I’m glad that their children can’t hear them.
“Do you have children?”
After three, four, five years of this it comes easily to their lips, like “Do you want room for cream?” No.
I understand, now, the protection behind their secrecy, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. They say the best way to hurt the impervious is through the things or people the tough guy loves, such as his children or his girlfriend. Isn’t that the stuff comics are made of? My students don’t see the connection between their lives and Marvel characters, but they do understand the best way to protect themselves and their child(ren) is to deny them.
While I get this, try explaining to a nine-year-old why his daddy denies his existence. His impressionable heart doesn’t care about safety as much as love.