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s/o kids "butting in" on adult conversations


momee
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This just got me thinking.

"Two people (especially parents, but really all people) should be able to have a conversation without bystanders (or children) butting in, " quoted from the thread about one gal's ObCD parenting issues...

 

In our home, if DH and I were having a serious conversation my children would not interrupt.

HOWEVER, any other conversation said in the common rooms is fair game.  We are all together, alot, there are also many people in this house.  If I say anything, I and my very verbal girls take that as a cue that communication is welcome.  Otherwise, it wouldn't be said out loud, right :)

 

 

I think the example in that thread of the children being allowed to enter the conversation is healthy.  It promotes unity and I think my kids would perceive the openness as a general spirit of welcome - not sure how to word that...sorry.  Well, maybe that scenario wasn't a good example of what I'm trying to say because they were bickering - but most times my gang wouldn't be attacking each other...note I said most times, lol.

 

If we are going to have a conversation that doesn't fit that criteria where comments are welcome, we try to move to our own room.

 

I'm just asking...would a child who comments on what is being said aloud even though not directed at them personally be considered rude by the general public?  I don't mean the child would be disrespectful in WHAT they say, I just mean their saying ANYTHING if not directly invited to the conversation???  Am I making sense? 

 

 

I'm an extreme extrovert living in a house with only three introverts.  My children are very comfortable in social situations although I do notice end up being the center of attention quite often.  

Now I'm wondering if maybe their "butting in" has something to do with that and it isn't necessarily a good thing...

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I want to add this from the Free Dictionary site...

Children should be seen and not heard

Prov. Children should not speak in the presence of adults. (Often used as a way to rebuke a child who has spoken when he or she should not.) You may come out and meet the party guests if you'll remember that children shouldbe seen and not heard.

 

 

My elderly very southern relatives quoted this often, but usually when THEY wanted the floor.  At other times, it was quite different.  Yes MAAM's were required only when you were in trouble and were usually demanded in an authoritative tone.  It wasn't something that was positively taught or reinforced, it was something that was demanded in a rude, self serving way.

That could be why I shy away from both.

(although I have to admit after hanging out with some very! polite and uplifting country folk I am seriously tempted to make Yes Ma'am-ing a new rule around here - soooo respectful when done appropriately, I think)

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If we talk near DS, the conversation will include him. I don't consider that butting in. He's a part of our family, not a bystander. We don't really separate adult and kid lives.

 

If we want to discuss something without him, we go on a walk or talk after he's gone to bed. But if he's around, he's going to be interested in whatever we are talking about and he always has important and interesting insights. I can't imagine the loss--for him or for us--that would occur if we expected him to be quiet.

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I do want my children to participate in conversations. However, my dh and I often discuss things that need resolution in their presences without necessarily wanting their participation. Decisions about budgets, plans, etc. don't always need my kids input and I refuse to hide away in the bedroom to have those conversations. We also have an open floor plan. My kids have learned that sometimes mom and dad talk without them needing to stick their oars in. It's not about children being seen and not heard, but more about manners.

 

Kind of like I wouldn't take part in every conversation that occurs at church because sometimes people are having a discussion with just the two of them and just because I'm in the vicinity doesn't mean that I need to participate.  Kids need to learn this too.

 

BTW, I don't stick my oar when they are having conversations unless I am needed or it concerns me.

 

I like that my kids know that mom and dad have conversations about serious stuff and sometimes disagree on how things should go. Not that we have huge blow ups in front of them, but they do hear us discuss options.

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To me anyone, children included who interrupts a conversation to put their two cents in is rude.  I have a son like this, it is not a be seen and not heard mentality, but we do not need his opinion on everything all the time based on what someone else is saying.  SO if I am on the phone he is in the background putting his 2 cents in, if I am talking to older son he has to put his 2 cents in.  Heck in public standing in line, 2 people can be talking and he will put his 2 cents in when it has nothing to do with him.  Now we all have those moments where we chime in to other conversations, but we usually say something like "sorry to interrupt but I couldn't help but hear you say........"and then add something useful to the conversation or use it as a starter.  We would not just randomly start chirping out opinion at these people having a conversation that did not include us.  I do not feel one has to tuck away into a separate room to have a more private conversation.  For example, if I want to talk to my daughter about something in the kitchen I should be able to do that without son jumping in with his 2 cents. And it has nothing to do with seen and not heard, it is just basic manners and respect for other people.  THe world does not revolve around him, so he should stop trying to make the focus always be on him by jumping into everything. 

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I do want my children to participate in conversations. However, my dh and I often discuss things that need resolution in their presences without necessarily wanting their participation. Decisions about budgets, plans, etc. don't need my kids input and I refuse to hide away in the bedroom to have those conversations. We also have an open floor plan. My kids have learned that sometimes mom and dad talk without them needing to stick their oars in. It's not about children being seen and not heard, but more about manners.

 

Kind of like I wouldn't take part in every conversation that occurs at church because sometimes people are having a discussion with just the two of them and just because I'm in the vicinity doesn't mean that I need to participate.  Kids need to learn this too.

 

This.  It's not about kids "being seen and not heard", it's about not butting in other's conversations and learning the different between a general conversation that includes everyone in earshot, and a conversation that it between two people.  If it's private, DH and I will go somewhere away from the kids, or wait until they go to bed.  But I also feel that I am entitled to talk about things that are not private, in my living room, with my DH, without having the kids stick their noses in.

 

BTW, we also require Yes Maam and Yes, Sir.  Though not just when kids are in trouble, but all of the time.

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Conversely, I often think it is rude when people do not include others in the conversation.  If two people are having a conversation and a third person approaches the area, I think it is polite to turn and include the third person into the fray.  If the conversation was personal, then the topic can be switched and resumed at a later time rather than make anyone feel awkward or excluded.  

