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  #291  
Old 09-02-2011, 06:02 PM
MichelleZed MichelleZed is offline
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Quote:
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I can't agree with this. Growing up doesn't mean that one stops caring about the opinions of others (peers or otherwise), it means one has their own center, their own being, their own strength and commitments..., and is thereby able to
respect and appreciate the opinions of others, take them in, and accept or reject them, apply them or refuse them.
Oh, fine, if you want to be all flowery about it.
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  #292  
Old 09-02-2011, 06:49 PM
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People who don't care about the opinions of others are people I avoid as much as humanly
possible. They are scary.
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  #293  
Old 09-05-2011, 12:33 AM
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I just came back from poly camp where I met lots of kids of poly parents. One of the older ones told me that he number one bit of advice was to not try and pull the wool over the eyes of kids. The best thing her parents ever did was fess up to what was going on for them.
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  #294  
Old 03-15-2012, 10:09 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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My wife and I are just now trying to figure out what to tell our children - girls, ages 9 and 12 - about my developing relationship with another woman. They know I've been spending time with her, and know I spent the night at her apartment this past Monday.

My wife and I treated it as the most ordinary thing in the world, having daddy spend the night away from home, even though I wasn't going out of town.

That's all they know officially, though I have reason to think our 12-year-old suspects more than that. She may be worried about it: whenever I mention the name of my new love, she gets very quiet.

Reading this thread confirms my instinct: it's difficult to strike the balance between too much information and too little. Erring to much, either way, could be bad.

I'm planning to bring this up over dinner, in an hour or so. We've laid some of the groundwork, in the past year, by emphasizing that, even though my partner and I are married, we do not own one another.

That will be our starting point, I think: partnership, not ownership . . . and a partnership based on honesty, consent, and trust that doesn't exclude close relationships with others.

Beyond that, we'll just have to improvise.

Probably the most important thing will be to offer the reassurance that the new relationships my wife and I each develop do not change anything essential about our partnership, or our commitment to the girls.

Of course, the best-laid plans . . .
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  #295  
Old 03-16-2012, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by hyperskeptic View Post
Reading this thread confirms my instinct: it's difficult to strike the balance between too much information and too little. Erring to much, either way, could be bad.
Well I'd say be ready for the worst but expect the best I told my now 14 year old daughter maybe 3 months ago or so. On some level she may have known, but it still came as a surprise. She was incredibly open to the idea and I think that comes from our family discussing things like tolerance of religion/orientation and how not everyone conforms to society's 'norms' and that's OK. She had some questions centered around jealousy...and we addressed them. I gave her a G rated version of the relationship because she does not need details, she can fill in the blanks. So far, so good.

My son was not told anything. He's turning 11 soon and started to notice how much I 'liked' my boyfriend and how I was spending time with him by going over regularly. He told me just the other day that he could tell I 'liked' him and that I was probably 'socially' attracted to him. That last bit almost make me laugh uncontrollably :P (he obviously meant sexually attracted but misheard and misspoke the term and that was priceless, lol.)

All I did was agree that I liked him and told my son we got along well. He was satisfied with that. I'll deal out info as required, in small amounts since he's still a bit young.

Good luck with your plans
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  #296  
Old 03-16-2012, 09:37 PM
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BrigidsDaughter BrigidsDaughter is offline
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My son is 10 and is willfully oblivious to anything to do with sex or dating. We've had friends crashing at our place since before he can remember, so anyone spending the night seems normal to him. He treats Wendigo as something akin to an uncle since his own uncles aren't around much or interested in the same stuff he is. Loveleigh is a recent addition to our lives, but he had a blast when her kids slept over and he's sleeping over at her house tomorrow night while we all go out for St. Patrick's Day (her underage sister is babysitting for us). Runic Wolf referred to her as his girlfriend infront of him last week and if he noticed, he didn't say anything or question it.

