It's not just poly. "what to tell the children" came up at the MS brunch I went to. It's seems that treating it like it's normal and not hiding it is the best way to go with young kids. Mommy has 'issues' and needs a cane sometimes. Mommy has a date and it's ok with daddy. Of course, you can't always start them off young... but if you can, it seems best to their just accepting the difference.
|Date:||December 5th, 2004 02:49 pm (UTC)|| |
|Date:||December 5th, 2004 04:41 pm (UTC)|| |
(reposted to correct numerous grammatical errors and missing words. always prufereede. *facepalm*)
I think a lot of the concern has less to do with "what the children think" or "how the children might be affected" than the combination of three facts: (1) that many children are naturally talkative about their home life, and are not yet of an age where they can exercise discretion in what they discuss outside the home (2) that polyamory has not yet won acceptance in mainstream society and (3) the news media periodically report apparently arbitrary and capricious instances of "the baby police" (Department of Child Services, or whatever it's known as locally) taking kids away from their parents for the "crime" of belonging to a nonmainstream subculture. (being gay/lesbian, being into BDSM, being poly, or whatever.)
The scenario where a child makes a casual remark to a classmate about "daddy's girlfriend" or whatever that gets overheard by a teacher, with the ensuing alarmist reactions from school officials and DSS about the child possibly being exposed to Something Unhealthy, is all too easy to visualize.
|Date:||December 5th, 2004 05:19 pm (UTC)|| |
|Date:||December 5th, 2004 05:27 pm (UTC)|| |
I've always found it easier to deal with people if you "out" yourself first as well.
It's hard for someone to call me a sinful perverted weirdo when I've already brought out the bullhorn and the brass band to announce it.
|Date:||December 5th, 2004 11:21 pm (UTC)|| |
Hooray for perverted weirdos everywhere!
I would think the most difficult part for children is the loss when a relationship with an SO who has been around a lot or bonded with the kids doesn't work out. It probably depends somewhat on the age of the kids. It is the same problem I would have if I were a single parent; I would be extremely hesitant to introduce anyone I dated to my son, and very likely wouldn't date until he was much older or grown. Taking risks with my feelings is one thing; with my child's is quite another.
I suspect some of the best situations for kids are long-term polyfi where the family has been together since the kids could talk. A long-term study comparing adjustment of kids in those families to kids in 2-parent families would be very interesting.
|Date:||December 6th, 2004 06:46 pm (UTC)|| |
You must be fortunate enough to only date mature people who are still friendly and polite after breakup.
I must say, that has not been my history! Hence my plan to avoid relationships should I be in the position of raising my son alone.
This happened to a friend of mine recently too - the person she was very serious with simply never called again. No idea what he told his kids about the end of the relationship; good thing she doesn't have kids to be hurt by this man never speaking to them again.
I count you lucky and better at picking 'em than I am. I'll stick to my original plan - I lucked out once, that's going to have to do for me.
|Date:||December 5th, 2004 05:18 pm (UTC)|| |
As a really really non-polyamorous person, I must admit that I've been saying for years now that most households need three adults in them these days. Two to win the bread and one to look after house and children. I'd happily be the one to stay home. I really prefer a tidy house and go (more) crazy very quickly in a messy one.
Single parents? I don't know how they do it. I am thoroughly in awe of the ones that I've seen do it gracefully.
|Date:||December 5th, 2004 11:24 pm (UTC)|| |
Some non-poly people live together for reasons like this--but darned few. There's that whole bond of love and affection thing...
|Date:||December 5th, 2004 05:24 pm (UTC)|| |
Well, as a childless poly, I don't find myself asking this question very often because I can use my two eyes and see how the kids handle this rather interesting situation. Kids can adapt so easily to things like this if you take away the whole "wrongness" that society still puts on polyamory.
It that "wrongness" that worries me once they interact with the more mundane world. *sigh*