A few threads on here got me thinking about the two things that are the biggest passions in my own life: being polyamoroous and being a parent of two teenage girls. Many things I've heard and read from poly people deal with fears about poly being harmful to their kids, or worries about how it will affect their families.
I wanted to share a few positive poly parenting stories with the forum, and ask to hear more.. after all, poly is about love and kids are WAY better at that than most grownups I know.
A bit of background on me: I'm a poly, bi woman who is separated from her poly husband of 20 years (still co-parents). Our kids grew up knowing about what poly was. Right now, I live with my girls and I have two partners in other cities and two partners who live in the same city as me.
My kids know and hang out with all of my partners when they visit me, which is on a regular basis. One of my partners and his wife are like "family" to them. My older daughter (15) is planning an extended visit to them this spring, for a homeschooling field-trip!
My younger daughter (13) recently experienced her first online relationship with a boy in another province. After months of enjoying chatting and talking on the phone, she decided they should be friends and I was soooo proud when she managed to negotiate this with her boyfriend. She told me that learning about honest communication from me and my partners made it easier for her to talk to her boyfriend about what she wanted. Yay!
My girls have told many people (teachers, doctors, grandparents.. ) that my partners are valued role models in their lives. My daughters are relaxed around people of all gender orientations and around my female partners. They have told me on more than one occasion that they feel happy they don't feel pressured to choose one kind of relationship or sexual preference because of the example I've set them. All this makes me so darn proud and happy I want to explode... but I'll settle for bragging about my awesome kids on here instead.
My girls were 7 and 9 when my husband and I first started exploring poly as a concept, though we were always very honest and sex positive around them from the time they were very little. I love how relaxed they are about sex and how they feel they can ask me questions if they need to (or ask my partners questions, or ask my partners' partners questions, heh.. ). For me, raising children in a poly network of caring and honest adults who love each other has been worth some of the struggles I've dealt with trying to explain my relationship choices to friends (and even to social workers -- oy).
Their lives have not been easy, and they've had to adjust to the separation of their birth parents. On the other hand, they've been told by many people in my poly family that they are loved and cared about. They've grown up knowing that although relationships may change, love is a force to be reckoned with, and that they will always have plenty of it in their lives if they have the courage to be themselves. They have learned the term "family of choice" and how powerful and wonderful this kind of family can be. They also know *I'm* here for them, no matter what.
So.... any good poly parenting stories out there?