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Old 05-25-2013, 02:37 AM
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Mohegan Mohegan is offline
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Default How do you tell someone else's kids?

I've spent a good while searching around and am not finding exactly what I am looking for. My 4yr old niece recently met Pixi. For those who haven't read our blogs, Pixi is my husband Karma's g/f of a few months. My brother and his wife have known and supported us in this adventure from day one three years ago. Originally we all decided that we wouldn't discuss it with the kids until they asked questions. At the time my niece was barely a yr old and my nephew wasn't even thought of yet so we had time.

We did fun touristy things while they were in town and obeying my brothers wishes, Karma and Pixi didn't have any PDAs while we were all together. My niece picked up on Pixi being an important part of lives anyway, which is great fine and wonderful. Except that right now she thinks Pixi is our maid. They had just watched The Help and somehow that's what her little 4 yr old mind equated with Pixi. Including asking if Pixi lived in our garage (we figured this out today after she watched it again and said "See mommy they live in the garage.")

After laughing for quite awhile my sister in law said that they are obviously going to have to talk with her, especially because we are moving closer and Pixi will inevitably be spending more time with them. We've all agreed from day one to be honest and never lie to the kids about our difference in religion (they are very christian and we are pagan) or about poly. She wants to sit down as a family to discuss it with my niece, so that she sees that we are all on the same page.

I obviously plan on letting them take the lead as she is their daughter. But their only experience with poly is us. As I said they are very christian and while they love and support us, to them our way of life is 'technically' wrong. They won't, I have no doubt, approach it from a wrong or hate kind of direction. But none of us are exactly sure how to go about explaining things.

So how do you explain poly to a 4yr old that isn't yours, but is a huge part of your life? Do we just say Uncle Karma loves two people, and see if she has questions? How deep do we go with the answers to those questions.

I guess my biggest worry is that we want her to grow up open minded and accepting of people who live differently than her, but we (I) also don't want to contradict the religion she is being raised in and cause her inner turmoil long before she's really old enough to grasp it.

Not having children of my own, but holding a degree in early childhood education, I am aware that an honest straightforward answer is best. What I'm not sure of is how much is too much info at that age?

Any advice, anecdotes, ideas will be greatly appreciated as this new territory for all of us.
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:41 AM
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Dagferi Dagferi is offline
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You don't have to get into the nitty gritty with a 4 yo. You answer honestly but simply.

You just tell her Pixi is Karma's girlfriend. If there is more questions then you answer them at a 4 yo level.

My kids are 10 and 6. Honestly they kind of just rolled with it. My 10 yo has asked a few extra questions. I answered honestly and in a manner he could understand. When he asked how I can love Murf and their dad Butch. I asked if he loved all three of our dogs. He said yes. I said do you love them the same. He said no. Then I asked do you love one more than another. He answered no. Then I said you can love people the same way.
40 yo straight female
Married in the eyes of the government to Butch since 2001...
Murf my monogamous second husband has been with me since May of 2012.
In a V relationship with an average 50/50 split of time between my two husbands.

Last edited by Dagferi; 05-25-2013 at 02:45 AM.
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:49 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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You may be interested in my post about when my nephew sprung his "DO you have two husbands?" question on me - here in my Notebook blog (and reading GG's reply there).

Our friends' kids don't seem to notice that we have an "extra" as at friend-type functions there are always extraneous adults, but at family-type functions it's a bit more obvious that the friend/family line is being crossed.

I would definitely let the kids parents take the lead...since you are out with them (we are not out to my family per se) you could ask them how they would like to present things...as long as it doesn't directly conflict with your values you could choose to just back what they choose to say.

Just my thoughts.

JaneQ(Me): poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" V-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (25+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (7+ yrs) and MrS's BFF
SLeW: platonic hetero girlfriend and BFF
MrClean: hetero mono male, almost lover-friend to me, ex-FWBs to SLeW, friends with MrS
+ "others" = FBs, FWBs, lover-friends, platonic G/BFs, boytoys, etc.

My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:04 AM
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Mohegan Mohegan is offline
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Thank you both. I really appreciate the peace of mind knowing I was on the right track. She is ridiculously intelligent and perceptive (which of course has us all frightened for her teenage years) so I wouldn't be surprised if she's already put it together and just isn't sure how to equate it to what she already knows about families.

She also asked that day if Uncle Karma and I were married which led to the garage comment.

I have no issue letting my brother and sister in law lead the talk, but I have a good feeling Karma and I will be the ones explaining it if there are questions.

This has also pushed forward our coming out to my parents. It's been something I planned on doing anyway, but now it's a must. Whatever my niece knows, YaYa will hear about. I'm thinking of taking my mom out to dinner and discussing it with her when we are in town next.

So I'm guessing the best approach is that Uncle Karma has a wife and a girlfriend and while that's not how every family lives, it's good for us (or something to that effect) and seeing if she has questions.
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:01 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I like the "we love more than one person" line with little ones-because they inherently understand that since they love more than one person & sex isnt part of their repertoire yet.
But the "this is my gf" line works well also.
We have 4 kids, a precocious and inquisitive grandson, 10 neices/nephews & 2 kids who regularly visit.

I have always let their question lead the depth of my answer, but either of the above mentioned starting points works great ( I have used both ).
"Love As Thou Wilt"
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:02 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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It's funny, the only kid I've needed to talk to lately about my relationship status is the little girl I sit for, who is 6, extremely intelligent and precocious.

However, in the 2 years I've known her, she hasnt even been able to wrap her head around the idea that I am divorced. She claims that all the kids she knows in school have a mommy and a daddy. Even when I said sometimes kids have just a mommy, or a mom and dad that live separately, she rejects the concept.

(She did not reject the idea that kids could have 2 mommies though, and once had a wedding for two of her Barbies.)

I talked to her often of my "best friend" miss pixi, and more recently, my friend Ginger. And now she (and her parents) know that I just moved in with miss pixi. I am sure her parents suspect miss p is more to me than a friend, but no one has ever asked any questions... and I don't talk about Ginger to her parents.

For the record, the dad is Christian and the mom is Hindu, but I do not know if how they practice involves intolerance for queers or other alternative type people.

In your case, if explaining your polyness to their kid makes your relatives question the assumption that Christianity is ipso facto hetero and mono, it's a good thing.
Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

Mags (poly, F, 62), dating... again!
Pixi (poly, F, 40) my darling nesting partner since January 2009
Master, (mono, M, 36), Pixi's Dom/bf since April 2013
Kahlo (my ex, 46)
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:41 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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I appreciate that Karma and pixi respected your brother's wishes in what to expose his child too.

Why do your brother and his wife want you, Karma, and pixi involved in this discussion with their daughter? I know you said so she sees you're all on the same page, but what exactly does that mean? You're all on the same page in what way? In that you all agree as to what's going on or what this arrangement is or what to call it? That all the adults involved agree to it or approve of it?

I'll be honest, I see what to tell her as really something her parents ought to be deciding. But why not simply say, "She's a good friend?" It's not really important to a 4 year old to know that she's his 'girlfriend.'
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:29 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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When I was little and used to visit my great-grandparents, I was told that the man who lived with them was a "family friend" or sometimes their "boarder" (he slept in the second bedroom). I didn't find out until I was in my 30s that he was my great-grandmother's boyfriend, after one of my grandmother's cousins told me. Then a lot of things clicked in place in my mind! But I know that I never thought anything strange about them all living together when I was a kid, and no one in my immediate family made it out to be anything weird to us, so we just never paid the situation any mind. This was back in the mid- through late-1960s, btw.
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
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