 

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I do want my children to participate in conversations. However, my dh and I often discuss things that need resolution in their presences without necessarily wanting their participation. Decisions about budgets, plans, etc. don't always need my kids input and I refuse to hide away in the bedroom to have those conversations. We also have an open floor plan. My kids have learned that sometimes mom and dad talk without them needing to stick their oars in. It's not about children being seen and not heard, but more about manners.

 

 

 

Yes, this.  All of it. 

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I like the inclusive approach to conversation.

 

For those of us who aren't great with social cues, how do you teach kids to interpret which are private and which are general conversations? I can imagine it being confusing for my kids if say we were talking about plans for the week where there input was welcome to finance or something where it isn't.

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I like the inclusive approach to conversation.

 

For those of us who aren't great with social cues, how do you teach kids to interpret which are private and which are general conversations? I can imagine it being confusing for my kids if say we were talking about plans for the week where there input was welcome to finance or something where it isn't.

 

For me, it's not about private or not.  If it's truly private, I would be having it in a private space.  It's just that these two people had started something, and butting in is rude.  If DH and I are talking about, say, plans for the weekend, I do not expect one of my children to butt in and offer an opinion, unless it is directly relevant to something affecting them.  If two kids are having a conversation about, say, Minecraft, I wouldn't start offering my opinions on that, either.

 

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Conversely, I often think it is rude when people do not include others in the conversation.  If two people are having a conversation and a third person approaches the area, I think it is polite to turn and include the third person into the fray.  If the conversation was personal, then the topic can be switched and resumed at a later time rather than make anyone feel awkward or excluded.  

 

Wow.  I think it's rude to expect two people to stop what they are doing and change it to include you.  I can't imagine feeling entitled to interrupt two people's conversation and have them include me when I wasn't initially part of it.  :huh:

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We don't treat conversations within our immediate family like we do extended family, friends or strangers.

 

Family is . . . family.  We're a team.  We share things.  Anybody who has anything to say is welcome to throw it out as long as they don't interrupt when someone else is speaking and they state things in a respectful manner, etc.  Having them listen in, comment and ask questions during discussions about money/financial issues, plans, something going on in the extended family, etc. is something we've always viewed as a learning experience for them.  The few times we've needed to discuss something privately we do it when the kids aren't around.  Otherwise it seems rude and hurtful to me to discuss something in front of them but tell them their participation isn't needed or wanted.

 

I'm all for teaching kids how to converse in a variety of settings.  We just see our family as being close knit/informal enough that the rules are different.  I understand that others will have a different POV on that.  But this is how we handle things.

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We don't treat conversations within our immediate family like we do extended family, friends or strangers.

 

Family is . . . family.  We're a team.  We share things.  Anybody who has anything to say is welcome to throw it out as long as they don't interrupt when someone else is speaking and they state things in a respectful manner, etc.  Having them listen in, comment and ask questions during discussions about money/financial issues, plans, something going on in the extended family, etc. is something we've always viewed as a learning experience for them.  The few times we've needed to discuss something privately we do it when the kids aren't around.  Otherwise it seems rude and hurtful to me to discuss something in front of them but tell them their participation isn't needed or wanted.

 

I'm all for teaching kids how to converse in a variety of settings.  We just see our family as being close knit/informal enough that the rules are different.  I understand that others will have a different POV on that.  But this is how we handle things.

 

When ex and I were together, we had a similar viewpoint. I think some of it comes from living in a small space with an only child and homeschooling - conversations that might have normally happened while he was in school needed to happen in front of him. Ds was always pretty mature about listening or simply observing and wasn't overly sensitive to the topic. 

 

I can think of very few occasions where we asked him to go to his room or we went to our room to discuss something very private. Of course, we had to have some heavy discussions with him at a younger age where we needed his input, so other topics seemed sort of less important to have privately. 

 

If he were to butt into the conversation, I would either ask him to hold his question or comment for a moment. As for conversations outside of the house, I've taught him to watch body language - non-verbal cues. If he's with my mom, she'll talk to anyone and everyone, whereas I'm more reserved and introverted. So he sees two sides. 

 

I remember sitting quietly in adult conversations when I was a kid. I found it very enlightening. 

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Wow.  I think it's rude to expect two people to stop what they are doing and change it to include you.  I can't imagine feeling entitled to interrupt two people's conversation and have them include me when I wasn't initially part of it.  :huh:

The original participants wouldn't have to change the topic, but wouldn't they want to if the topic was personal and now there was someone who could overhear it?

 

And, if they are going to change the topic anyway, choosing one that could include the newcomer would (in my experience, neck of the woods, etc...) be the polite thing to do.

 

As for us, our oldest isn't even 5 yet, so I have no idea how things like this will play out in our family. So far, we are just working on what interrupting is and why it's not nice. 

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Conversely, I often think it is rude when people do not include others in the conversation.  If two people are having a conversation and a third person approaches the area, I think it is polite to turn and include the third person into the fray.  If the conversation was personal, then the topic can be switched and resumed at a later time rather than make anyone feel awkward or excluded.  

 

What's rude in public or with peers isn't always rude. A home is private. Parents and their dependent children are not peers.

 

When my grown child returns home for a visit, we follow those social rules you outlined above, and we include him in the conversations we have in front of him.  That was not always the case when he lived at home.

 

My husband and I sometimes have conversations in our home in front of our minor children that don't involve them. We are teaching them a skill that will serve them well in their future. Knowing when to be quiet and when to speak is critical to success in life. 

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We don't treat conversations within our immediate family like we do extended family, friends or strangers.

 

Family is . . . family.  We're a team.  We share things.  Anybody who has anything to say is welcome to throw it out as long as they don't interrupt when someone else is speaking and they state things in a respectful manner, etc.  Having them listen in, comment and ask questions during discussions about money/financial issues, plans, something going on in the extended family, etc. is something we've always viewed as a learning experience for them.  The few times we've needed to discuss something privately we do it when the kids aren't around.  Otherwise it seems rude and hurtful to me to discuss something in front of them but tell them their participation isn't needed or wanted.

