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  #331  
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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  #332  
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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  #333  
Old 03-17-2012, 01:57 PM
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@hyperskeptic.... Please let us know how it goes.....
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  #334  
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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  #335  
Old 03-19-2012, 06:27 AM
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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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  #336  
Old 03-21-2012, 12:29 AM
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Default What and when to tell a child

This is probably the most difficult question for me, now that I am considering committing to the lifestyle and philosophy of polyamory. My 22 yr old son has had difficulty with his mom and I divorcing, and he hated going back and forth between homes as a kid. And the fact that he has birth parents 14,000 miles away in South America (whom he may never know) adds to his sense of abandonment.

I almost think it's genetic, or a least strongly cultural that a young person wants to know where he belongs and who he belongs to. And, when that picture gets fragmented, it is very difficult for them.

So, my thought at the moment is to say nothing about polyamory, and certainly not to use "that word." The bond between a parent and a child seems the strongest of human bonds, more so than the bond of lovers or partners. So, the bond with my son is my first commitment, and maybe some day, there may be a way to explain to him that my clock wasn't wound up to be monogamous.
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  #337  
Old 04-08-2012, 11:33 PM
SimonSays SimonSays is offline
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Default Advice about talking to Children

My wife and I have recently had our trinogamous partner move in with us. This means the 3 of us tend to want to sleep in the same bed, however we have a 6 year old and a 10 year old who often want to either climb in bed with us (it's big enough) if they have bad dreams, or they want to come in in the morning and wake us up. We definitely don't want to kick our partner out of bed at night, we want her to be an equal part of our lives, we also don't like hiding things from our kids (we are very honest parents, we don't believe in lying to our kids). So the question we have is how have others approached this with their kids and talked about it? Mainly this is something we want to discuss with our 10 year old because he is old enough to see that she is more than "a friend" to both of us. We would like to talk to him but wonder at what level we should explain it. Do we talk about bisexuality with him? Is he old enough to take it that far?

I want him to understand that she isn't MY girlfriend, she is more than that for both of us. We want to do this in a respectful way,
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  #338  
Old 04-09-2012, 01:31 AM
SimonSays SimonSays is offline
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I hadn't found search yet... new to the forum as of today.

That thread was very useful. We have always raised our son understanding about homosexuality because I have a lesbian sister, and we are active PFLAG members. We actually opted to talk to him tonight, while our partner is returning with more to move in. The talk went amazingly well. I do believe it is important to explain to children because my parents were swingers and thought we didn't know, and I remember "catching" them accidentally in kisses, or embraces or touches on several occasions and just being confused by it, thinking I did something wrong. Not something I wanted for my kids to go through.

The talk went really well. I am so happy that the kids are being raised in such a loving family environment. Our partner was so happy that we told our son, she really loves him, and she felt it was important for our son not to think something "Bad" was happening if he ever happened to witness a touch or something. She feels so much more comfortable just "being" now.
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  #339  
Old 07-27-2012, 09:00 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Default Children and Poly - it is healthy?

Hi all,

I started discussing the issue of children in poly relationships with my GF last night and it got us thinking.

There is a personal slant to this question, plus a general one.

I currently live in the UK and my GF and her husband live in the US. I live there for half the year, until I can move permanently. They have a three year old daughter (I'll call her Baby).

When I live with them in the US, I have my own room and my GF divides her time between her husband's bed and my bed. Secondaries are not in the picture, when it comes to Baby, so that's a non-issue.

Baby is aware (for a three year old) of our poly V and currently seems very happy with the situation. Baby and I are like best friends; she never leaves me alone and has never displayed any upset or confusion.

When she draws a house, she draws the four of us outside. When I'm away, she talks going to my house "at the airport" to see me, almost every day. It's clear that in her mind, we are a family. It's wonderful to see how accepting children are... but we are a bit worried.

First problem - my GF's family are completely against it. Her husband's family do not even know. My GF's mother (I'll call her Granny) has Baby every two weekends, for two or three nights.

Baby loves Granny very much and this is one of the only reasons my GF stays in contact with her mother. Granny's relationship with me is frosty, despite my efforts - she will not look at me, speak to me, acknowledge my presence, or my existence when I am not present.

My question is really two fold...

We are worried about how Granny may effect our daughter as she grows up. She's beyond disapproving when she speaks to my GF. We have thought about cutting contact with her, but we do not want take away that special relationship between Granny and Baby. To be honest, it also really helps us out to have Granny look after her every two weekends.

Secondly... she's just started pre-school and my GF calls me their au pair. We are concerned about what teachers should or shouldn't know... what we should tell Baby as she's growing up, since she will tell friends and friends will tell their parents... etc. I know that children can be bullied for anything... but we want to make sure we are being responsible.

How does it work for you? Are there any problems that we should expect in the future, any stumbling blocks you feel are worth pointing out? Basically, we'd just love to hear your experiences and thoughts, if you have any.
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  #340  
Old 07-27-2012, 11:25 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I've written about this at length in my personal blog.

We have 4 kids. Ages 5, 12, 16, 20. and a grandson age 1.5

We've been honest and upfront with them and they all know where to find me if they need me (certain times in Maca's bedroom, others in GG's bedroom).

We are also upfront and open with our extended family. The ones who had a problem with it were given the option of keeping their opinions to themselves or departing our lives-end of subject.

It's VERY hard on kids to have adults who treat other meaningful adults in their lives with disdain.

I love my dad-but that's why he is no longer a part of my life. His and his wife's malice towards GG (boyfriend) was so upsetting and concerning to our youngest (who was 3 at the time) that she is STILL traumatized and there was only ONE WEEK that she was around all of them and aware of an issue.


On the upside, we introduced GG as our roommate, nanny, uncle-over the years to the schools-and have had no issue there.

As for other kids-again, no issues. Other kids come over all of the time and even stay the night.

Good luck!
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