Children in Adult Conversations -- Yes or No?

kids in adult conversations

Photo by amaranthleewolf

Big kids feel even more grown up when they get to sit around the table chatting with their parents, aunts, uncles, and family friends. Some CafeMoms prohibit this practice and shoo their kids away to play. They don't feel that tweens or even teens should be allowed into adult conversations, partly because of the potential topics (sex, money troubles, death). They grow up too fast already, they say. Also, it's just not their place.

A conversation going on in the private group Heated Debates (over 100 comments so far) is hashing out the pros and cons of letting adolescents into adult talk circles.

"When I was younger it was a no-no, you were not allowed to sit under adults while they were talking, and you were not allowed to be part of the conversations," says guess_who_wit_6. "I am the same way. My children are not my friends nor are they my equals and they have no place in adult convos unless they are specifically asked a question."

One anonymous mom says it all depends on the conversation. She thinks it's horrible when a family is always kicking the kids out so they can talk. Kids need to feel a part of things, she says, while learning there are certain things not for their ears.

"Finances, sure. Why shouldn't they hear that? Unless of course, we are having problems. They shouldn't worry about that until they're adults," she says. "But listening to Mom and Dad talking about budgeting and compromising could be beneficial. Sex, death of someone they didn't know, legal problems ... not even teens need to hear this."



Do you allow your big kid to sit in on adult conversations?

Only CafeMom members can vote on polls.
Sign up for an account or Click here to log in.

Total Votes: 27

View Results


Why or why not let big kids participate in adult conversations? What's the rule in your house?

behavior, discipline


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

StefI... StefInfection

I think yes on a very limited basis. There are some things that yes I do agree children need to take part in my son is young but we allow him to put his feelings in on certain situations now. We may discuss them first but we have never not answered questions or let him feel apart of the convo

Shann... ShannonZ1976

I think tweens and teen can be part of an adult conversation at a family function.  It teaches them how a group dynamic works.  Especially when different ages are involved.  You get different perspectives on things.  Besides if your talking politics, they should hear others opinions.  They are developing their own and I would rather my children be "informed" as much as possible to make the best decision for them.  As far as sex discussions, I dont feel that needs to be discussed at a family function at all.   Death, that is something we will all face.  I think being open about it to begin with keeps people from being afraid of it.   It depends on the conversation and the age of the child.  Nobody really wants their child to "grow up", in a way.  But I think not preparing them for the scary things in the big bad world is far worse then letting them talk with the adults. 

mommy... mommyheymommy

Yes, whenever it is appropriate.  It's a good learning tool.  It teaches how to partake in a conversation appropriately and shows them that you value their thoughts, questions and input.

Blueb... Bluebonnet72

     This is something I've been struggling with my regarding my 13 year old.  I want her to learn to be part of adult society.  I'm trying to raise her to be an adult someday.  However, there are conversations I want to have without her.  Parenting a teenager is tough, and sometimes I need advice from my friends, and I'd rather not have my daughter involved in these conversations.  There are just conversations that she doesn't need to overhear, but those are of course, the ones that capture her attention.  She gets her feelings hurt when I try and send her away. 

RanaA... RanaAurora

I want my kids to be able to listen to adult conversation as often as possible - it's GOOD for them.  My son learned a lot about our country and offices during the election by listening to me speak, listening to the news, and watching (pieces of) the debates with me.  When it's not appropriate, I wait until he's in bed or otherwise out of the room unless I HAVE to discuss it right then.

kelli... kelli0585

My child is only a month old, but I would like to add my two cents:  As a teenager, I was always included in adult conversations, even if they were "adult themed."  There is already an awkward dance between generations as it is. . . to hinder them from joining "adult" conversations just furthers the gap in my opinion. 

Even when I was a child, it was always kosher for me to be at the table, provided that the others around were comfortable.  My cousin of the same age was of the "seen and not heard" breed.  I must say, that even today as a 23 year old, her mother and others around her are less likely to value her insight and opinion, because of the "once a kid, always a kid" mentality.  Even though I am one year older, this same aunt speaks to me in a totally different manner, and treats me as the adult and mother that I am.

ArmyW... ArmyWife_MomX2

we talk about all kinds of things, from our days to politics. We know our children are present and if it is something that shouldn't be said or talked about in front of them we wait until they are off playing or we wait until they are in bed. children should be allowed to feel in the conversation provided the conversation is appropriate for children. We talk politics at the dinner table. our 6yr old doesnt get it, she listens and i am sure we are shaping her thoughts and views and opinion morals values etc but isnt that what parents are suppose to do. if we need to talk about troubles, etc and we dont think its appropriate for our child  then we do it in private when the kids arent around. if we are having friends over and the conversation starts turning not kid friendly my husband and i  will try to re-direct the convo, until the kiddo's can be shooed away. children dont belong in adult convo.

Kelly... KellyGirl_TX

teen girlOhhh Yes!!  We definintely let our kids be a part of conversations in our home.  Limited.  DH & I would never sit and discuss our sex life with the kids around-no way but, politics, money, family issues, death, serious illness, even bills, finances etc to a certain extent. Absolutely those kinds of things.  My dd is over 17 and she's a real "smarty".  Very intelligent kid and I'm proud of her.  I have always believed that my children should learn all they can from us, as parents... rather than the world later on.  The world is ready to slap them in the face the first chance it gets....I want them prepared as much as possible.  End of story for me.

athenax3 athenax3

I think on a limited basis, depending on the setting, the topics, the people involved etc. However, I do feel that there are conversations kids just shouldn't be privy to- there is a line between children and adults and personally I think there should be.

ichee... icheeka09

I think if you don't want the kids to hear it, don't talk about it when the kids are with you. wait until they are at school. Kids are part of your family and you have to deal with it. I HATED it as a kid when my mom would go " mommy's talking now, go play" 

1-10 of 11 comments 12 Last