 

I'm all for teaching kids how to converse in a variety of settings.  We just see our family as being close knit/informal enough that the rules are different.  I understand that others will have a different POV on that.  But this is how we handle things.

 

Part of it, I think may be large family logistics vs. smaller families. We have 4 kids so all of the comments could be overwhelming.

 

Also, we don't phrase it as  "You're butting in." It's more of "We were talking about this and we're trying to decide something, so if I need your comments I will ask you."

 

If the children do have something relevant to the topic , they do say something. For instance, weekend plans..if my oldest dd has something going on, she'll bring it up and I don't consider it butting in. 

 

It's not a dynamic of "how dare you comment on an adult's conversation." It's considered more about politeness, manners, and knowing when your input is needed and welcome.

 

Also, if my dd and my dh are having a conversation, I stay out of it unless I'm invited in. The converse is true as well.

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I like the inclusive approach to conversation.

 

For those of us who aren't great with social cues, how do you teach kids to interpret which are private and which are general conversations? I can imagine it being confusing for my kids if say we were talking about plans for the week where there input was welcome to finance or something where it isn't.

 

Some of ours are better at picking up these clues than others. Sometimes we tell them directly. My husband has told them that if they have very little idea about what we are talking about, they should stay quiet, just listen, and ask us about it later.

 

My husband is good at direct. He's also good at letting them know when their opinion is welcome. He'll invite them into conversation and elicit their comments, just as he sometimes tells them to just sit and listen.

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The original participants wouldn't have to change the topic, but wouldn't they want to if the topic was personal and now there was someone who could overhear it?

 

And, if they are going to change the topic anyway, choosing one that could include the newcomer would (in my experience, neck of the woods, etc...) be the polite thing to do.

 

As for us, our oldest isn't even 5 yet, so I have no idea how things like this will play out in our family. So far, we are just working on what interrupting is and why it's not nice. 

 

To include a latecomer to a conversation IS to change what they are doing, regardless of whether they change the topic. Even keeping the topic requires you to catch the other person up on what's been said, or else you're just going over the same territory again (short road to boredom, if the conversation is unimportant, fast road to frustration if it is), plus everyone's thoughts get interrupted.  But that's not even the point.  If person A is having a conversation with person B - THAT is what they are doing.  Bringing person C into it is changing what they are doing, regardless of whether or not they change topic.  I just can't imagine having the thought, "You two stop your conversation and talk to me instead."  I just can't.

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I agree with you on this, and our household runs the same way. Of course, this depends on following basic rules of courtesy, such as not interrupting someone in the middle of their thoughts or while they are speaking.

 

This just got me thinking.

"Two people (especially parents, but really all people) should be able to have a conversation without bystanders (or children) butting in, " quoted from the thread about one gal's ObCD parenting issues...

 

In our home, if DH and I were having a serious conversation my children would not interrupt.

HOWEVER, any other conversation said in the common rooms is fair game. We are all together, alot, there are also many people in this house. If I say anything, I and my very verbal girls take that as a cue that communication is welcome. Otherwise, it wouldn't be said out loud, right :)

 

 

I think the example in that thread of the children being allowed to enter the conversation is healthy. It promotes unity and I think my kids would perceive the openness as a general spirit of welcome - not sure how to word that...sorry. Well, maybe that scenario wasn't a good example of what I'm trying to say because they were bickering - but most times my gang wouldn't be attacking each other...note I said most times, lol.

 

If we are going to have a conversation that doesn't fit that criteria where comments are welcome, we try to move to our own room.

 

I'm just asking...would a child who comments on what is being said aloud even though not directed at them personally be considered rude by the general public? I don't mean the child would be disrespectful in WHAT they say, I just mean their saying ANYTHING if not directly invited to the conversation??? Am I making sense?

 

 

I'm an extreme extrovert living in a house with only three introverts. My children are very comfortable in social situations although I do notice end up being the center of attention quite often.

Now I'm wondering if maybe their "butting in" has something to do with that and it isn't necessarily a good thing...

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My dds are free to join in/butt into any conversation dh and I are having in our home. The content doesn't matter. If it was something we didn't want their input on, we would have the conversation in private. My dds have never interrupted or butted into a conversation outside our immediate family. They do join in conversations between adults outside of our home but not more than anyone else in the group. If someone has a problem with them doing so, they've never voiced that opinion. We actually usually get compliments.

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My dds are free to join in/butt into any conversation dh and I are having in our home. The content doesn't matter. If it was something we didn't want their input on, we would have the conversation in private. My dds have never interrupted or butted into a conversation outside our immediate family. They do join in conversations between adults outside of our home but not more than anyone else in the group. If someone has a problem with them doing so, they've never voiced that opinion. We actually usually get compliments.

 

I think some kids "get" when their input will be welcome better than others.

 

In many contexts, my kids want to make snide, silly or smart-aleck remarks in an attempt to be funny or get attention.

(It must run in the family, because my dh and I often have goofy, smart-aleck remarks about all kinds of things but we know better when they are appropriate)

 

So all participation is not equal. Like I mentioned above, if their input adds to the conversation, I welcome it. However, many times, it's just silliness which, times 4, can make things frustrating. My dh and I are not going to carry every conversation to a private room, if we're deciding on whether we need to bump the budget in one area or another, can afford to go on vacation, should we do x or y activity, etc.

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If the conversation is happening in a room with everyone else, then it's fair game. However, at my older children's ages I would expect them to be better judges of when something isn't exactly needing their input. They do pretty well with this. We feel free to tell them, "Hey, we're trying to talk about something," if they walk in on a conversation happening that they don't need to overhear.

 

I kind of feel like "Children should be seen and not heard" is outdated and kind of offensive.

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I think this is one of those contentious polarizing parenting things.

