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Old 11-14-2017, 12:14 PM
habibtig habibtig is offline
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Default Coming out to your children?

I'm wondering if anyone can help me by sharing their experience with explaining poly to their children?

Our sweet ones are 7 and 10, and it feels like it may be time to have a discussion with my 10 year old daughter. My husband's partner has recently moved away, but mine is still very much in our lives. To them, he is my 'bestie' since I have known him since I was 8 years old, and has been in their lives for 2.5 years. We have never been affectionate in front of them (other than kisses and hugs hello and goodbye), so I suspect they don't already know?

I would be heartbroken if the littles ever thought we were lying to them, and how that may affect their views on trust and love. I'm also feeling like it will be way worse if the reality is presented to my daughter by one of her friends or if she happens upon it in another way.

If anyone has experience with this, I would love your thoughts. What did you say? How did your child respond? Do you feel like there is an age-appropriate time, and if so when? How much detail do I need to give (ie. they know I 'love' him, but do I need to say that we kiss sometimes too so she gets the picture that he is more to me than just family?)? Should my husband and I do it together, so she sees we are united and there is no deception? Do I do it alone since it's a special 'girl-talk'?

Gawd, clearly, I may be overthinking this, but it feels monumental.
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Old 11-14-2017, 04:50 PM
Ellamenopea Ellamenopea is offline
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My dumplings were 12 and 9 when we "came out" to them.

My Husband and I sat them together and told them that families, and love are like ice cream, they come in many flavors, and some people like one, while others like another. We also used the cliche, we loved you, then we had your Brother, and we loved him, too.

We explained that I loved Sarge, just like I love Daddy, and while we won't all live together, that I will still see Sarge, and go on dates with him, and kiss him, and tell him I love him. That it doesn't mean I love Daddy any less. My daughter thought it was cool, they are from a generation where they see transgender, gay, etc., and to her this was just another iteration of a different way to live. My Son was more confused, and I think now, at almost 13, he still is.

I came out of the shower once and he told Sarge to 'Close his eyes!' I don't think it's dawned on him yet that Sarge has seen me naked, nonetheless done anything sexual to me. He is visibly uncomfortable when he sees Sarge kiss me, so we stopped doing that. If somehow Sarge comes up in front of his friends, or something, he still says " That's my Mom's friend." He is at the age where appearances are important, so we all understand. My Daughter will tell anyone that listens that she comes from a poly household. She thinks it's a source of pride, while I think my Son is embarrassed. We have an open door policy, so both of our children are encouraged to ask questions if they have them.

Steel is very good at reassuring them that he is happy for me, and he and Sarge get along well, so when we are all together, they see Daddy is comfortable and happy. Thankfully, my children love Sarge, they text him t when they get good news, or find something cool. The other day, I heard my Son on the phone I asked who he was talking to " Sarge! I just found this new Pokemon I wanted to tell him about!"

Tell them what you are comfortable telling them. Children don't need as much info as adults to feel in the know. Tell them the minimum you think is needed to explain, and then invite them to ask questions.

It was MUCH more dramatic and difficult for me to come out to my parents, than to my children.

Good Luck!
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Me: Elle (42) married to Steel, in a relationship with Sarge.

Steel: (47) My husband of 18 years.

Sarge: My boyfriend (36) married to Freckles.

Freckles: (36) Sarge's soon to be ex-wife.
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:09 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hello habibtig,

I guess I would say, "I love [my partner] the same way I love your dad. This does not change the way Dad and I will take care of you." Kids are usually mostly concerned with how the news will affect them and their lives. So address that issue when you are telling them. Plus of course be ready to answer their questions.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:29 AM
sunray sunray is online now
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The important thing to me was to be out in other parts of my life, so I didn’t saddle my kiddo with a secret. Luckily we live in a very liberal area, and my husband’s job is no problem, so the only area I really needed to attend to was my relatives.

I didn’t make a big deal out of telling her, and it wasn’t a big deal to her either. (She’s 7; this happened last spring.) I just said, ‘hey, you know my friend RacingSnail who I text with so much? He’s actually my boyfriend.’ This was after he had visited for a few days (we’re long distance). And her only two questions were, ‘does Daddy know?’ And, ‘had we ever gone on a date?’ And then we didn’t talk about it for a while, as she took some time to think it over.

Fast forward to the present day, and she’s helping me with presents to send to him, giving me instructions about which cute emoji to text, and suggesting that he fly out and join us for Thanksgiving!
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My loves:
MonkeyMan (36/M/cis/het/poly--married 10yrs)
RacingSnail (40/M/cis/het/mono--BF about a year, LDR)
MightyCupcake (34/F/cis/bi/mono--bestest exGF, engaged to Dynamo)

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Old 11-19-2017, 02:03 PM
habibtig habibtig is offline
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Thanks so much for your responses and experiences.

Ellemenopea, your story resonated with me very much. I can see my son reacting the same way, as he is very protective over his sister and I. Being the younger one, I've been surprised over the years that he is often the one aching for more 'just us' family time. He seems to be way more dialled in to the fact that something 'is different here'. Funny enough, coming out to my parents was super easy~ the kids leave me paralyzed.

Sunray, that's amazing, I'm so happy for you. What made you choose to have the conversation alone with your daughter? Has your husband had a separate conversation with her?

Kevin, I agree with you, though my gut tells me they'll be much more concerned about their father than themselves...my other partner is very much a part of their lives, so they're already well aware of how his presence in their life will look.
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Old 11-19-2017, 09:48 PM
sunray sunray is online now
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Sure, habibtig. I think it was later the same day, he followed up with a little, ‘I hear you and mommy talked about this earlier, do you have any questions for me’ kind of a thing. We both like to emphasize our open-door policy on further questions! But I really strive to normalize things with my daughter. If I don’t make a big deal about things, she doesn’t tend to either. (As an example, I made an effort to be very chill and matter of fact the time she found my drawer of sex toys and wanted to know what that was about!) And I feel like sitting her down with the both of us to have A Talk about my relationship style is making a big deal out of it. *shrugs* Every kid is different, though, and you’re bound to have a better sense of the best approach with yours!
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--Sunray
-----------------------
Me: (39/F/cis/queer/poly)
My loves:
MonkeyMan (36/M/cis/het/poly--married 10yrs)
RacingSnail (40/M/cis/het/mono--BF about a year, LDR)
MightyCupcake (34/F/cis/bi/mono--bestest exGF, engaged to Dynamo)

Follow the sun at...
https://sunrayfox.wordpress.com/
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