Parenting Is Twice As Hard When You Can No Longer Speak In Code Around Your Kids‏

By  | 


As parents, we all wait on bated breath for that next incredible milestone to happen. When my kids were babies and toddlers, I got so excited over every new thing they learned and joyously told friends and family. Now that they are older, the milestones are fewer but no less significant. A big one in the school-age set is learning to spell and read. Once a kid can decipher spelled out words, a whole new world of knowledge is opened up to them. It’s a beautiful thing. However, little did I know how much harder life as a parent would become once we could no longer speak in code in front of our kids.

My daughter is seven and in second grade. She is an excellent reader and writer (shameless brag, I know) and has been for a few years now. As proud as we are, her literacy also has it’s drawbacks. Gone are the days where I could spell out “should we go for I-C-E C-R-E-A-M?” to my husband and have her be none the wiser. Gone are the days where we could practically spell out entire discussions in front of the kids about a brewing punishment or potential sleep-over at Nana and Papa’s house. We now have to either retreat to another room (which only further piques her interest) or wait until the kids are in bed. Conversations are put on “pause” in our house every day and often, we don’t end up resolving them. When the kids are in bed and you are forced to choose between finally catching up on your Netflix queue or hashing out the day’s suspended discussions with your spouse, what do you think wins out more often?

Don’t get me wrong, I would rather she do well in school and have strong reading and spelling skills than continue to be oblivious solely for my convenience, but it is one more wrinkle for a marriage to have to tip-toe around and find new ways to communicate. Before she got wise to us, we could talk about anything covertly but now, many things are off-limits. It’s only getting worse as her kindergarten brother is catching up to her.

I guess the biggest take-away from this development is the need for parents to have time alone through date nights or even just setting aside time each evening to talk before the Netflix comes on. We do make an effort but some days, the exhaustion takes over. And that’s ok. There’s always tomorrow night.

(Image: /Shutterstock)