 

I know AP (attachment parenting) people who believe that whatever thier kid has to say, at any moment, is critically important. Any adult nearby should have the self control to stop, wait for the child to speak whatever they have to say, and then reenter the conversation. In their world, asking a child to wait, or to not interrupt, reflects an adult's lack of self control to stop and let the child speak.

 

I know others on the "seen and not heard" end of things.

 

I'll come clean here. I can't stand when other people's kids include themselves in conversations between other adults and me, unless they are invited - in situtations where there is an expectation of adults "talking". I recognize that others may see thier 11 year olds as a mature person, I however do not. If we are at a park to meet up and let the kids go hang out - then the kids need to go hang out. Even if they're not speaking, I feel like I'm being listened in on and I think that's rude. It's not like I'm being super private, or talking about sensitive things, I just want to talk with my friend. Genreal milling about - absolutely - let's all chit chat and discuss.

 

I think there's a time and place and kids (like all of us) need to clue in. If I run into Starbucks and two friends are having coffee - saying hi and moving on is the polite thing to do. They obviously planned to be there and have things to discuss. Sure, they can invite me, but it's not necessary. It's there conversation and there time. I think a park "sit and talk" time is the same - but for the kids to move on.

 

I will say, as my kids get older, I get it more. Tweens/teens want to play less and assimilate into adulthood more. They're finding their place. Great - there's a time and a place. But, if i want to talk with a friend about a parenting issue or whatever - I don't need a 13 year old around to listen in.

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I think this is one of those contentious polarizing parenting things.

 

I know AP (attachment parenting) people who believe that whatever thier kid has to say, at any moment, is critically important. Any adult nearby should have the self control to stop, wait for the child to speak whatever they have to say, and then reenter the conversation. In their world, asking a child to wait, or to not interrupt, reflects an adult's lack of self control to stop and let the child speak.

 

I know others on the "seen and not heard" end of things.

 

I'll come clean here. I can't stand when other people's kids include themselves in conversations between other adults and me, unless they are invited - in situtations where there is an expectation of adults "talking". I recognize that others may see thier 11 year olds as a mature person, I however do not. If we are at a park to meet up and let the kids go hang out - then the kids need to go hang out. Even if they're not speaking, I feel like I'm being listened in on and I think that's rude. It's not like I'm being super private, or talking about sensitive things, I just want to talk with my friend. Genreal milling about - absolutely - let's all chit chat and discuss.

 

I think there's a time and place and kids (like all of us) need to clue in. If I run into Starbucks and two friends are having coffee - saying hi and moving on is the polite thing to do. They obviously planned to be there and have things to discuss. Sure, they can invite me, but it's not necessary. It's there conversation and there time. I think a park "sit and talk" time is the same - but for the kids to move on.

 

I will say, as my kids get older, I get it more. Tweens/teens want to play less and assimilate into adulthood more. They're finding their place. Great - there's a time and a place. But, if i want to talk with a friend about a parenting issue or whatever - I don't need a 13 year old around to listen in.

 

I agree. 100%

 

I can like your kids, but the kid isn't my friend, the adult is. 

 

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I think there's a wide, healthy range between "children should be seen and not heard" and "children are welcome to talk to anyone at any time." We have 4 kids: a baby, a crazy toddler, and two tweens. There are days when I get less than 5 minutes to talk to DH, and that's whispering over a sleeping baby. Sometimes we need to stand in the kitchen and talk while finishing cooking dinner or while cleaning the kitchen after dinner. When I have to tell my oldest more than once to stop interrupting and go find something else to do, I get irritated. She in particular is not good at reading social clues (ADHD + the age), and she needs to be told explicitly and repeatedly to stop, look at the people. Look at their body language. Are they inviting you in to their conversation, or are they in the middle of a private discussion? When you start talking, look at them. Listen to their responses (and wait for one!). Are they welcoming you? Or are you interrupting?

 

Granted, social rules are much, much more relaxed in our family than out in public, but I don't feel the need to abandon all boundaries with my kids. I don't bulldoze through their conversations with each other or with my husband or visitors. I do think there is value in teaching kids to respect other people's space, even within the family. They need that skill outside the home too, so why not practice the skill in a safe place?

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In our home, if DH and I were having a serious conversation my children would not interrupt.

HOWEVER, any other conversation said in the common rooms is fair game.  We are all together, alot, there are also many people in this house.  If I say anything, I and my very verbal girls take that as a cue that communication is welcome.  Otherwise, it wouldn't be said out loud, right :)

 

 

I think the example in that thread of the children being allowed to enter the conversation is healthy.  It promotes unity and I think my kids would perceive the openness as a general spirit of welcome - not sure how to word that...sorry.  Well, maybe that scenario wasn't a good example of what I'm trying to say because they were bickering - but most times my gang wouldn't be attacking each other...note I said most times, lol.

 

That's how it works at our house too. Everyone talks. Sometimes all at once :) There are usually several conversations going on at the same time, with ongoing comments from previous conversations, quotes from Tv shows/movies/books, references to jokes, references to tumblr gifs, side arguments about whether a quote was accurate or not, rabbit trails about which episode/version was the best... Everyone is welcome to comment. Most of us are pretty good at not actually interrupting though we will crosstalk or interject or make additional comments. It's like an ongoing improv thingie here...

 

 

& it's quite possible that it's actually a survival skill everyone here had to develop to deal with me. I can talk A LOT. 

 

There's a scene in Allo Allo where Rene says "This is my wife, Edith. I have told her everything." & Michelle asks "Will she talk?"

 

"INCESSANTLY".

 

This is one of the quotes that comes up in our conversations for some reason..... :D

 

 

 

 

 

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I think this is one of those contentious polarizing parenting things.

 

I know AP (attachment parenting) people who believe that whatever thier kid has to say, at any moment, is critically important. Any adult nearby should have the self control to stop, wait for the child to speak whatever they have to say, and then reenter the conversation. In their world, asking a child to wait, or to not interrupt, reflects an adult's lack of self control to stop and let the child speak.

