Children and Polyamory: Merged Threads, General Discussion

cjj23464

New member
Ok so another question is what about the kids. How do I explain this lifestyle to them? Mine are all old enough to question additional "interests" if you will. I don't want to cause them any confusion or pain.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
Hi again..I am pretty opinionated about your story so I will sit back and hopefully someone else will be able to help. I asked my girlfriend Redpepper to take a look at your situation and hopefully she will have a helpful perspective.
Take care
 

redpepper

New member
I replied in another post about kids... but here is some more...

I have a six year old that considers "mono" part of his family. He said he would be okay with him being part of his family as I have explained to him before that we can choose who we want in our family and that they can choose us.

My long time friend and ex-girlfriend is part of our family, she helped me through child birth and is a constant in our lives. I had chosen her to be so and she choose us. She had a girl friend for a good number of years that was also chosen by us, but when they recently broke up she choose to leave our family. I told him that it is her choice and that we will love her regardless of her choice.

I don't have older kids, but I go a lot by my gut feeling on things. I know that for me and my husband, "mono" is a perfect fit, and we have chosen him to be in our family for as long as he wants to be. We have chosen him for life and he us. My boy has accepted this and has welcomed him with open arms and all the love he can muster.

I am very proud that I have taught my child respect for individuality, different genders, races, sexual orientation and for himself. I did this by living it. It wasn't until I had a child I realized how important it is to do this if we are to raise good people to look after the planet and ourselves into the future.

Having said this I feel strongly that it is very important not to tell your kids about our poly relationships or struggles within it, unless some major hurdles have been crossed and there is a sense of comfort, continuation, respect, balance, and caring from all those adults involved. Kids don't need to know our "BS" at any age. It isn't their responsibility to take it on and deal with the stress of it, it's ours. cjj, I think you and your husband have tons of work to do before telling them anything!
 

Quath

New member
For us, we are keeping it from the kids until they are adults. Personally, I think it depends on the kids and their age. If they are young enough, they will accept it as normal if you act like it is normal. The big hurdle is letting them know that others may judgemental. (This is similar to shat children of gay parents had to go through until it became more sociaally acceptable.)

If they are older, they probably have accepted a lot of society's values. so it could be a lot harder. You can either hide it from them or sit down with them and explain everything. (You can talk about the intimacy and you don't explicitely have to mention sex.)
 

redpepper

New member
For us, we are keeping it from the kids until they are adults. Personally, I think it depends on the kids and their age. If they are young enough, they will accept it as normal if you act like it is normal (You can talk about the intimacy and you don't explicitely have to mention sex.)

I think with my son he sees that I just love people and especially his Daddy. I don't show too much affection towards anyone else, although I am a very touchy person, so it shouldn't be a big surprise to him. I am speaking about family and love within it rather than sex. I am leaving him to question sex when he is ready. When he is ready I will answer directly and without emotion or judgment, no matter what he asks. I am sure he will ask about mono and if he does, so be it... I will answer. Keeping anything from him is out of the question as I could not call myself poly if I were. Of course I won't go into details, but will keep to the facts and make sure he knows that loving people can be intimate under certain circumstances.
 

Quath

New member
Back when I was in a triad, both women had children. They were 5 years or younger. So they did not see anything weird about the adults sleeping in one bed. As far as they were concerned, it was just a big slumber party. We talked about what we would say to the kids. We came up with something similar to what you just said, Redpepper. You don't have to go into detail, but if they are asking, then it seems they are ready for some of the knowledge.

On the downside of this, one of the women's ex-husband tried to get custody of the children. The main reason was that he was not paying child support and if he had custody, he could avoid jail. The triad had broke up by that point, but he tried to use that as a reason to get the kids. Luckily that didn't get much traction.

