Why is it so Bad?

PolyinPractice

New member
I hear a lot of people saying you have to protect kids from new partners. You don't want them connecting, and then losing them from their lives. I get that with, say, a divorced parent whose specifically seeking a romantic partner.

But what's so wrong with the kids being used to seeing friends of their parents come in and out? What's so wrong with kids seeing their dad bring over a female friend? I get that in a monogamous household, the wife would get super jealous. But the KIDS don't get jealous.

Wouldn't it be healthier if the kids were used to seeing one or both parents with another person of the same or opposite sex? That way, if and when one of those relationships deepens, that person has a natural "in" with the family. The kids think nothing of it, don't have to suspect a romantic issue...and when they get old enough to understand, they'll be comfortable. Otherwise, if you only introduce the person when they are a committed partner (or whatever the rules might be), the kids take notice, because there's something new going on. And what better way for a married person with kids to find someone who can fit into the family? (I know for a fact it can be very difficult for married with kids to find time to date.)

Am I wrong in this?
 

london

Banned
Loss happens enough. I don't need to increase the amount unnecessarily.
 

JaneQSmythe

Well-known member
I don't have kids - so this isn't something that I have to experience directly.

But, I often wonder when reading the threads about not introducing dating partners to kids until things are more established - do parents do the same thing with non-romantic friends, extended family, co-workers, etc.?

I remember as a kids that there was a family that my parents were friends with that with kids our age that we saw on a regular basis for several years, until they got transferred out of state. I don't recall that any of us were particularly traumatized. Maybe at one point one of us may have asked - "Hey, how come we haven't seen the Jones' in a while." and the answer would have been "Remember, sweetie, they moved to Oregon last September - you can write them a letter if you like." "Oh, OK."

Or the relatives that you only see a few times a year...or the co-workers who come over for the occasional summer BBQ...etc.

Kids themselves will often have "temporary" friendships based on circumstance - summer friends at camp, or scouting events, or dance class, Sunday school, etc. - where they don't necessarily see those friends outside of certain settings.

People come and go in and out of our lives all of the time - it's natural. I would think that healthy, well-adjusted kids, who are confident in their knowledge that they are loved and cherished by their immediate family would have little trouble adjusting to the normal fluctuations of social interaction.
 
My oldest we told we were poly to a few months ago when bassman realized he is serious about wild orchid. Our family has been to her house once. Our 8 yo knows dad goes to wild orchid and the hunter's home for sleepovers. The youngest almost three has been with dad and wild orchid quite a bit. Although I'm not fully ready for love share in front of our kids (the oldest two get grossed out by PDA between bassman and I so not appropriate to push the kids' boundaries with a new lover). I want my kiddos to have my metamour in their lives. I like her, respect her, trust her and knowing she truly loves kids has helped me want her in their lives. I have no worry she's trying to replace me and I'm their momma but for them to get more love from more adults is truly healthy for them emotionally and intellectually. For me, having lovers in my kids lives isn't about my boundaries but respecting their individual boundaries.

Edit:

As far as when a relationship ends well why would any parent "protect" their child from something that is normal? People come and go in our lives all the time. We moved 8 hours away from my family and our friends. We don't see them often. Has it been detrimental to my kids, absolutely not. Have there been times we've had to discuss why we don't see so and so anymore (with the boy since he was 5 when we moved),? Yes but that's a part of parenting and part of raising healthy well adjusted children.

Try explaining to the 5 yo who thought moving to a state over still meant he lives in the USA when he thought WA state was the only state ever. Took a year to get that to sink in.
 
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Atlantis

Active member
People come and go in and out of our lives all of the time - it's natural. I would think that healthy, well-adjusted kids, who are confident in their knowledge that they are loved and cherished by their immediate family would have little trouble adjusting to the normal fluctuations of social interaction.

I agree with this.
My family live overseas, as do many friends so they see them rarely or on Skype.
My Roomie lived on the sofa for 3 weeks, ( not a romantic partner) they didn't think anything of it.

As for romantic partners, there is not much difference.
They met Yo in social circumstances with his daughter. Prof has had a couple of over nights when they have been here and my oldest sees him in the evening sometimes. My sis and her hubby are visiting Prof is coming out for dinner with us. I am sure if Prof disappeared they wouldn't particularly notice, as they won't really notice when my sister goes. We probably wont see her in person for another couple of years.
I had one ex where the kids asked about his dog, never mentioned the man.:)
They have met 3 bfs over the course of 3 years, so they certainly don't meet everyone that I date.
I never PDA, so romantic partners are the same as any other of my friends in their eyes.

As they get older things will require more explanation, and I will reply as is age appropriate.

People come and go, such is life.
 

Inyourendo

New member
You never know if someone is a creep. I wouldn't even bring new friends around my kids until bi really got to know them first
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
Depends on the child.
My oldest child was very outgoing and she handled people coming and going very well.
My youngest is NOT outgoing at all, very introverted, very shy and very clingy. She doesn't handle it well AT ALL.

