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Pre-School Age and Up How do You Discuss this?

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  1. #1
    BC-MAV
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    Pre-School Age and Up How do You Discuss this?

    I didn't know where to post this and I don't want a debate so I figured here would be the best place. I just want some info on how you discuss relationships with your kids and what do you tell them? DS asked DH do men marry men? I was not there and DH said No. I would have like to provide a more inclusive answer but since DH was there that was his response and of course DS was satisfied with it and went about coloring and reading. I am guessing there is a child or two in his summer camp that may have 2 Dads and likely said something about his 2 Dads. So all that DS has experienced is that kids have a Mom and a Dad. He doesn't know about divorce, single parenting, and is clueless to race or ethnicity and handicaps. I have always made a point to answer his question honestly and he has never asked about it till now. Should I go into it further or only if he asks more of if he becomes friends with a child whose parents are not like DS expects everbody's parents are. What do you say?
    MAV Mom to

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    AmyP
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    Well - I think Mia is just about the same age as Beau, and I think that this is the best possible age to just point out that families come in all shapes and sizes - a mom and a dad, one mom, two moms, two dads, a mom and a Nana, etc. I think approaching it from the idea of the shapes and sizes of families prepares them for the diverse situations they will encounter at school - but doesn't get into the nature of how adult relationships work and who falls in love with whom, people who get divorced...etc. which I imagine is beyond the realm of what 5 and 6 year olds really care about.

    A little boy in Mia's kinder asked Mia how come she has two Moms and Mia said "that's just the way it is in my family" and everyone was happy!

    As to the marriage question - the factual answer is yes - in Mass, in Canada, etc. but I guess it is up to you and DH what message you want to give to your son. Needless to say - I would wish that parents would teach their kids to be accepting of diversity - but clearly that is a family's personal choice.

    Cool that you're asking MAV
    Amy

    Mom to Mia
    born Guatemala 4/2/2000
    home to Boston 7/5/2001


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    ANGIE271
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    I would recommend a few books for them also. "Who's in a Family" and "Families are Different" are great books. We have not yet been successful with a baby but we already have them. We really enjoyed the books. It discusses not only same gender families but single parents, grandparents raising children and adoption. They are great.


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    Didi1
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    Hi Mav,
    Would agree with Angie. There are many many good books out there that discuss family diversity. She named a few. There's always the contraversial classic, Heather Has Two Mommies, but there are many others. Check out the library or bookstore for more. If you live in a more progressive area, they will have those books. Even the Borders near us has a "family diversity" section in the children's book area!

    Didi


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    BC-MAV
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    I don't know if our city or area is considered progressive? I doubt it! They call LA the Banana Republic. The only same gender community that I know of is in the French Quarter where bars abound and most people that live there are not known to be family oriented. It's not like opportunity just presents itself wherever you go. I think I'll just discuss the topics as they come up with DS. As for the libraries here they lost most all their books in Katrina's floodwaters. The downtown library is not really a library ~ it's FEMA's headquarters and it's a zoo with no parking. The library uptown is near our house but it's a children's library so I'll have to see. Barnes and Noble and Borders are open and there are 2 small bookstores near us but they are so small I doubt they'd have anything ya'll mentionned. The internet is probably a better source.

    So now I'm thinking another question. DS always thinks it will be just the 2 of us and when he gets married he wants to turn the house into an art studio and he might let us live there-LOL! So what do single parents say to their kids when they ask "Why don't I have a daddy?" or "Why don't I have a mommy?" and it is a single parent by choice and not through adoption? At 5 or 6 they seem so young to be getting into explaining donor gametes. Is just because all families are different enough? Just wondering. Thanks for letting me barge!
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    wintak
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    Mav

    Wow...are you serious that your kids have not really experienced diversity in families yet? That's incredible!!

    My mom teaches (co-teaches) 1st grade and each kid has a special week and they bring in a collage poster about their family. SHe said it's awesome because those who have not been exposed to diversity see that families come in all shapes and sizes. She's had a kid with 2 moms, she's had many kids with only 1 parent, or one parent but he's in jail so the kid is with nana etc.

    At your sons age...I wouldn't address any more until it's asked. Then, I thought Amy had a great point..if he needs more explanation...families come in all shapes and sizes.

    It was kind of a strange question to ask...unless the topic was brought up somehow. DOes the camp curriculum address differences in people and families?

    And I believe in parts of Europe same sex marriages are ok...netherlands comes to mind..and spain??

    Amy


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    kazzil
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    I used to teach 5 year olds and this reminded me of a conversation I overheard between two children in my class. Child B as same sex parents.

    Child A: Who's that? (pointing to the lady picking him up from school)
    Child B: That's my mum
    Child A: No,that is not your mum. You have a different mum.
    Child B: I have two mums.
    (silence)
    Child A with an excited expression: You are SOOOO lucky. I've only got one mum!!
    Child B smiles: Yep! I'm very lucky!

    This anecdote keeps reminding me how open minded and accepting children are!

    BC_ Mav - Your son is at an age where he is learning about social rules and how the world around him works - his questions probably meant nothing more than learning how marriages/families work. My guess is if your DH said 'yes, two men can get married' then he would have also gone back to coloring and reading too! Another thing to remember is he is also learning whether he can come to you if he has questions, especially sensitive questions! When children realise the answers they're getting at home aren't honest, then they'll go elsewhere to have their questions answered (and then you can't control what they're being told!!).
    Kaz
    After 6 failed IUI cycles, we moved on to IVF and got our first BFP!
    Our twins were born 06/06/07 at 37.5wks


  9. #8
    BC-MAV
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    As far as DS experiencing diversity, he has experienced it but doesn't seem to notice. His good friend in nursery school had autism and I had no idea and neither did he! He has also had an AA friend since babyhood who went to his same nursery school and he did swim lessons, play dates, and such with him. The boy's Mom is someone I did not go to school with and just met and become friends. She and her DH are caucasion and they adopted the biracial baby at birth. Never once did color come up even though it was obvious. Even when he evacuated and was at a different school he said he wanted to invite a friend over. I asked who. He didn't know the child's name. So I asked if it was a boy or a girl, what color hair, etc... and I couldn't figure it out. DS then said his skin is kind of darkish. So I sheepishly asked the teacher was there a child with darkish skin? She was puzzled too as no AA children in the class. It was a little boy who had a tan-LOL!

    DS has seen all sorts of people with handicaps at the various Drs. when the baby was going to physical therapy but never once questioned anything. His uncle has palsy in his arm and no use of it and he has never questioned that either. As for different kinds of families, well, we've just never come across any. I don't think DS really notices which is IMO good because he takes the child or the person for who they are not their skin color or handicap or whatever. I imagine someday DS would notice but then again his head is "in the clouds".
    MAV Mom to

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    wintak
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    And having your head in the clouds is a good thing. I wish I could walk around like that...just ignore everything else!

    Amy


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    BC-MAV
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    It's pretty amazing that at age 3 he could build with legos for an hour and a half with a group of boys running around the table screaming at his nursery school. That's what I mean by "having his head in the clouds"... sort of like being able to "tune out" things which is good and bad!
    MAV Mom to

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