Lack of Privacy - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 02-22-2007, 10:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I find that the hardest thing for me as my daughters gets older is my lack of privacy. For instance, she listens in on all conversations I have with my husband, my friends and on the phone. She asks questions and comments on what I say even though the conversation was not directed at her. She reads the computer monitor over my shoulder and reads the mail and documents (i.e. bank statements) that get left on the kitchen counter, desk or table.

How do I deal with this lack of privacy?





(Did I mention that she's only 8?)
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#2 of 13 Old 02-22-2007, 10:19 PM
 
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You need to decide what is private and make an effort to keep it private. If I'm going to have a conversation on the phone that isn't appropriate for my child to listen to, I excuse myself to someplace private in the house to have the conversation. If I have papers I don't want someone else to look at I put them way. I think it is unreasonable to expect a child to avoid listening to a conversation when you are having it in the same room they are in.

I would also say privacy is a courtesy to be extended to children as well. For example, our son knows we knock on his bedroom door just as we expect him to knock on ours.
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#3 of 13 Old 02-22-2007, 10:45 PM
 
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this was me at 8! I was so so nosey! I wanted to know everybody's business I would sit quietly and seem to be reading or something and take great pleasure listening to adult conversations .... I agree with the pp's advice ... just wanted to share how much I relate to your dd

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#4 of 13 Old 02-22-2007, 10:52 PM
 
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I am still so nosy!!

The above posters have some good advice, but I've got sympathy for your daughter. I have a hard time not following if my SO leaves the room to talk on the phone, for example. I know he's not looking for privacy, per se, usually just to get away from the noise of the kids and I doing our thing . . . but yeah . . . I'm a nosy one.

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#5 of 13 Old 02-23-2007, 01:52 AM
 
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I've noticed in the last year that ds1 (almost 12) likes to listen to adult conversations. I guess I don't see it as being "nosy" though - I just see it that he's growing up and is trying to show an interest in adult things. Does that make any sense? I get questions too after I've been on the phone, etc., and I just try and look at them as ds1 attempting to learn more about the world. Just like my toddler is into everything right now because he's learning, ds1 is into every adult conversation he hears because he's trying to learn about the adult world that he'll be in within a few short years.

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#6 of 13 Old 02-23-2007, 07:28 AM
 
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I agree that as they get older some things just need to be private. Just decide what is most important to keep private. In our house it's the conversations between DH and I. I send him a lot of e-mails when I need to talk to him about things regarding the kids or our life that I don't want the kids to hear. otherwise they will have a million questions because they're kids and the world seems to revolve around them. My DH and I also talk in private during the day when the kids are at school (the best time) or early mornings before they wake up. You just have to be creative. I noticed my children becoming more interested in our conversations around age 6.

IMO it's the sex that is hard to do now that they are getting older. I Have an older child that knows what sex is and is getting close to "that" age of liking the opposite sex and what not, so I want to sheild him as long as possible and certainly do not want one of my children walking in on us.

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#7 of 13 Old 02-23-2007, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
You need to decide what is private and make an effort to keep it private. If I'm going to have a conversation on the phone that isn't appropriate for my child to listen to, I excuse myself to someplace private in the house to have the conversation. If I have papers I don't want someone else to look at I put them way. I think it is unreasonable to expect a child to avoid listening to a conversation when you are having it in the same room they are in.

I would also say privacy is a courtesy to be extended to children as well. For example, our son knows we knock on his bedroom door just as we expect him to knock on ours.
I do agree that children need to be respected and given their own privacy. However, I do not agree with the fact that I should to go into a private room every time I want to talk on the phone. Sometimes I just want to shmooze as I cook dinner and we live in a small house and dd is within earshot. Dd has been known to follow me and dh into a private space when she is curious about what we are talking about. I don't want to feel like a prisoner in my own home.

I have been told that it only gets worse as they get older. I can imagine that is harder to have private time as a couple when the kids go to sleep later than you do!