Just remember to take your cues from your own children about what info and how much they are ready to take in.
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  #297  
Old 03-17-2012, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperskeptic View Post
... I have reason to think our 12-year-old suspects more than that. She may be worried about it: whenever I mention the name of my new love, she gets very quiet.
To kids brought up on a diet of monogamy, a parent seeing someone else means cheating and probably imminent divorce. I'd prefer to tell them and prevent that worry rather than attempt to hide it and have them always waiting for the other shoe to fall. But I don't have kids, so take that with a grain of salt.
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  #298  
Old 03-17-2012, 01:57 PM
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@hyperskeptic.... Please let us know how it goes.....
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  #299  
Old 03-19-2012, 02:30 AM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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For Hyperskeptic:

I would definitely talk to each daughter (age 9 & age 12) separately, not together at the dinner table. (Or introduce the idea at dinner, then make separate conversations later).

There is a big difference between what you know/think about sex & relationships at age 9 versus age 12. Each daughter will probably have a totally different reaction.

Just as an example:

When I was 9: I had a crush on a boy who always asked for my help with his math homework. But when my mother told me that his mother told her that he liked me and wanted to dance with me at the ballroom dance lessons we were being forced by our mothers to take, I was so mortified I tried to get out of the dance lessons. At the dance class, I tried hard not to look at him or speak to him. Definitely I did not dance with him. I was terrified that he might want to kiss me, which would be disgusting.

At age 9, I was also trying to wrap my mind around the concept that a penis goes into a vagina and that this bizarre event creates a baby. Around this time, I learned about the concept of birth control & condoms, which confused me even more.

I remember being so perplexed that I was almost in tears, and I asked my mother: "If sex is for having babies, why on earth would anyone have sex with birth control? What would be the point?" My mother tried to keep a straight face while she explained that people have sex because it is fun. I was astonished, but also felt like a lot of things about the world suddenly made more sense.

I was convinced, however, that my parents no longer had sex because, my gosh, they were so old. I was flabbergasted to learn that they did indeed still have sex (with each other); so that was astounding enough without having to wrap my mind around a poly arrangement.

When I was 12: I desperately, desperately wanted a boy to kiss me. But I was convinced that I was so ugly no one would ever want me. I liked a boy who liked the popular, flirty, stupid girls that I hated.

And I had started thinking about sex constantly. I checked out books at the library only after browsing through them to see if they might have sex scenes. (I read way above my age level). I started sneaking romance novels into my room. I was very close to figuring how to give myself an orgasm.

By age 12, I also understood that my parents still had sex (with each other!), which was gross, but I did think it was nice that they were healthy and happy and that sex was a good thing in general.

I still had a LOT of questions about sex, but they were not at all the same questions I had had when I was 9.

In summary:

1) a 9-year-old is still trying to figure out what sex is and why anyone would want to date anyone at all

2) a 12-year-old is trying to make sense of her own sexual feelings and is dealing with the horrible insecurities of adolescence

3) both kids will be more preoccupied with their own love lives than with yours!

So, please speak to them individually. (They will probably compare notes with each other later, in private, which is fine).

And I agree with the advice that your 12-year-old is probably worried that you are having an affair that will lead to divorce.
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  #300  
Old 03-19-2012, 06:27 AM
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Somegeezer Somegeezer is offline
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I like what you said Meera. I do however only agree that it was your experience.

In my experience, I knew all about the workings of sex and that it was used for pleasure, from a very young age. Possibly 6 or so. I began experimenting with masturbation at about age 9 and also began seeing girls a different way. Still didn't actually have a girlfriend til I was 13, and lost my virginity at 15. Never had any kinda talk with my mum or dad about any sex and relationships stuff. All just happened in my own time. A lot of biased info from inexperienced friends. But I eventually just found out for myself and was fine with all that.

One thing I do wish though, is that someone had been there when I was ready to ask questions. I didn't care at all about having someone sit me down and talk about stuff like that. But when I had the questions, I would have wanted to be able to confide in my mother, or someone better than my friends at least.
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