Recently we wrote about how there has been some research into polyamory. We touched on how polyamory effects children. I’d like to explore that aspect of the research more fully and how we’ve seen polyamory effect children and families. Due to the extensiveness of this topic we will break it into several articles.
Before I go further, I want others to understand that I don’t write this flippantly. I write this as a polyamorous father and husband. I have children that came into our family with one of my spice and children I fathered with all of my spice. We have raised children from infancy into adulthood in a polyamorous family. Whether by blood or by marriage, they are my children through and through. As we raise the last of our children into adulthood, I can honestly speak from experience concerning the effects of dating, exes, adding new partners and raising children in a multi-partner household. Our experiences may not be everyone’s, but it does give us a frame of reference in which to evaluate this topic. Deborah Anapol, Ph.D wrote an excellent article titled “Polyamory and Children“. It is worth a read.
The topic of children is obviously a sensitive one. As adults, we make choices for our lives that not only affect us but can impact the lives of our children. It is not only selfish but irresponsible of parents not to consider this when considering polyamory. Any parent entering into any relationship, whether monogamous or poly, should always consider the impact on their children. Some polyamory proponents would argue that there is no reason for anyone to worry about the children. They will say polyamory is a healthy relationship alternative and no one needs to question how it will affect the children. In a perfect world this would be true. The problem is not necessarily that polyamory is bad for children in a family but that a relationship/family dynamic is created that conflicts with a pro-monogamous society. Whether we like it or not, there will be conflict from the world around us. This monogamy only society will want to tell our children that their family is wrong and if they like or agree with their polyamory family, something is wrong with them.
Our choice to be polyamorous will affect our children, whether positive or negative. What we choose to do will impact them. Never take your children lightly in this matter. Boyfriends, girlfriends, ex-husbands and wives and new husbands and wives will impact your children. Teachers and parents of your kid’s friends can impact your children’s lives. It can be positive or negative, but it can happen.
I believe that polyamory is just as acceptable a family dynamic as monogamy. Like any successful family, it takes time, effort and work from everyone involved.