Maca had a lady he met online, who was going to be alone for Christmas. She came over to hang out. But-within a week or so, they had a falling out and she disappeared from our lives. Our youngest child STILL asks after her-very emotional and upset about her absence. She met her one time.
But-to Sour Pea-if someone is HERE, they are family. She doesn't understand them leaving and never reappearing, not being contactable by phone etc.

It depends entirely on the child and the child's needs.

It IS important that children learn to deal with the ins and outs of real life. But it's important that it's learned in a way that is productive for them, not damaging.

A similar circumstance is overnight stays (for kids). My oldest child was spending the night with other people before she was two. At age two she took a 2 week trip to the opposite side of the country with her grandparents-no problems.
My youngest child wasn't comfortable spending the night with my mom (who lives a few miles from us) until after she was 5 years old. She absolutely didn't do overnights anywhere but with one of her four parents-ever. The emotional meltdown, the terror, was all horrendous for her and everyone else. At five, she decided she wanted to sleep over at grandma's. A month or so later she spent the night with her best friend (who has been in her life since birth). Now she regularly does overnights (she's 6.5).

Kids are people, individual people and they have individual needs just like the rest of us. What works for one, doesn't work for another. There is no "blanket" decision that will work for all poly families in regards to kids.
In our house, friends and family come and go to the house regularly-we are very open and social. But-new people don't spend time with the kids without the group being together. So for example, a new "friend" (or lover) might be invited over to a GROUP social event, like a bbq, where there were 30-50 people over. So that their presence is "watered down" by the surrounding "known" people for all of the kids.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
You never know if someone is a creep. I wouldn't even bring new friends around my kids until bi really got to know them first

And this-toooooo many studies have shown that new partners are HIGH potential for sexual abuse of children.
WHY RISK IT.

Just because they caught your fancy-does NOT mean that you have evaluated enough information to know if they are actually safe for your family. People by nature put their "best foot forward" when they meet someone new.
I want to know what their WORST foot is like before I risk my kids.
 

PolyinPractice

New member
@Atlantis and JaneQ,

I feel very similarly to you.

As for the other concerns, I can understand not wanting to expose kids to harm. I guess it never occurred to me that I would bring someone into my house that I don't trust, never mind if there are kids present or not.
 
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PolyinPractice

New member
I had one ex where the kids asked about his dog, never mentioned the man.:).

Hehe. Totally. We think that kids will attach themselves to our partner, because, I mean, the guy is awesome, how could they not? But truthfully, they might like to play with a new friend, but don't care if they never see him again.

I actually had a metamour try to force her kids to like a boyfriend, as a weird kind of validation that she had chosen the right guy. That did NOT go over well.
 

SchrodingersCat

Active member
But what's so wrong with the kids being used to seeing friends of their parents come in and out? What's so wrong with kids seeing their dad bring over a female friend? I get that in a monogamous household, the wife would get super jealous. But the KIDS don't get jealous.

Auto and I have had a lot of talks about this, since she's got kids and they're quite fond of me and Cue (and Bookie).

Her stance is that people come and go. That's life. Sooner or later, you have to learn that relationships end, and it's not the end of the world. She views teaching this lesson as part of her role as parent. That doesn't mean she deliberately brings people in just to break their hearts or something. She just doesn't treat them like porcelain dolls.

It's not like this is a uniquely poly issue. Friends, teachers, co-workers, neighbours, even family... There are no guarantees that anyone will be there tomorrow. Just ask my mom, whose sister just died for no apparent reason, with no warning, was healthy and active, just died in her sleep one night.

To me, it all falls under the "You can't protect your kids from life" umbrella. If you teach kids how to deal with disappointment when they're young and resilient, they become more adept at handling it when it "really counts."

I'll also mention that early in our relationship, probably before I even met the kids, she made it epically clear that they had more than enough parents and that other partners will not have any kind of parental role. To the kids, we're friends. They know about our romances, but our relationship to the kids is no different than that of a family friend.
 
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LovingRadiance

Active member
@Atlantis and JaneQ,

I feel very similarly to you.

As for the other concerns, I can understand not wanting to expose kids to harm. I guess it never occurred to me that I would bring someone into my house that I don't trust, never mind if there are kids present or not.

The thing is; I wouldn't bring someone in the house I don't trust, and thatis precisely why it isn't ok for my partners to bring new people in the house to meet our kids-the fact that THEIR libido is revving does not in any way mean I trust the person they are interested in.
In a poly dynamic like ours-three adults in the house all free to date others; they could *believe* someone is trustworthy because they WANT them to be as they are caught up in NRE. BUt that doesn't mean they ARE trustworthy.
And in fact at least 2 of the 4 women who Maca has been interested in proved themselves NOT trustworthy. One requiring legal action to deal with. :/

So while i hallen to be *generally* very outgoing and social; we learned that trusting his perception of women wasn't a good idea and we tightenedthe stricture of who is welcome to come here and when.