 

I know others on the "seen and not heard" end of things.

 

I'll come clean here. I can't stand when other people's kids include themselves in conversations between other adults and me, unless they are invited - in situtations where there is an expectation of adults "talking". I recognize that others may see thier 11 year olds as a mature person, I however do not. If we are at a park to meet up and let the kids go hang out - then the kids need to go hang out. Even if they're not speaking, I feel like I'm being listened in on and I think that's rude. It's not like I'm being super private, or talking about sensitive things, I just want to talk with my friend. Genreal milling about - absolutely - let's all chit chat and discuss.

 

I think there's a time and place and kids (like all of us) need to clue in. If I run into Starbucks and two friends are having coffee - saying hi and moving on is the polite thing to do. They obviously planned to be there and have things to discuss. Sure, they can invite me, but it's not necessary. It's there conversation and there time. I think a park "sit and talk" time is the same - but for the kids to move on.

 

I will say, as my kids get older, I get it more. Tweens/teens want to play less and assimilate into adulthood more. They're finding their place. Great - there's a time and a place. But, if i want to talk with a friend about a parenting issue or whatever - I don't need a 13 year old around to listen in.

 

I think there is quite a bit in the middle of "everything my child has to say is important" and "children should be seen and not heard". My dds don't interrupt and take over a conversation, but they do understand how to join a conversation politely. We are not AP people yet I have zero problem with my children joining in my conversations with dh or anyone else. I've honestly never had friends that thought when we all got together the kids were supposed to go somewhere else and do their own thing. Often times they would but there were many times we just all hung out in the same room as well. It's not something I or dh experienced growing up either.

 

 

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I haven't read the whole thread. This is an issue at our house. When DH and I are having a serious conversation, no we very rarely get 'helpful input' or commentary. But, I do find 10yo listens in on ever.y.thing! It's most annoying when I have a mom friend over and there are plenty of other kids to play with (I realize all may not be her age) and I have to continually send her out of the room so mom friend and I can talk without her elephant ears and commentary. I probably need to have a chat with her about this before events like this. I also consider it one of the drawbacks of homeschooling in a not-so-big house. There really isn't anywhere to hide. They listen in on everything and frankly, it's kind of irritating.

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I think there is quite a bit in the middle of "everything my child has to say is important" and "children should be seen and not heard". My dds don't interrupt and take over a conversation, but they do understand how to join a conversation politely. We are not AP people yet I have zero problem with my children joining in my conversations with dh or anyone else. I've honestly never had friends that thought when we all got together the kids were supposed to go somewhere else and do their own thing. Often times they would but there were many times we just all hung out in the same room as well. It's not something I or dh experienced growing up either.

 

 

hmmm...

When my friends and I get together, it's not unusual for the conversation to get a bit more personal than we would be comfortable with were our children hanging out with us in the same room. We might talk about marriage issues, parenting struggles, health needs that just won't come up if a child is around.

 

We have a group of 5-6 families that get together (moms and kids). The kids disappear most of the time (don't want to be around the moms!) and we can delve deeper into who we are and what we are facing. I have told my dds "Go find somewhere to hang out." if they are just sitting around listening.

 

Last week, my older dd (who usually has someplace to be ) during this lunch date, didn't have anyone even close to her age to hang with. So she sat with us Moms. We all chatted, but it was definitely a bit more stilted than normal.  For instance, I wouldn't bring up my last mammogram with a teen or child sitting there, but I would talk it over with my friends.

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We have problems with our 9 year old butting in, especially in the car. Between his butting in and my 5 year old's recent bad habit of constantly interrupting me, it gets hard to have more than a one minute conversation with DH. All the constant interruptions make us forget what we were saying. Maybe those of you who generally are almost always with kids jumping into the conversation don't have this problem.

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I haven't read the whole thread. This is an issue at our house. When DH and I are having a serious conversation, no we very rarely get 'helpful input' or commentary. But, I do find 10yo listens in on ever.y.thing! It's most annoying when I have a mom friend over and there are plenty of other kids to play with (I realize all may not be her age) and I have to continually send her out of the room so mom friend and I can talk without her elephant ears and commentary. I probably need to have a chat with her about this before events like this. I also consider it one of the drawbacks of homeschooling in a not-so-big house. There really isn't anywhere to hide. They listen in on everything and frankly, it's kind of irritating.

Maybe it;s just the age? My almost 10 yo can be like this.

 

One of my most frustrating things is if she catches only part of a conversation and she's going "Who?" "What?" "Why?" I'm left going, "Uh...if I needed you to understand what I was saying, I'd be addressing you. "

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I used to have a friend who had five kids at the time. I think her oldest was about nine. Between having to feed or change a baby or toddler or getting interrupted by the older kids, I felt like I could rarely get more than a few sentences out without kids pestering us (unless it was naptime for them). At the time, I was alone all day with a baby myself, so having my supposed adult conversation constantly ruined by little kids drove me crazy.

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hmmm...

When my friends and I get together, it's not unusual for the conversation to get a bit more personal than we would be comfortable with were our children hanging out with us in the same room. We might talk about marriage issues, parenting struggles, health needs that just won't come up if a child is around.

 

We have a group of 5-6 families that get together (moms and kids). The kids disappear most of the time (don't want to be around the moms!) and we can delve deeper into who we are and what we are facing. I have told my dds "Go find somewhere to hang out." if they are just sitting around listening.

 

Last week, my older dd (who usually has someplace to be ) during this lunch date, didn't have anyone even close to her age to hang with. So she sat with us Moms. We all chatted, but it was definitely a bit more stilted than normal.  For instance, I wouldn't bring up my last mammogram with a teen or child sitting there, but I would talk it over with my friends.

 

LOL -- family cultures really are different.  I talk about mammograms with my teen boys present!

