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-   -   Why is it so Bad? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=68831)

PolyinPractice 02-09-2014 08:02 PM

Why is it so Bad?
 
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 02-09-2014 08:13 PM

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

JaneQSmythe 02-09-2014 08:33 PM

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.

alibabe_muse 02-09-2014 08:44 PM

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.

Atlantis 02-09-2014 10:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JaneQSmythe (Post 259237)
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 02-09-2014 11:36 PM

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 02-10-2014 01:30 AM

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 02-10-2014 01:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inyourendo (Post 259243)
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 02-10-2014 04:32 AM

@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.

PolyinPractice 02-10-2014 04:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atlantis (Post 259241)
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.


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