Poly with a tween - thoughts on communicating to kids

Misty and I are in agreement that our daughter should know before meeting Franco again, but we disagree that she should know before Misty goes on another trip to see her "friend" Franco and kids. Telling her would require telling Misty's parents; if we tell our daughter she can't talk about it with family, it's just going to send a shameful message, right?

To me, 12 is old enough to learn not to "out" people, and learn that you don't tell someone else's news. No, you don't keep a secret if it is hurting you or hurting someone. You find a safe grown up to tell and get help. But someone being LGBTQ+, poly, or in therapy for X, struggling with illness, having a baby, getting ready to quit/change their job, or whatever-- these are things that aren't your story to tell.

In MS, kids are telling each other confidences all the time. Your kid has to be able to differentiate between an "okay secret" and a "bad secret." They learn this from YOU. So teach them.
  • Keeping Grandma's present a secret until her actual birthday when we give it to her: That's not hurting anyone. But telling ruins the surprise for Grandma.
  • Keeping the friend's confidence that they are gay quiet because they want to be able to tell their own news to one safe person at a time-- That's not hurting anyone. But telling could open them up to bullies who are not safe.
  • But if a kid has a gun in their locker and says they plan to shoot their PE class-- tell a teacher! Keeping quiet might lead to people getting shot.
Respecting that someone told you they are poly, but that they want to be the one to tell their own story to other people, I think 12-year-olds can get that.

It's your story to tell, and you will tell each of your parents when you're ready. You got to tell your news to Kid, right? You are asking Kid to let you tell your own story to people one at a time.

And if the point of contention is one trip away, how big of a deal is it? Is the trip next month, and after that, you will tell Kid?

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Also, if Franco really does plan to move to your area sometime soon, it will be time to be out. How will Misty explain his presence in her life to her friends around town? How would Franco feel about being introduced as a family friend instead of who he really is? What if people see Misty out to a romantic dinner with Franco, or see her out with Franco and the kids at some kid-friendly event? Will they think she's cheating on you? What about making Franco really part of her family, wanting him at extended family events, holiday dinners, vacations, and the like?

One of our members here, Kevin, lives with his gf and her husband in a V. They aren't out to most. They are under the radar. But they don't have kids, and aren't close with their own parents, aunts, uncles, etc. (Maybe one or two adult siblings know the truth.) Also, they live in a city new to them, where they have no history, so if anyone sees the 3 of them out to dinner, there's no reason to think they aren't one couple and a platonic friend, or three friends.

How do you think your parents and Misty's parents will feel, and what do you think they will do, when they are told?
Oh I'm so not an American any more! Totally went over my head
To GG’s credit, she actually used publishing style and defined it on first usage within the text. But I had to go back and be sure I was right and hadn’t assumed.
To GG’s credit, she actually used publishing style and defined it on first usage within the text. But I had to go back and be sure I was right and hadn’t assumed.
Yes, I saw that. But I am an editor and real nitpicky lol