here’s been some discussion on various poly lists recently about polyamorous children’s books, and therefore some discussion of poly parenting. I thought I’d put up a quick post about a few resources, for those who are interested.
Sid the cat gets his needs met with six different families. Is Sid a poly cat??
And a bonus comment I posted in one of the threads on poly children’s books, about the idea of introducing a new partner to the kids… or to other new partners, for that matter:
I completely agree with the idea of gradually introducing a new partner to kids. In fact, that’s what I’d recommend to adults, too! Attempting to suddenly add new partners to the mix to create the poly “Brady Bunch” [with or without kids!] has brought more heartache in my personal life, and more drama to those I’ve coached, than just about any other single practice. I find that gradually nurturing relationships, and moving *organically* into closer connection works much better. This goes double with kids. “This is your new Mommy” is unlikely to work well. However, “hey, ‘Auntie’ Susie [who has been in the kid's life for a year or more] is going to come live with us. That means she’ll get to be around for you when Mommy’s off at her new job. Isn’t that cool?” is likely to work much better.
There have been a few stellar examples of partnership in my poly-parenting life. One was a woman (probably not coincidentally on the path to becoming a therapist at the time!) who actually only stayed a sexual partner of my husband for about 6 months. However, she realized going in that she was forming a bond with our kid (then only about 2 or 3, IIRC), and therefore she stayed deliberately connected to her over time, showing up for birthday parties and household events regularly for years afterward. It was incredibly insightful, and a real gift in my daughter’s life, to get to see that these friendships and relationships did not HAVE to end even if the relationships between the adults changed in some way (that wasn’t really all that understandable or relevant to our daughter anyway, beyond the fact that she’d get less time with her friend.) This sort of interaction is only possible, of course, in a cooperative “split,” and is incredibly uncommon (IME) in the all-or-nothing “divorce” world.
May you always love boldly, safely, and well… and may your children grow up happy and well-adjusted, too!
(parent of a 28-year old step-daughter, and almost-16-year old daughter)
PS: Want to talk about poly and parenting issues, or pick my brain for more resources? Contact me to set up an initial 60-minute consultation for 50% off my usual hourly rate.
“State Sen. Mark Leno is pushing legislation to allow a child to have multiple parents.
“The bill brings California into the 21st century, recognizing that there are more than Ozzie and Harriet families today,” the San Francisco Democrat said. …
The key factor is a child’s best interest: SB 1476 does not force judges to do anything, it only provides them with discretion to recognize multiple parents if doing so not only is beneficial, but is required for a child’s well-being, Leno said.”
s tomorrow approaches — and therefore, the airing of the National Geographic Taboo segment on polyamory (which profiles some of my “tribe,” and in which I appear in a cameo role) — I find myself in need of humor to break the nervous anticipation. So given that it’s easier to laugh and not take things too personally when one is laughing at oneself (or at least that’s true when I am laughing at MYself… LOL), I give you the following video:
I know I’ve personally said or heard pretty much every one of these things (allowing for appropriate changes of gender and orientation), and yes, I really did Laugh Out Loud.
On a more serious note, given that slut-shaming will certainly be a part of the fallout from this video, here’s another amazing YouTube clip, this one by an exceedingly wise 13-year-old girl.
Hopefully tomorrow’s segment will be at least as enlightening as both of these videos–and no more embarrassing!
‘ve been busy with holiday matters, and I imagine you all have been as well. I’ll be back to blogging more seriously (including new posts in the Agreements Workbook series) in the new year. In the meantime, for your information, here are some references on raising children in polyamorous/non-monogamous families. These would be helpful to any who are looking for actual data to back up assertions that kids raised in poly households aren’t any worse off than kids raised in monogamous (or in some cases supposedly monogamous!) households. Mostly there’s not a lot of stuff out there… yet. Fortunately, people ARE investigating these questions, and more and more people are becoming interested as time goes on. Thanks to my fellow denizens of the Poly Researchers list who compiled the references, and formatted them consistently. I’ll be putting this in my resources tab for future reference.
Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and may your days and nights be full of much love, with as many loves as you wish!
In other news, I also contributed to a thread in another online article brought to my attention by Alan. He titled it as “Polyignorance in Ireland,” and I heartily agreed. Here’s what I posted in the comments to the article:
This entry in the Agreements Workbook series is from Appendix B, a collection of example Agreements. This one is an example of a Relationship Agreement (as opposed to a Safer Sex Agreement, which I’ll cover next).
Please feel free to make comments or ask questions, either here, or on my FB Page, Love Outside The Box.
∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥
True confessions: I was hopeful that I’d be posting Tip #2 next. I have officially given up that notion for the moment in favor of posting some of the other stuff I wrote while out on the boat with my friend. Just because I have writer’s block around the next section doesn’t mean I can’t put up some useful stuff! It’ll just be out of order. [Death to perfectionism! "Get a C!" as Samantha Bennett says!] Since when has order been required for information to be helpful, after all? (Certainly my life is often “out of order”–in many ways!!) You want it in order? You’ll have to buy the book once I manage to get through this!
So this section will be another of the Appendices. This one is tentatively part of Appendix B, a collection of various example Agreements. As I discussed in last month’s East Bay Poly Discussion Group (on the topic of making tricky/safer sex Agreements), I usually recommend that agreements around safer sex/epidemiology/virology be separated out from Agreements around emotional safety, and other Relationship Agreements. Trying to achieve safer sex through emotional safety agreements (e.g., “No falling in love!” as a safer sex agreement…) is often ineffective, leads to drama, and is sometimes downright dangerous.
Caveats, Whys, and Wherefores
This is (somewhat obviously) NOT a Safer Sex Agreement. I’ll give you the matching Safer Sex portion of this Agreement in the next post. And then I’ll give you some other examples, written by other people.
This is an example Relationship Agreement. It is not the One True Right and Only Way to do an Agreement. It’s just ONE way. It’s not necessarily the best way. You’ll need to work out for yourself what the best way is for you.
It’s very couple-centric (aka “hierarchical” or “Primary-Secondary type”). If that’s not your relationship style, it may be less helpful to you as a “recipe” to follow. However, you can still use it as a jumping off point, or a way to generate ideas about what YOU might find important to discuss, or to put in a written Relationship Agreement. Try it on. Keep what works for you. Don’t worry about the rest.
My older son is now 11 and wow… the sex negativity is increasing exponentially. …
This is where it gets interesting for me as a sex positive parent. My son just went from wishing he was sexy to shaming a girl for being just that? I rolled up my sleeves and got ready to do some unpacking. …
“So, it’s obvious I am jealous?” cue the ego deflation.
“Uh, yes. Majorly. You’re anxious about when you’re going to be ready, you’re anxious for a girl to like you, and you’re angry that this person in your class is doing what you can’t, and you’re probably a little pissed that she isn’t doing it with you.” Did I just unpack slut-shaming for the 11 year old? Yes, I think I did. …
I’m learning that what goes down in the dorm room starts on the playground. And mama ain’t havin’ it.
That’s one sexy smart mama, alright, with really important wisdom for all of us:
“you’re angry that this person … is doing what you can’t, and you’re probably a little pissed that [the person you're shaming] isn’t doing it with you.”
Remember that, the next time someone shames you for “being a slut” –or anything else, really: It’s very likely they’re actually envious of you!
Our closing argument was designed to piggy back on the closing argument of the Amicus, who did a great job focusing on the law generally. He also has a significant section in his brief on international law, including US. The CPAA closing is focused on the facts surrounding polyamory. John Ince intends to read the affidavits of our poly families into the record as part of the closing, as we did not present any oral evidence.
More at the link.
“I’m speaking up for those who feel lost and alone, and who’ve been rejected by others for core pieces of their being, whether that’s paganism, poly, their bodies, kink, or whatever. I’m here to say “you are not alone,” and “you are fine, just the way you are,” and hand you some tools and roadmaps.”
What do YOU need to be heard about?
email@example.com or 510-686-3386.
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