ETA: We both work full time and have little time together when the kids aren't around.
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#8 of 13 Old 02-24-2007, 12:44 PM
 
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If this is bugging you, I would lay down some ground rules. I went through some of this with my daughters. I feel that reading over someone's shoulder (unless specifically invited) or listening in when asked not to are rude behaviors and so I felt comfortable telling my daughters that these actions were not acceptable. I also think it's a mistake to allow kids to do things at home that will be considered rude and nosy out in the world, it just sets them up for failure.

In practice when I had a small person leaning over my shoulder or listening in I would just say (in a nice tone of voice) something like: "I don't like it when you (insert action) why do you go find something else to do."

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#9 of 13 Old 02-24-2007, 07:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 3daughters View Post
I do agree that children need to be respected and given their own privacy. However, I do not agree with the fact that I should to go into a private room every time I want to talk on the phone. Sometimes I just want to shmooze as I cook dinner and we live in a small house and dd is within earshot. .
I don't understand what you want her to do. People aren't really equipped with an off switch for their ears. If something is in the same space you are in it is hard not to hear it. What is it that she should do?

I get that it is hard to keep up with friends when you are busy and working and being a parent but that's part of having kids. If you've been gone from your dd all day and she's been gone from you and from the public space of your house all day, it seems unreasonable to suggest she can't share that space for extended periods of time.

Quote:
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Dd has been known to follow me and dh into a private space when she is curious about what we are talking about. I don't want to feel like a prisoner in my own home..
Kids aren't born knowing everything they need to know and it is our job to teach them. It seems reasonable for me for a kid to want to be a part of your world and find out what you are interested in. When it is a problem it is time to talk about privacy and why it is important.
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#10 of 13 Old 02-24-2007, 09:01 PM
 
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HAHA my son does this too. I really dont care if he listens, I mean, if it is THAT private, I better talk about it/do it when he isnt around. I am super nosy too,so I understand. And, if I dont want him to listen I tell him that I need to talk private, if I couldnt get to my own private space at that time and he will put his ipod in/go outside/ go to his room,etc. That rarely ever happens though, as I dont really care what he hears. He is learning after all. Its not like I am talking about my sex life over the phone or anything. He probably would run a mile if he heard that too tho.

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#11 of 13 Old 02-25-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Cherie2 View Post
this was me at 8! I was so so nosey! I wanted to know everybody's business I would sit quietly and seem to be reading or something and take great pleasure listening to adult conversations .... I agree with the pp's advice ... just wanted to share how much I relate to your dd
I did this to my mother as well. She had a lot of intense conversations with her friends that I privied often. She would just answer my questions and tried not to make an issue of it. However, anything that was really secretive she did avoid discussing around me. I was a terrible eavesdropper as well because her friends (not her particularly) had interesting lives....

With my daughter, I try to avoid discussing things I would not want repeated around her, however, she is in on my converstations as long as she is respectful and does not interrupt adults while talking. I also do not discuss inappropriate things around her. However, she and her friends can have privacy until she says something mean or hurtful and I remind her not to do that.
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#12 of 13 Old 03-01-2007, 09:07 PM
 
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Gosh - I have one of those too.
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#13 of 13 Old 03-03-2007, 01:13 PM
 
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we have lots of kids in a small house...so this often happens, and they come up with 1/2 the convo or something...we are quick to let them know that the convo wasnt for them, and they are to stay out of it...or they need to find something else to do, as we are having an adults only convo...or we are on the phone, and unless someone is bleeding or dying, then they need to wait...it really depends on the child, the situation, and how important the convo is...the kids know not to look over our shoulders at the computer...that is a personal space thing to me, so its important to me...and they also know that any mail that comes into the house, whether it has their name on it or not, is ours...we do this for safety reasons that i wont go into at the moment, but since we (the adults) are paying for the house, then anything that comes into it is ours...when we have handed the mail to them, then they can do with it as they see fit...

if you would like your child to give you privacy about these things, then you should tell her...in the big bad world, people do not appreciate others who "ear-hussle" or do other things that invade personal space...that might need to be explained to her...if *you* are not comfortable with it, then explain that to her as well...it was ok when she was a small child, because she really didnt understand...now that she is older, its not ok...if she has questions about things, that is one thing...but if she is hussling for the sake of knowing the info, then thats not really ok...

peace...

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