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-   -   advice on talking to the kids (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69373)

gorgeouskitten 03-20-2014 07:09 PM

advice on talking to the kids
I know its been raised many times, but i'd still like to start a convo on talking to the kids. We have three, 8. 5.5 and 3. They know and love Nudge, and Nudge and J are good friends.

The other day Nudge and I drove the kids to school, my eight year old son says "Mom, do you love Nudge more than daddy?" I replied "of course not, I love daddy very much" he replies "but you just called Nudge 'babe'" I said "uh...I call them both babe." he replied "I don't get it"

So its time for a talk. ive tried to already start impressing on them that we have very close friends, we casually saying one of us is on a 'date' so it becomes a normal occurrence, but obviously society has taught him I should love ONLY his father. How much do you tell and eight year old? That its ok to love multiple people? I don't want to go the route of their being different kinds of love, because I share the same "type" of love for Nudge and J. they are pretty much co-primaries.

Advice? Suggestions?

LovingRadiance 03-21-2014 02:58 AM


Four years ago, we told our kids who are now 22, 17, 16, 14, 6 ; that family is defined by who you share love with and that just like we can love ALL of them and they can love all of us, we can love more than one other adult.
The youngests attitude was "whatever I want candy". The next one up replied with something to the affect of "isn't that what Jesus taught us to do? Love everyone?"
the older ones were like "uh huh-ok gross but whatever".

Over the years a few questions have cropped up, but overall-they just really didn't care.

GalaGirl 03-21-2014 03:27 AM

That is not what the kid in asking to me. He accepts you love them both. He just wants to know if you love daddy "more."

Kids are very literal when that small, IME.

Depending on how deep you want to go at this time, you could take that several places when the teachable moment appears.

Honest , situation appropriate and age appropriate is best. But in the school car line? I would have said "I love them both. We can talk longer later though if you still have questions because this is the car line and you need to get to school. Have a nice day hon!"

Then ask him if he still wants to talk after school or if he is good enough for now. Tell him you are glad he comes to you with his questions either way.


Maleficent 03-21-2014 04:40 AM

All our kids know. Ages 16,16,14,12,11,9,8. We made sure that all the adults were together when talked to the kids so they could see that we were all ok. The teenagers especially were concerned that everyone was allright. The younger kids pretty much wanted to know that they were still loved.

We told them that I love hank, he loves me. I also love darla, she loves me, hank loves her, she loves him, and we all love them. Then answered questions as honestly as it was appropriate to do so.

One word of caution. Once young children know things they are compelled to share. And oh boy do they LOVE to share. We are now out to darlas ex husband, their school, church friends, the barber, grocery clerks, the neighbors, and any random strangers we should cross paths with. So discuss how you plan to handle that.

Nadya 03-21-2014 05:32 AM


Originally Posted by Maleficent (Post 262608)
One word of caution. Once young children know things they are compelled to share. And oh boy do they LOVE to share. We are now out to darlas ex husband, their school, church friends, the barber, grocery clerks, the neighbors, and any random strangers we should cross paths with. So discuss how you plan to handle that.

Now I miss the "like" button... :D Kids, oh kids... I am childfree myself, but I like the company of children, and I know MANY things about various families around me. Young kids definitely do share!

alibabe_muse 03-23-2014 11:42 PM

Having an 8 year old boy myself this is how it got brought up for us. When he saw his dad give wild orchid a kiss good bye, he told bassman "i'm telling mom". So I wasn't there for the conversation. Bassman just told him I have a boyfriend too (which I don't at this time nor have I since our journey began last July). I had to explain I did not have a boyfriend right now but it's ok if dad has a girlfriend, he doesn't love me any less, actually it feels like he loves me more.;)

For my son, he is just concerned with it being "fair" as long as I know what dad is doing. I think that is what your son is concerned with...it being equal instead of it being more or less. He hasn't asked about it since and that was a month ago.

If he's sees your behavior between his dad and nudge not being equal, could be what is triggering his question.

SchrodingersCat 03-24-2014 12:48 AM

All of Auto's kids (3, 5, 15) know as well as they're able for their ages. The 15yo understands all about poly, as well as queer issues, and is pretty sure that she's monogamous and gay. The 5yo just loves the fact that there are lots of people in his parents' lives that come over a lot and pay attention to him. The 3yo is obviously too young to have any conscious understanding of any of it.

Basically, their approach has always been to just treat it as completely normal. Honestly, the 5yo is more surprised that everybody doesn't have such a complex family. He's far more concerned with whether or not I "liked" his store page on facebook (he's started making and selling plastic beaded jewellery).

It's like the "The Talk" idea. I don't think it should be The Talk. I think there should be frequent and informal age-appropriate discussions about sexuality, orientation, gender expression, relationship forms, etc., throughout childhood and adolescence. If you make it The Talk, it's like this big taboo thing that's inappropriate to discuss, and that makes it seem dirty and wrong. If you make it natural and part of everyday life, then it's not that big of a deal, and they won't need to go out and try it just to rebel.

I agree with GG that he was probably being literal when he asked if you loved Nudge more than Daddy. He would probably have been satisfied with "Nope, I love them the same amount, just like I love you and your sisters the same amount, but a different way than I love Daddy and Nudge."

Vixtoria 03-24-2014 02:47 AM

My girls are all teenagers now, but they were young when introduced to 'alternative' lifestyles. For us, we just kept it honest and simple for their level. Hubby and I refer to each other as 'hon'.

So when it had to be explained we explained that they have friends at school who's parents aren't together anymore. Hons that are divorced, or hons that remarry. So they have step parents. Some guys like girl hons, some guys like guy hons. Some guys like both! Some people have more than one hon, some only want one hon. As long as hons treat each other with love and respect and are honest then it's all good!

malosc 03-24-2014 03:26 AM

I like this a lot! I would like to be open about my lifestyle with my family and friends. I have 4 children, they are still young and trying to understand the husband/wife dynamic my husband and I have. I don't want to confuse them any more just yet. I hope to have a relationship one day and it be serious enough to share it with my family and friends.....Most importantly my children. Thank you for this!

gorgeouskitten 03-24-2014 12:55 PM

I love all these replies, thank you!!

Gala, you make an excellent point. he is very concerned with fairness. I like another suggestion of saying I love Nudge and J just as much as I love my son and both of his sisters all the same "amount".

I do worry a little about letting the cat out of the bag cause of my father. My mom and sister know, my coworkers, our friends, but not my father or my inlaws. The inlaws I don't care as much, not close to them. But Dad is very religious...so. that'd be interesting

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