He converted back to being Mormon and got the community behind him to get the kids away from their mother because she was an atheist. The Mormon community worked with him to get the kids though some lies and deceit. The mother seemed like she was going to get the kids back until she ran out of money for her lawyer. (Little off tangent here. :) )
 

Lemondrop

New member
The most important thing for us is to not act as if we're doing anything "wrong". My quad had a long-term commitment in place before we told my oldest, who is 14. He had a little (negative) experience with polyamory through friends, but we had a LOT of long talks with him and hopefully he's feeling more secure and we tried to reassure him that this just means more love for him.

With the younger kids, we just try to reinforce that these people are in our lives for the long haul. None of them seem freaked out by the fact that we all sleep in the same bed when we're together. We discuss the possibility of moving onto the same property together, but we've passed on living in the same house for the time being. Every once in a while when one of the younger kids tries something sly like asking me (the pushover) for something that their parents have told them no about, I joke about being the junior wife and they seem to think that's funny. So far, so good.

I see it kind of like introducing step-parents into their lives--you want to make sure that everyone is committed to the happiness and health of the kids.
 

Nadine

New member
poly with kids?

It looks like most of you here don't have young children living with you? I've only been reading a few things, having a bit of a struggle finding where to jump in since I'm so new to the whole thing.
Anyway, I'm just concerned mostly about children in a poly family. With the social stigmas I'm really feeling like this is something I need to hide from my kids and family but I don't want to.
Anyone been there, have any stories or advice, or whatever?
I know I should do the whole cross that bridge when I get there thing but i'm a thinker by nature and love to overthink things
 

aussielover

New member
Hey Nadine,
I can understand your concern. Sunshinegrl and Aussiebloke have young children and I will be coming into their family. It hasn't happened yet, so all we have to go on is theory, but they're planning on letting them know I'm more than a friend living with them, or 'aunt' ..... Hopefully one of them can speak more on it, but again, we haven't actually gotten that far yet. Not until I finally get home, or just before.
Good luck. Hopefully some others can share their experiences
 

redpepper

New member
I have a six year old boy. He knows that we chose our family and they chose us. Starting with choosing each other to marry. We have blood family and chosen heart family.

My husband and I started our relationship in poly about 12 years ago and the woman I was with at the time we brought him into our relationship is still a big part of our lives. We are not sexual, but in every way we consider her family and love her dearly... he knows she is family also and sees Mono, my other primary, the same way.

There is no need for him to know that we are sexual. He doesn't know what that is yet and it will be discussed at his pace. I don't believe in telling kids stuff until it is something that they bring up, or it fits a conversation. For instance we recently went to the local Pride parade. We have been going for years and he has always been told that we go to celebrate having love in our hearts for all different types of people. This year we talked about it again before going. We told him that he can love whomever he chooses, just as we love Mono and our ex even thought they are not a part of our blood family.

He told us how much he loves them and that he loves us too and his friend at school... it was our opportunity to tell him the reason for the parade and also to fit a word in about the increased presence of Mono, my other primary, in his life and allow him to love him also in his own way.
 

Mark1npt

New member
Nothing wrong with a good education, Redpepper. Love to see parents do some actual parenting!

Our kids are off to college, one is pretty open sexually and the other very tight. We are choosing to wait to tell them about our "V" until we are all very secure in our "V" and at the same time they are gaining familiarity with the 3 of us great friends living under the same roof. It makes it easier for us and them because my other life love has vacationed and lived across the street with us their whole lives. Familiarity should take the edge off the news for them and make it easier.
 

Nadine

New member
thanks for the input guys.
I hate to in ANY way complicate my child's life, or make him more "different" or whatever. While I know in the long run it's what is best sometimes you strive so hard to just avoid ANY sort of thing that can cause them hurt.
I'm really hoping to learn from you guys, especially the more open ones. I doubt there will be much openness with my bf's family, since they are mostly closed minded mormons however I would like to not have to hide it otherwise.
 

