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Old 03-02-2010, 02:08 AM
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Default positive poly parenting

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?
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:40 AM
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I told my 10 year old about Poly when he was struggling with being afraid to tell his dad some things about their relationship that upset him (he was actually 9 when this happened).

I told him that poly was about loving more than one person at one time. I told him some people don't agree with this and that it was very scary for me to tell daddy that I was poly-minded and was in love with GG as well, but we have to be honest with people, or we can never have REAL relationships with them.

**as a reference point, this child is VERY conservative generally speaking and while I don't attend church regularly, nor does his father, he does and he's VERY particular about following the "laws of God" etc etc**

He looked at me and said, "That's really dumb. The Bible even says we're all supposed to love each other, not just one at a time, but everyone loving everyone."

I thought he was confused (stupid me) and explained I meant a love that included sex.

He responded in his no-nonsense way, "Yeah, I know mom, but love is love, how you show it is personal."

Wow-what an awesome sign to me that I'm teaching these kids right.

I am "out" to my kids as I've said before and they all seem to be benefiting greatly from having Maca, GG and myself here caring for them altogether.
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
"Yeah, I know mom, but love is love, how you show it is personal."
Fantastic! And thank you.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:25 AM
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What awesome-possum stories!! I love the 9-year-old's outlook on love! There is *so* much us "dumb grown-ups" can learn from kids!! Unhindered by so much cultural brainwashing and prejudices...
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:51 AM
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My boy considers Mono to be his "best bud." He is his confident and best friend. We are in the process of making sure that if something were to happen to us that it would be Mono who raises him. My parents will hit the roof when they find out as it was previously going to be my family that would take him, but we all think that he should be raised by the one that understands him best. And that is Mono.

I certainly think kids can gain tremendously from solid poly relationships and ones that are fleeting. Poly is essentially about being responsible to each other, communicating, being honest about what we need and staying open to everything that comes into ones life. These are life lessons that I think all kids can benefit from, Poly or not. I have not necessarily experienced this in any other relationship style, but it is the foundation of poly as I understand it.

There are other links on children somewhere... where is that link now, we have one somewhere... I'm so not good at the search thing... sorry maybe someone else will have better luck.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:53 AM
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try a search by tag... that might do it.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:51 AM
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Aha, yep -- about 8 posts if you search by the tag "children". Thanks, redpepper!

I think your son very lucky to have both poly and mono "parents", btw... He will certainly be well-rounded!
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:00 AM
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found this post really useful, people know we plan on starting a family and i often get some narrow remarks about how we would have to settle down and give up this way of life because its not healthy,
trying to explain that polyamory can be a positive healthy way of life even with children is sometimes difficult because i don't have any yet so thankyou everyone for sharing
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