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  #221  
Old 04-06-2011, 02:19 AM
inlovewith2 inlovewith2 is offline
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Default Update: Our kids' reactions

Hi all,

I'm trying to catch up a bit on the forum since it's been a while and I realized reading this thread that I never shared how our kids reacted. Well, it was like a non-event. It was literally like "yeah, so, what's for dinner?" We've talked about it many times since and they continue to be un-phased. DW's gf is here at least 1-2 days a week and is part of the family. Our youngest, now 5, will say things like "that's because you love her right, like you love mom?". Also, one time when I was going somewhere with her, he asked if she and I were going to get married.

Our kids have always been very accepting, as we are, so that is likely a factor, but I for one am so glad we are being open and honest with them!

Good luck to anyone considering the options!
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  #222  
Old 04-11-2011, 11:55 AM
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I'm crazy about kids. I love being around them. Many times I prefer playing with them to boring adult yadda-yadda. I fancy myself somewhat popular among little people.

That's why I'm super-scared of getting involved in a poly-family with kids, because I think children really need totally reliable adults in their lives. I try very hard not to confuse them. So it's hard to hear comments like 'When is Blackie leaving?' or 'I like Blackie more than grandma'.

Haven't read through the entire thread, but what happens when a poly-family breaks up? What do you say to the kids? How to show them you still love them although you can't come over so often anymore?
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  #223  
Old 04-11-2011, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
Haven't read through the entire thread, but what happens when a poly-family breaks up? What do you say to the kids? How to show them you still love them although you can't come over so often anymore?
Yeah, I want to know about this too. My daughter (age six) is becoming attached to T-Rex (my bf). I am allowing their relationship to develop naturally. I want them to figure out how they want to relate to each other, without forcing things into a predefined shape. This weekend, when we were all on vacation together, she took his hand a couple times, chatting with him while they walked together. He loves kids and talks with her with focus and interest, and he has a delightful sense of fun.

My little girl is prone to forming strong attachments and to grieving loss very deeply. She is currently in therapy for grief of the loss of her grandma and grandpa, among others. While I am strong and feel no need to guard my heart from loss, as that would interfere with my ability to feel fully for T-Rex, she has had a history already of having a hard time coping with loss.

Things are going beautifully in my vee, but I know that there's a possibility that T-Rex might need to move on someday. He would make a great dad, would love to have kids, and I can't give that to him.

So I worry about that. Any tips for easing the transition would be empowering and would help set my mind at ease, even though the situation is purely hypothetical at this point.
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  #224  
Old 04-11-2011, 07:28 PM
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I would think you'd need to deal with it the same way you deal with any separation, even in a monogamous relationship. I'd look into advice they give to mono couplings who divorce, for instance, it seems to me a lot of it would still apply in similar ways.

I think it would probably be important for the child or children to be able to keep a relationship with the partner who "breaks apart" even if neither parent does.
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  #225  
Old 04-11-2011, 10:07 PM
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Children are people first, children second.
Like any other person they have a right to love who they wish.

Just because you break up doesn't give you a right to terminate the child's relationship.

They key is to treat each other (adults) with respect and honor, allow the children freedom of contact and to maintain loving relationships with children regardless of how your adult relationships fall out.

I've found this easy to do, other people, well they just can't get off the control horse I guess.

It helps a lot if you learn how to be friends with your exes.
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  #226  
Old 04-12-2011, 07:34 PM
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I agree with LR in that kids are people first. Its my job as LB's parent to make sure he continues relationships with people even if I don't. This is something we talked about before Mono moved in. I needed to know he would stay in LB's life and he needed to know that I would facilitate that. I keep everyone I have ever allowed close to me in my life and that is evident. He keeps the kids of his ex wifes best friends close to him and continues to visit them about once a month. Family of all kinds is important to both of us, regardless of relationships ending. I think that its really important to pick a family that actively has the same values. Playing lip service to that is different than being actively involved with ex loves.

Btw, kids often say they love someone over someone else. Its there way of saying they are having a good time, because they feel good in the moment. Often they don't have the words to express that they are and feel it as loving someone more. Its important to put it into context for them when they express their love and echo back to them the words to use, like saying, "you are having a really good time, aren't you."
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  #227  
Old 04-12-2011, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Playing lip service to that is different than being actively involved with ex loves.
VERY TRUE.