DestinyWaits

New member
We have 2 normal, well rounded teens who have not been traumatized by the fact that they have always known their parents were poly. At first we introduced our others as friends then the kids would just get used to seeing them there but as they got older we would tell them the truth, to them this was just normal so they were cool with it. We chose, when we started having kids, to never lie to our kids or hide anything from them but as with any "marriage" what goes on behind closed doors stays there (ie, we don't discuss our sex life with the children). I have always taught my kids to be who and what they are and to do and be that which will make them proud of themselves. I have also taught them never to let anyone else dictate how they feel about themselves or the things they do (though I do think staying within the confines of the law is good :D ;)) I have also tried to instill in them the wisdom to make choices wisely and with an open mind because closed minds are minds that have no way to reach beyond the mundane and there is so much more out there.
 

XYZ123

New member
N and I have a 5 year old boy and a baby on the way. We've only had the one poly relationship, which was a V with me at the center. But the three of us (N, P, and myself) were all very loving and affectionate. He knew P since birth and had always been comfortable with her. When the relationship went beyond friendship he didn't know about that aspect of it. As was said before, what goes on behind closed doors in any marriage remains there. All he knew was that mommy and daddy were happy and Aunt P was around more and he got to have more people who loved him and paid attention to him around more often. He was actually affected more after P left our relationship and pretty much our lives. He missed her and still asks about her over a year later.

Our son has always been raised around friends of differing race, religion, and sexual preference so it isn't unusual for him to see two women or two men together in the same way it isn't unusual for him to see an interracial couple. He's happy when he sees happy people. I think we would have allowed more detail of the relationship come out at his pace had it lasted.

Still, I have a difficult time reconciling being poly with being the mother of young children. I understand what you mean about not wanting them to be viewed as "different". N and I discuss it often, even without any other relationships going on. What it usually comes down to is that we need to be comfortable being ourselves with our children if we are ever to hope to teach them to be comfortable with who they become, whatever that may be.
 

redpepper

New member
thank you destiny and xyz for your words... it is so great to know that what I am doing as a mother actually works! and that others are as open and honest about their lives also. It's so true that we, as parents, can only be ourselves and model happiness and our own personal way of doing things, whatever that means to us...
 

Nadine

New member
Being around others is definitely helping me to feel more comfortable with it. I have to admit, there's not a lot of "alternative" scenes here in Idaho, no matter how hard I look. I've found a few *tiny* groups.. and I'm hoping to find more. I think maybe normalizing it personally will help. A lot.
I love your input. Thank you
 

Mark1npt

New member
America's way of life is based on God and religion. All family life is based around that premise. Sure there are more and more people with each generation (like myself) who are eschewing those old ways and setting off on new trails (like the poly community of today) but it may well take many more generations and a more widespread disinclination toward formal religion, for any major mainstreaming of the poly lifestyle to occur. Of course, radical changes to our way of life by global catastrophe, food shortages, economic collapse, etc would throw many of us together into communal like communities quicker and maybe hasten the overall change in society leading to more poly, but I digress!

Sorry to get off topic. For now, all we can do for our kids is teach and lead by example. If they see love and respect, they'll be loving and respectful. Sounds like some of you fellow parents here are doing a fine job. To the others, it can be daunting and take more time to teach and acclimate your kids to doing things differently in society, but it can have great rewards. We do it already in many ways by teaching about avoiding drugs or driving drunk, etc. What's a little more teaching or parenting?
 
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DestinyWaits

New member
M1 is absolutley right. You can have faith and be at peace with God without religion...yes? If what children see (and are raised in) is a loving and commited relationship then that is what they will become,that is what they will emulate.
 

redpepper

New member
If what children see (and are raised in) is a loving and commited relationship then that is what they will become,that is what they will emulate.

Even better if they are raised by the community we create for them! I grew up in church and it was my community. Now my boy is being raised in a community also of loving adults that care about each other and also his well being...with out the religion....

he is so lucky :) it makes me so happy. I waited a long time to have a child specifically so I would be in a place to give him everything. I really am glad I waited until I was strong and well rounded so that I knew what I wanted and could then offer him anything and everything. Lots of close loving people around him was on top of the list!
 
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