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.
Facebook group discussing the creation of children’s books that touch on polyamory, run by Michael Fleming:
Jessica Burde is in the process of publishing an e-book called Guide to Pregnancy and Polyamory, which will be the first of her “Poly on Purpose Guides”:
Some resources about polyamory and parenting recently gathered and posted by the esteemed Alan M of Poly In the News:
There are also a number of poly parenting lists here and there. One is run by the folks at Loving More (who will be sponsoring Poly Living in early February, remember!):
[ADDED in 2014, for Custody Battles and the like: – Poly-Parenting Nightmares: Links & Advice]
Not specifically poly, but aimed at any “sex-positive parent”:
Airial Clark, the Sex-Positive Parent, has two tweenage sons and her master’s in Human Sexuality from SF State, and she is committed that we parents have the information and support that we need for this task. She’s giving away her Quick Start Guide to Sex-Positive Parenting (normally $15) for a limited time when you sign up for her mailing list:
Back on the topic of books of interest to the life of a polyamorous child, a couple of books that we enjoyed as our daughter was growing up are:
Love Is a Family by Roma Downey
(note, NOT the more well known “Love MAKES a Family,” which is also good)
This one is aimed at single parents with children, but covers a lot of ground familiar to any children with “weird” families.
Six-Dinner Sid by Inga Moore.
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. 🙂