I have this horrid fear of scarring my children by accidentally exposing them to *ahem* adult play time. I’m pretty diligent about making sure our bedroom door is locked, even if the kids are in bed. Still we’ve been interrupted several times with plaintive cries of “Mommy, Daddy…” and tiny hands poking under the door. Talk about a mood killer.
Whether you’ve experienced the sheer horror of your little ones walking in while you are getting busy or you’re pretty sure it’s only a matter of time, there are a few ways to handle the situation that will alleviate the embarrassment and keep information age appropriate.
How to handle kids interrupting adult time
Young kids: If you get interrupted by kids under the age of 3, you probably won’t have much “‘Splanin to do Lucy.” According to Web MD, you should ask your kid what they saw (or thought they saw). Most kids this age may mistakenly think daddy is hurting mommy. Keeping answers age appropriate is pretty simple. “Mommy and Daddy were just playing,” is a perfectly fine response. Kids under 7 or 8 don’t need to know much of anything about sex. So just let them know that you were both having fun and teach them to knock on your door before they come in.
Between 8-10: You may have already talked to your child about sex. If you haven’t, it might be a good time to think about it. You can simply explain that mommy and daddy enjoy spending time together in a different way. You’re probably safe with sticking to the scientific explanation for now. At this age your child really should know to knock. According to an interview with Psychotherapist Jennifer Naparstek Klein, “Always follow your child’s lead on what they can handle, if they get too uncomfortable with sex talk, save it for a later time.”
Tweens-Teens: Your kids will probably act disgusted and walk away. Simply reinforce that they need to knock before entering. If you are caught somewhere other than your room, you may want to ask them if they want to talk about it or let them know you understand that are embarrassed (and it’s okay to admit you were a little embarrassed too!)
Your best bet for avoiding the awkward tango-talk is to put a lock on your bedroom door and keep it in the bedroom when you know your kids could come home. I never really understood parents who refused to shut their doors, even when the kids are asleep. Get some privacy, your children will survive if they can’t see you for as long as it takes to throw on some knickers and unlock the door!