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LOL -- family cultures really are different.  I talk about mammograms with my teen boys present!

 

I know everyone is different. I definitely wouldn't bring it up around my friends' teen boys. Most of them are very quiet and easily embarrassed. They'd probably be mortified. I guess that's one way to run the kids off from the conversation. Start talking about pap smears and yeast infections!

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To include a latecomer to a conversation IS to change what they are doing, regardless of whether they change the topic. Even keeping the topic requires you to catch the other person up on what's been said, or else you're just going over the same territory again (short road to boredom, if the conversation is unimportant, fast road to frustration if it is), plus everyone's thoughts get interrupted.  But that's not even the point.  If person A is having a conversation with person B - THAT is what they are doing.  Bringing person C into it is changing what they are doing, regardless of whether or not they change topic.  I just can't imagine having the thought, "You two stop your conversation and talk to me instead."  I just can't.

I think we are just going to disagree...To me, when a third (or fourth or whatever) person comes in, not including them is rude. In short, ignoring someone is rude in the circles I frequent. (And to me, that seems to be what you are advocating.) 

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LOL -- family cultures really are different.  I talk about mammograms with my teen boys present!

 

Yeah and why not?  I can't think of pretty much anything I wouldn't talk about in front of my kids.  Why shouldn't they be aware of what mammograms are?  What's the big deal. It's a common medical test/procedure.  I might not want to discuss my sex life with my kids, but something mundane like a medical test?  Sure, why not?:

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If we talk near DS, the conversation will include him. I don't consider that butting in. He's a part of our family, not a bystander. We don't really separate adult and kid lives.

 

If we want to discuss something without him, we go on a walk or talk after he's gone to bed. But if he's around, he's going to be interested in whatever we are talking about and he always has important and interesting insights. I can't imagine the loss--for him or for us--that would occur if we expected him to be quiet.

:iagree: :iagree: :iagree: :iagree:

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I'll come clean here. I can't stand when other people's kids include themselves in conversations between other adults and me, unless they are invited - in situtations where there is an expectation of adults "talking". I recognize that others may see thier 11 year olds as a mature person, I however do not. If we are at a park to meet up and let the kids go hang out - then the kids need to go hang out. Even if they're not speaking, I feel like I'm being listened in on and I think that's rude. It's not like I'm being super private, or talking about sensitive things, I just want to talk with my friend. Genreal milling about - absolutely - let's all chit chat and discuss.

 

I think there's a time and place and kids (like all of us) need to clue in. If I run into Starbucks and two friends are having coffee - saying hi and moving on is the polite thing to do. They obviously planned to be there and have things to discuss. Sure, they can invite me, but it's not necessary. It's there conversation and there time. I think a park "sit and talk" time is the same - but for the kids to move on.

 

I will say, as my kids get older, I get it more. Tweens/teens want to play less and assimilate into adulthood more. They're finding their place. Great - there's a time and a place. But, if i want to talk with a friend about a parenting issue or whatever - I don't need a 13 year old around to listen in.

 

I cannot stand parents who will stop their conversation with me every single time their child interrupts and wants to speak to them about anything that comes to mind.  The constant whining of "mommy, mommy, mommy" while we're trying to talk drives me bonkers.  And those parents are not doing their children any favors, by not teaching them manners.  Eventually, society will.

 

Those kinds of parents (and their children) quickly go on my list of people to avoid.

 

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OMG, I hate this!  My 10 year old will walk up to dh and I and ask "What are you talking about?"  Which, I know is so, so typical for a 10 year old, but it makes me crazy!  I just smile and say "If I wanted you to know I would have made sure to include you in the conversation when we started. And it is rude to butt into a conversation." It has less to do with his being a kid and more to do with learning some manners. I wouldn't like it if anyone walked up to me and another person and said 'Hey, what are you talking about?' I would consider that totally unacceptable.

 

And FWIW, if I saw a friend in conversation with a person, if I knew that person or not, I would not walk up to them and interrupt or insert myself into the conversation. If I was motioned over or it was made clear to me that my presence was welcome then I would, of course, join them. But, I would not think I should join a conversation that has nothing to do with me. That is what iphones are for, lol. I can tactfully check my email or twitter until they are done talking..or take up birdwatching or discover a sudden interest in the pictures hanging on the wall. But I don't expect people to stop their conversation or invite me in just because we are in the same physical space.

 

And just because a conversation is 'public' does it mean that anyone can participate. If I am sitting in a waiting room talking to my kid about dinner plans, I certainly don't expect the rest of the waiting room to join in.  

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I have to admit...I find it irritating when my (or any) kids interrupt my conversation with an adult (that they weren't invited into).  My almost 14yo daughter has become a hover-er.  She tries to read behind me when Im online.  She tries to plant herself next to me when one of my friends comes over.   Her contributions to conversations tend to be random suggestions (when she doesn't have all the information of what we are talking about) or she spends the time correcting me.  

 

Me (talking to an adult): We went to the park like three days ago

Her: It was the 14th mom

 

Me: April, June, and I were taking a walk

Her: Dont your remember that May was there too?

 

She wouldnt stop doing it.  I corrected her privately a few times, then I started correcting her in front of the other person.  Still wouldnt stop.   About a month ago, I was talking to a few people and she did it again.  This time, my brother (who she loves and trusts) pulled her aside and told her she was being impolite (kindly).  She hasnt corrected me again since then.  But she still hovers.  I know she just wants to be included, but its irritating.  

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I used to have a friend who had five kids at the time. I think her oldest was about nine. Between having to feed or change a baby or toddler or getting interrupted by the older kids, I felt like I could rarely get more than a few sentences out without kids pestering us (unless it was naptime for them). At the time, I was alone all day with a baby myself, so having my supposed adult conversation constantly ruined by little kids drove me crazy.

 

Par for the course with little kids.  if you want to have a break from kids, you can't expect to have one while they are all there with you.  I'm sure she appreciated the company.