My oldest is still closely in touch with damn near every person I've ever dated. Several of them were at the hospital when the grandbaby was born.

My younger kids know the ones who still live near us, because they come over and visit and we go see them.

If you are careful about who you become involved with, there's rarely a reason to "hate" each other when you find out that you are no longer compatible as lovers. It's possible to AT THE VERY LEAST remain congenial with one another.

And

If you ensure that you don't bring lovers into your life that aren't great for your kids-there's no reason to allienate them from the kids if and when you stop being lovers.
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  #228  
Old 04-13-2011, 03:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
Just because you break up doesn't give you a right to terminate the child's relationship.
Do I ever know some people who could use that piece of advice!
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  #229  
Old 04-13-2011, 04:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koifish View Post
I often wondered what sort of discrimination kids of poly parents face. I think they can be raised to feel that poly is normal, but I wonder how they feel when they go to school and learn that most people's parent's are mono.
I think that if you encourage in them a strong sense of worth, of love, and of understanding for those who are different, and encourage their strength of character, you can see through the troubles.

There will always be prejudices. Teach your kids about them. If you know some children who are likely to face prejudice for other reasons than your own, encourage the friendship. Once they're friends for some time, you might have a conversation something like (but don't force it):

You: "Well, you know that some people don't think that Sally is worth having as a friend, because she's got Down's Syndrome (or is an immigrant who doesn't speak the language perfectly - or whatever the case). But - you know? - when she gives me that big smile every time she sees me, I'm so glad that she's my friend!"
Your child: "Yeah! Me too!... Some people can be so stupid."
You: "I don't know if they're stupid. Maybe they just never had the luck to get to know Sally well. But it is pretty stupid to make up your mind about somebody that you don't even know..."

Once your child has defended somebody else' right to be different, it'll help them not to feel like such a victim if they ever face prejudice. (And, of course, you'll be there for them.)

+++

I have this story I never tire of telling: A friend of mine got pregnant quite young, before she realised/accepted that she was lesbian, had a boy child as a single mother. Her father had his suspicions about her, but no certainty. At one point he told her sister (who did know about my friend's sexuality and passed the comment on): "If I were sure that she was a lesbian, I'd go to court and get them to give me custody of the boy. She wouldn't be a fit mother."

[I have met this man once when he travelled with his wife from their home-country to the country where their daughter and grandson were long-term visiting (in the shared house where I lived - I met them {mother and son} when they moved in, when he was 5+ {he had his 6th birthday at our house}). He (the grandfather) was one of the most unfit people to have custody of a child that I've ever had lunch with. He had this big paunch, and wouldn't stop sniping at his wife about her weight. ("Gotta watch what you eat! You're getting fat." - to the rest of us) He didn't put any limits on the amount that he was tucking away! Putting his wife and daughter down in front of - to him - total strangers, ing as if we found his offensive jibes witty.]

They (mother and son) moved back to their home country (a rather macho one) and she brought him up - through a succession of lesbian relationships, with and without support - to face the jibes of the ignorant. We've maintained contact over the years, they've each separately visited me - far too seldom for my taste. (I think that he made his first visit across the ocean alone - to visit mainly an ex-girlfriend of his mother's (the one that she was with when we all shared a house) - when he was 15.) He's one of the finest young men that I know and I've told them both that they have every reason to be proud of each other.

And I don't tire of telling people that she's the most fit mother of my acquaintance.

Not a poly story, but the parallel's there.
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  #230  
Old 04-13-2011, 06:03 AM
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My kids have always been taught that prejudice is caused by ignorance. If you want to kill prejudice, educate, educate, educate.

We haven't had issues with people treating our kids badly-in spite of me being a teen mom (pregnant at 15). Single mom til she was 6. Came out when she was 2 as bisexual-dated a woman for a year.
Continued to see the woman on the side while in an open relationship with a man, also had 3'somes with his best friend on the side over the course of that 4 year relationship-NONE of this being "secret".
shrug.
It's all in how YOU act, what you teach your kids through your actions (be bold and brazen or hide out in the closet like there IS something wrong with what you are doing) and who YOU choose to surround yourself with in my opinion.
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