The guys have never had that issue with me; because i won't date someone who hasn't been a friend for at least a year anyway. By which point they have already established themselves as a friend in our GROUP.
But maca tends to prefer to have sex before deciding if dating is an option AND he tends to move faster-in the realm of meeting, a dinner date third date is play time. That is simply NOT enough time to guage someone's REAL self well enough to be bringing them home to the family.
 

london

Banned
The thing is; I wouldn't bring someone in the house I don't trust, and thatis precisely why it isn't ok for my partners to bring new people in the house to meet our kids-the fact that THEIR libido is revving does not in any way mean I trust the person they are interested in.
In a poly dynamic like ours-three adults in the house all free to date others; they could *believe* someone is trustworthy because they WANT them to be as they are caught up in NRE. BUt that doesn't mean they ARE trustworthy.
And in fact at least 2 of the 4 women who Maca has been interested in proved themselves NOT trustworthy. One requiring legal action to deal with. :/

So while i hallen to be *generally* very outgoing and social; we learned that trusting his perception of women wasn't a good idea and we tightenedthe stricture of who is welcome to come here and when.

The guys have never had that issue with me; because i won't date someone who hasn't been a friend for at least a year anyway. By which point they have already established themselves as a friend in our GROUP.
But maca tends to prefer to have sex before deciding if dating is an option AND he tends to move faster-in the realm of meeting, a dinner date third date is play time. That is simply NOT enough time to guage someone's REAL self well enough to be bringing them home to the family.
Absolutely. This is why its important to have tdhe time to get to know new people away from your kids or you'll never find anyone suitable. So vital for poly parents.
 

PolyinPractice

New member
But....I DO trust my partners. I suppose I'm in a different spot...they aren't MY kids. So even if they brought a new partner around them that I didn't like, well, it's not my place to tell them who they can and can't have in their house. But I honestly trust that they won't bring "creeps" around the family. Is that naive of me?

Anyway.

Still, my original point was more about having friends over. I like that my partner's kids are totally comfortable with me coming over whenever, yet have no idea a romantic relationship exists.

How does one achieve that, except by the kids used to people coming and going? I'm really open to hearing other options; as I would like to be able to tell my partner about them. I myself am not able to come up with anything :p and this is an issue, actually, for us.

Or am I paranoid that the kids "finding out" will be problematic for them? (At least for now, when they are too young to understand)?
 

london

Banned
The thing is that as much as parents think they conceal things, they often leave their kids in a position where they know they are being lied to or excluded from the truth and consequently are reluctant to ask. My son knows my friends because we have a wide but close knit network so new people stick out.

My son has met my current partner as a friend. I worked hard to make sure I treated him like a friend. I wasn't sure it worked until he asked me when I will get a boyfriend and if im a lesbian now.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
Yeah-that is a different spot.
Our friends do come over.

The difference is-that Maca makes friends MUCH SLOWER than I do, whereas he can find a fb in a few seconds flat.
It took years for him to bring coworkers around. My friends, most of them have been in my life for 20+ years. New acquaintances (from school or work etc) like I said, are invited to group social events. Those are in our home (we often do large group events). But they aren't as "personal". So the kids can get to know them, without feeling like this person is part of a personal family affair.

My bf lived with us the last 11 years. Maca's girlfriend was social with the kids too.

I trusted Maca-until two different women he "got the hots for" turned out to be bad apples. Then it was obvious to him, me and GG that when his libido is involved, extra precautions need to be considered-because what is "safe" for him to have as a sex partner, isn't necessarily safe for anyone else to be socializing with.

Additionally, we are out. So even if they don't know the person, they do know if we are going out on a romantic date and they do know when someone is MORE than a friend.
It's rather obvious when daddy is cuddling up with someone on the couch and they are kissing-that they aren't "Just friends" because daddy doesn't DO that with friends.
 

Dagferi

Well-known member
I don't even bring new friends around my kids unless it is a large social affair.

Why because I do not know them and my children are precious and it is my job to keep the home life safe, secure, and stable.

Only people who are around my children at my home are Murf, my boss who its also my friend of 20 yrs, his long term girlfriend, and a handful of other long term friends. New people we socialize with outside the home. Everyone is on their best behavior until they truly know you.
 

SchrodingersCat

Active member
In the cases where children have been harmed, I'm confused... are people leaving their kids alone with their partners? I'm having trouble seeing how much damage someone can do to your kid when you're right there with them.

I would rather find out sooner than later if there are any questionable traits regarding my partners and their interactions with my kids. The closer you get to someone, the less like you are to see their shortcomings, and the more likely you are to forgive them or brush them off as flukes. Whereas when someone is new and you're still making up your mind, you'll notice every little thing. At least that's how it is for me...

If your kid tells you that someone hurt them after you just met them, you'd trust your kid and send the person packing. But if you've been with that person for two years and they've only ever shown you one side, then you're more likely to say "no, he's not like that" and just assume that your kid is feeling threatened. At least, those are the stories I've heard...

Put another way, "Stranger Danger" was one of the most harmful campaigns in regards to protecting children from abuse and molestation. The vast majority of abusers are close friends or family.
 

london

Banned
It isn't just about them being abusive. They might just be unsuitable. Or fleeting.
 
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