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I also have an 11 year old who wants to be part of every conversation and an 8 year old that is starting to do the same thing. 

 

If we truly want privacy, we go in the other room. This includes if I want to talk to one of the kids privately. They appreciate privacy and I'm trying to teach them to also respect that for others. 

 

If we are talking about something in the same room (we have an open floor plan so that pretty much means anywhere other than a bedroom or bathroom) I assume they can hear. I don't mind them participating but I do mind them interrupting to 1) be silly 2) make comments that are not helpful or 3) ask questions when they are walking into the middle of a conversation. The last one is especially annoying because my oldest does it a lot and he doesn't really care that much about the answer, it's just that he can't stand not to know everything that is going on. Sometimes I'll take the time to explain what we're talking about or I'll say "hold on, and I'll tell you in a minute" but sometimes it's just one of those casual conversations between dh and me and I don't feel like repeating the whole thing just so he can be up to date. If it's something that actually effects them I'm fine with stopping to include them or answer questions. 

 

With the other adults thing, I've explained it to ds like this "If you are hanging out with all your friends and you guys are talking about Legos or some fantasy novel or the best thing to make an explosion or whatever  it is you talk about do you want me to come and stand there and listen to you." He quickly realized, no, he does not. I pointed out that sometimes adults want to talk alone just like kids want to talk alone. It's not because it's a big secret it's just that we like each other's company. If we're in a setting where one of my kids is the only kid or there isn't anything else for them to do I would include them in the conversation. But it's different if we're somewhere where they can go do something else. 

 

I think in a family it's all about mutual respect. I like privacy but I also respect privacy. My two boys have "night talk" every night when I close the door. I didn't even know they did it until recently but apparently when the light goes out they talk for about 10-15 minutes on a topic. I have never asked what the topics are and I've told them I think it's great they have that private conversation to share. 

 

I also think it is important to help kids fit in socially. It's a skill to interrupt a conversation tactfully. "Hi, I couldn't help overhearing you talking about Downton Abbey, I love that show!" is a good way to step into a conversation. Shouting across the room "What countess are you talking about?"
is a rude way. 

 

 

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I strongly believe that kids need a kid culture. They need the security of knowing their place in their world--that someone else is in charge and they don't have to carry the responsibilities of adults. To some degree, I think an "us" (kids) vs. "them" (adults) mentality is healthy, and they should spend a fair amount of time with other kids creating their own social rules and games.

 

Sure, there's a time for modelling to kids. But I think there's plenty of time for adults to model good behavior to kids while they go to the grocery store together or cook dinner together or what have you. But in between home educating and extracurriculars and what I guess you could call active family time, I think there needs to be kid time where they don't do anything particularly important except for being a kid with other kids without adults hovering nearby. That's when real imaginative play happens. That's when real social problems are encountered--and solved. They need their own little world.

 

I know this might sound off-topic, but I mention this because I think this is missing in a lot of kids' lives today. And because we as a society don't give our kids the freedom we ourselves had, even though the world is actually safer now than twenty years ago, kids don't know that they should not identify as adults. They don't know what it's like to have a separate world from adults, because they've been in the presence of an adult nearly every minute of their waking lives. So of course they step up to the plate and interject themselves into the adults' social scene. I think we need to focus on creating a rich sphere for the kids first, rather than just pushing them away from our own adult sphere.

 

I think this is why it seems like larger families don't have as much of an issue with kids who hover or interrupt adult conversations. Not only do the kids have playmates without having to go looking for them down the street, but the parents are outnumbered and almost out of necessity can't hover around the kids as much as parents with one or two kids. So those elements are more likely to create the sort of free-range kid environment I'm talking about. There's also an awful lot of guilt from parents who feel like they have to include their kids in the conversation because they might damage their self-esteem otherwise. But I think it backfires, because when adults indulge kids by letting them into their conversation, that indulgence sends the message to the kid that he will receive attention and maybe even accolades for just opening his mouth and letting whatever come out.

 

I think kids who hover are missing out. It's not just bad for the adults because it's annoying and censors their conversation (which is true). But it's bad for the kids themselves, because they are trying to posture being an adult instead of fully embracing being a kid. They could be exploring, climbing trees, getting into trouble even. All those things build life skills of one sort or another. Even if they're in the same room as adults, I think it's important for them to be independent of the adult conversation that's being had (there's tons of other things they could focus their attention on). If I find my kids hovering, I will tell them to find life elsewhere. I wish more of my parent friends did the same.

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This is such a difficult area for me with my kids. At least for me I see it as one of the positives and negatives of homeschooling.

 

Since we homeschool, my kids have always talked to me about everything. We discuss things we are studying, TV shows, movies, music, etc. We debate and disagree, toss ideas around, etc. Which is perfect to me, it's how I want our family and homeschool to run. Don't get me wrong. There are times dh or I have to let them know they have crossed the line from debate to rude and disrespectful and there are definitely things dh and I discuss that get a closed door so we can be private, but for the most part dh and I have a very back and forth relationship with the kids. This is the positive for me.

 

And now for the negative....when I'm at church or out with the kids and I am talking to an adult sometimes my oldest will come up and insert herself into the conversation with her opinions and comments.  Because of how we've raised her, she doesn't see her being a child as making her thoughts or comments less valid or unimportant . The conversation between myself and the other adult is not necessarily heavy or important, but I notice that most people look surprised and annoyed at her intrusion. She is not rude or disrespectful in her comments, but I can tell that 90% of the time the person I'm talking to is initially surprised and then standoffish about it. I've tried to explain to my dd that the way she interacts with us at home is not socially acceptable to all adults so when we're out in public if she "joins" a conversation I'm having, she just needs to stand and listen, but not provide input unless asked. She is getting better about this, but she is very extroverted so having to be silent when there are people to interact with is VERY difficult for her.

 

I probably should make this a spin off question, but am I wrong for telling her to be quiet instead of jumping into an adult conversation?

