Instant Parenting Advice
Join our mailing list and get instant access to:
  • Child behavior tips
  • Course samples
  • Exclusive discounts
  • And more!

"That's None of Your Business!" When Your Young Child Eavesdrops

Posted by Melissa A

I should be thankful that E’s hearing is so good that he is able to pick up our grown-up conversations. However, we’ve reached a point where we have to almost whisper in each other’s ear or come up with code words. This is because E has become really nosy all of a sudden.

I’m not even sure when it started, but my husband and I would be having a conversation and E would interrupt to tell us what he thought we were talking about. Sometimes he picked up a lot of our conversation and other times he completely misconstrued it to the point of it being like playing “telephone.” However, these are not conversations he has to be privy to. Sometimes my husband will bring up an issue from work and E will start asking questions about various words and sentences he picks up on. We have to tell him “none of your business” several times in one sitting. And we can’t even spell anything because he’s good at spelling now. If we do, we have to whisper the letters to each other. He sometimes picks up on a few of the letters but doesn’t know what he’s even talking about. We’ve abbreviated certain words as a result. We knew we had to be really careful when discussing our surprise vacation plans, which were a surprise for him. My husband had to give really cryptic clues when he brought it up to our friends. (Thankfully, E didn’t figure out the surprise until we actually told him.)

Then there’s the backseat driving. I know most of where I’m going in the nearby area and my husband has a GPS. However, E thinks we have no idea where we’re going and will say so over and over again. The other day, I told him that until he gets his license, he has to just trust that we know where we’re going. This makes me glad he didn’t know the surprise vacation plans or he probably would have told us we didn’t know how to get there either!

I understand being inquisitive and curious, but I also think some barriers need to be in place. He should not have to worry about grown-up issues, nor should he be straining to hear what we’re trying to spell out in order to have any semblance of an adult conversation. Sure, we could save some of this for when the kids are in bed. We do that sometimes. However, some things come up and we’ll forget them if we don’t say them to each other right away.

Is this normal with seven year-olds? What did you do when you encountered these kinds of situations with your kids?


About Melissa A

Melissa A. and her husband have 2 young sons, E and M, and a new baby daughter. Melissa's son E has hearing loss and wears a cochlear implant. Melissa works as an administrative assistant for a non-profit and also runs a bullying prevention group and a book-related fan group, in addition to blogging for Empowering Parents. You can check out Melissa’s personal blog here.

Like What You're Reading?
Sign up for the FREE Empowering Parents newsletter to receive special offers and more content like this.
We will not share your information with anyone.