

 

Depends on the age. One for little kids, even those who are extremely bright. Two is fine for older kids/teens, depending upon the topic.

 

3. Think that the dc learn by listening to and participating in adult discussions. If a dc wants to interject and practice his conversational skills then the adults need to be accepting of that and stop their own discussions and listen to what the dc are saying.

 

This is rude behavior in adults. Why would it be okay for kids? If you want kids to practice adult conversational skills, then they need to be practicing *adult* conversational skills. This means not interrupting, not monopolizing conversation, etc.

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A little bit of all of it.

 

1. The kids are welcome to join the adults.

 

2. The adults are expected to engage in conversation that is appropriate to all present. Personally I prefer to be around G and PG conversation so it isn't just a kid thing.

 

3. Children are welcome to join the conversation but are taught that it is mannerly to defer to those who are older and wiser. In other words, don't try to out-talk grandma. Children should not dominate the conversation and they should NEVER interrupt.

 

4. If a friend needs to have a private conversation with me (has specifically come to my house to "talk"), I ask my children to leave the room. They are happy to do so, but more often than not, I'd meet my friend at Starbucks instead.

 

:iagree: Couldn't say it better.

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I would say 3. Unless the conversation isn't appropriate at all, I think kids learn so much from being involved. I was an only child , raised by my grandparents, and I was always involved in the conversation. As a result I knew about music, politics, and religion from a very early age. It also taught me respect and how to interject into a conversation without being rude.

 

This is something that we do in most aspects of our life though. The kids are right there during meetings (church services), Bible studies, when we eat out they are expected to behave and sit, etc. Scenario 3 might be too much to expect right away if a child isn't used to it.

 

I was raised by my grandparents too, and they always involved me in conversation. When my aunts and uncles would come over, they expected me to go play with my cousins. The truth is, I really wanted to be in on the adult conversation - I already had opinions on world events and politics and such, as early as 6 or 7 yrs old. They didn't like it, though - but my granny didn't make me leave, unless I wanted to.

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