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What's Monogamy Got to Do With Marriage?

Study Notes and Anecdotes From LGBT People in Committed, Non-Monogamous Partnerships

June 25, 2013


Sigrid Ellis

Sigrid Ellis, Writer, Air Traffic Controller and Homeschooling Parent; Saint Paul, Minn.

How do you talk about polyamory to your kids?

Jennifer and I have been together about 17 years. Our daughter is 10 years old, and our son is 9. Jennifer and I met when my partner at the time wanted to date her partner at the time. Nothing about that situation worked out the way anyone planned, but I like where I've ended up.

I am always utterly baffled by this question. You talk to kids about polyamory the way you do any other part of your life!

But then I realize that many people perhaps don't bother to explain their lives to kids. My partner and I, we're geeks. We're raising geeky kids. We explain everything, all the time. "Mother and I are partners, and we are a family, and you two are our kids. I am dating Other Person" usually does the trick.

People seem to get squeamish about saying "dating." But here's the thing: My kids, when they were young, didn't care about anything that would make an adult squeamish. Kissing is kissing.

I think most kids take their cue from how weird adults are being about a thing. If poly is normal, it's normal. We had a harder time explaining book-burning to them when it was in the news. People dating more than one person at a time is perfectly normal; censorship and destruction of literature is weird and disturbing.

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