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That's how it works at our house too. Everyone talks. Sometimes all at once :) There are usually several conversations going on at the same time, with ongoing comments from previous conversations, quotes from Tv shows/movies/books, references to jokes, references to tumblr gifs, side arguments about whether a quote was accurate or not, rabbit trails about which episode/version was the best... Everyone is welcome to comment. Most of us are pretty good at not actually interrupting though we will crosstalk or interject or make additional comments. It's like an ongoing improv thingie here...

 

 

& it's quite possible that it's actually a survival skill everyone here had to develop to deal with me. I can talk A LOT. 

 

There's a scene in Allo Allo where Rene says "This is my wife, Edith. I have told her everything." & Michelle asks "Will she talk?"

 

"INCESSANTLY".

 

This is one of the quotes that comes up in our conversations for some reason..... :D

 

 

 

 

 

See this would send me around the bend.  I would not be able to focus or even hear the conversation I was in if everyone was talking at once.  I am willing to listen to my kids, but 1 at a time for heaven's sake.  And if I am talking to 1 unless the opinion of another is asked on the topic they can wait their danged turn.  And if I am talking to another adult they can go do their own thing, not every conversation even if held in the main part of the home is for everyone.  LIke if I have a friend over for coffee, I expect to sit and talk to my friend without my child interrupting constantly to make some silly comment.  When they ate teens they are allowed to come join the adults IF and only if they can act like one of the adults, and if everyone feels comfortable with that.  Like if my friend came over for coffee because they are going through a rough patch with their spouse my kids do not need to even hear the conversation, if they are there just to hang out and the teens can be mature in the conversation then they can stay.

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My problem is just the opposite. Dh will insert himself into conversations where he wasn't included. I'll be having some VERY philosophical debate with ds, and dh will think he has to throw his oar in there! First off, there's no deep well of philosophy going on with dh, and 2nd, he hasn't been part of the conversation, so he has no idea what's going on. He doesn't get the social cue of two people staring at him thinking, "Did he really just say that? It makes no sense!" I even had a friend comment the other day--we were having a heavy discussion about BSA and where the Council is headed, and dh stuck his head in the door, and frankly, just butted in. I was asked later if that was a common occurrence, and yes, it is. I wish dh's mom had trained him not to do this. When it's pointed out to him, his response is, "Well, I have something to say too!" I'm sure you do, but it needs to be on topic, with the knowledge of what has been said before. Otherwise, you just look like a fool and people are irritated. I've worked very hard with my children to not just elbow their way in... 

THat is exactly what I tell ds and my daycare kids.  Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and prove to be one. Just because you think you have something to say doesn't mean you should say it.

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This is such a difficult area for me with my kids. At least for me I see it as one of the positives and negatives of homeschooling.

 

Since we homeschool, my kids have always talked to me about everything. We discuss things we are studying, TV shows, movies, music, etc. We debate and disagree, toss ideas around, etc. Which is perfect to me, it's how I want our family and homeschool to run. Don't get me wrong. There are times dh or I have to let them know they have crossed the line from debate to rude and disrespectful and there are definitely things dh and I discuss that get a closed door so we can be private, but for the most part dh and I have a very back and forth relationship with the kids. This is the positive for me.

 

And now for the negative....when I'm at church or out with the kids and I am talking to an adult sometimes my oldest will come up and insert herself into the conversation with her opinions and comments.  Because of how we've raised her, she doesn't see her being a child as making her thoughts or comments less valid or unimportant . The conversation between myself and the other adult is not necessarily heavy or important, but I notice that most people look surprised and annoyed at her intrusion. She is not rude or disrespectful in her comments, but I can tell that 90% of the time the person I'm talking to is initially surprised and then standoffish about it. I've tried to explain to my dd that the way she interacts with us at home is not socially acceptable to all adults so when we're out in public if she "joins" a conversation I'm having, she just needs to stand and listen, but not provide input unless asked. She is getting better about this, but she is very extroverted so having to be silent when there are people to interact with is VERY difficult for her.

 

I probably should make this a spin off question, but am I wrong for telling her to be quiet instead of jumping into an adult conversation?

 

No, you are not. And I don't think this is a 'you are a kid and they are adults' sort of thing (although I know people will not agree with this). This is a LIFE SKILL. Even though she is your daughter and you love her and want her to be a part of your life forever and ever, there are things that are yours. As she gets older she will have friends and private conversations and things that will be hers. That is ok.

 

Both my kids have done this in the 10-13 years..younger son is doing it now. I will first excuse myself for a second from  my conversation with other adults and say "Hello sweetheart. I am so glad to see you. As you can see, I am talking to ABD DEF but I will be happy to hear all about your class as soon as I am done. Now, please go find your father (or please go get a cookie and sit down until I am done, or please go talk to your friends, or please go away)."

If said child balks and tries to 'just tell me one thing' I cut them off and tell them "I will give you all of my attention when I am done talking to ABC DEF. Please don't be rude. I suggested you (insert what you suggested) so do that or something else now."

 

FWIW, I wouldn't like it if an adult walked up to me and another adult and just started participating in the conversation or started asking questions about what we were talking about. I also wouldn't appreciate it if someone just sort of stood there and 'hovered' and listened. It would be weird and socially awkward.

 

I don't see the problem with teaching kids how to behave in that situation. They can learn the easy way, with you providing them with guidance, or they can learn the hard way when someone that isn't you isn't quite so understanding and tells them to shove off.

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I think we are just going to disagree...To me, when a third (or fourth or whatever) person comes in, not including them is rude. In short, ignoring someone is rude in the circles I frequent. (And to me, that seems to be what you are advocating.) 

 

You look at it as ignoring them.  I look at it as: the person came into a situation that they were not invited to,  can see that the people are already engaged, and if they have manners they would take themselves somewhere else, rather than expect others to stop what they were doing to engage with them instead.

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