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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, everyone,

DW and I live in an area rich with lesbians, and somehow we never made friends with any guys out here (not that we are against that in any way... I actually really miss having guy friends, but both me and DW had/have jobs in fields that are saturated with women), so consequently our kids don't hang out with men except for when we go out of state to visit family. This weekend we have been at my parents' house and I have noticed that my kids go much more willingly to my mother than to my father. They are also a little wary of my brother. Granted, they tend to be wary of any strangers and they have spent more time with my mother than any of my other family members, but I can't help but wonder if their apprehension toward my dad and bro is because they are just unaccustomed to spending time with men. What do I do about this? I very much want them to have a good male role model (or two or three!), but I don't know any guys that live near us and I feel like it would be really creepy to put an ad on Craigs List or something asking for a guy friend. My fear is that any respondants would assume we were looking for a "friend" (in quotes, you know?), which we most certainly are not.

I'd love to hear how other people deal with this kind of thing.

Thanks!
 

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I'm close enough to family that they see their grandpas and uncles quite frequently. My kids are also in school where there are a lot of students from the college helping out in the classroom that are male. I don't really try to find males to be involved in their lives, it just works out with our daily interactions.
 

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How old are your kids?

At a certain age, as they get more involved in their peer group, they'll start being around their friends' dads, uncles, and big brothers.

The other option, if you feel that strongly about it, would be to sign them up with Big Brothers or something like that (or at least your boy) but I wouldn't do that because I don't want to support big brothers as an organization - they have a long history of being homophobic (at least when it comes to men - I believe they don't let men be big brothers).

Personally, I think this whole idea of "kids need male role models" is a bit of bunk - I think it's another misogynist and homophobic, heterocentric way of questioning lesbians' abilities as parents.

Does anyone worry about the male role models for families headed by single straight women after the man splits? What about, I see this in my neighbourhood a lot, families where mom is working hard to support her family, and her mother or an aunt and sometimes a sister and her kids as well all end up living under the same roof?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
See, if I were a single mother, I would still be concerned about the same thing. Seriously, my kids never see men unless we pass them in the grocery store. Our playgroups are all moms and kids (mine are 18 months old). We do not have family closer than 3 hours away. And we have literally no male friends in the area. Or any straight couple friends. And I think that it is important for them to be *exposed* to guys at least. To have some experience seeing them. Both kids really were so hesitant to approach either my father or brother and screamed when they came near them, but would readily go to my mother and at least tolerated my sister. I don't know, I don't think that's good, and it got me thinking about this whole thing. It kind of concerns me that they are afraid of men--I don't want them to be afraid of men just because there isn't one in their home, you know?
 

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My kiddo has a daddy who she spends tons of time with and adores, and she STILL was/continues to be scared of men.

I'm not sure why. Once she said, "Mama I don't like mans because they are too louder." Fair enough. And there are not many men in early childhood circles.

I think as they grow they will come into contact with more men, and I wouldnt' necessarily assume they are afraid of men *becoz* their parents are two mamas.
 

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At 18 months, my daughter was around her grandfather some, and that was about it. But she's three now, and we found a great day care with three male teachers (two bio, one FTM, how great is that??) She is also interacting more with friends, and a lot of them have daddies - we are spending quite a bit of time these days with straight parents. Our next door neighbor is great with kids and our daughter loves him and sees him almost daily. We also have started a small family play group, and have two gay dad families involved.

I think if you are open, and out and about in the world of families, you will find all kinds of interesting people for your kids to be around as they get older and more mobile and involved outside of just the two of you. We still have hardly any close male friends, but our daughter does have people of diverse gender in her life!
 

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How about the women you work with - are any of them partnered with good men? Or have you checked with queer parenting groups in your area to see if there are any daddies you could hang out with or meet at a group event?

I don't think it's a bad sign that your kiddos favour women at this age, but I do hear you on wanting to expose then to more than just your current circle and eventually have some positive stable male role models in their lives.
 

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I don't worry about it. We do see the grandpas pretty frequently, but we don't spend huge amounts of time with any other men. We used to spend our days with a SAHD (who happened to be FTM) and his twin daughters, so that was great, but now that our kids are older, we rarely see them. When we were looking at preschools, it was important to us that at least one of the teachers be a man. L and J ended up in a classroom with two men and one woman. Unfortunately, one of the men ended up getting arrested (and fired) for possession of child porn (
: ), but they've still got the one man who they see 5 mornings a week.

But my kids were the opposite from your kids as toddlers. Whenever we were anywhere where there was a man in the room, Luke and Jaz would just crawl right into his lap (total strangers even!). We used to joke that Jasper, especially, would do a "daddy scan" as soon as he entered a room. It made me feel like they would know how to seek out male attention if they needed it.

HTH!

Lex
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by FtMPapa View Post
Personally, I think this whole idea of "kids need male role models" is a bit of bunk - I think it's another misogynist and homophobic, heterocentric way of questioning lesbians' abilities as parents.

Does anyone worry about the male role models for families headed by single straight women after the man splits? What about, I see this in my neighbourhood a lot, families where mom is working hard to support her family, and her mother or an aunt and sometimes a sister and her kids as well all end up living under the same roof?
Ditto. Opportunities will arrise as your children get older and socialize with the outside world at school, sporting events, etc.
 

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Yes, I want to clarify my earlier post. We are happy that our daughter has caring adults in her life of diverse genders, and that's very important to us. We are not particularly concerned about "male role models" though. We just think it's good that she experiences a lot of different human beings, including boys and men.

For our homestudy, we had to identify, by name, three male role models. It was ridiculous. We tease our friend Eric about this every time he comes to babysit, along the lines of, "Hey, Eric! Could you crush a beer can or something? Anna needs a male role model."
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay, sorry, I guess I didn't mean that I want my kids to have "male role models." Really I just wish I could expose them to some men as they are inundated with women. Ideally, I would like my children to see people of different races, ethnicities, religions, etc, too. Sounds like people are getting hung up on the "role model" thing which is not exactly what I meant, I suppose. Honestly, my kids see a man (again, other than whoever we happen to pass while at the market), on average, once every month or two.

Speaking of kids, gotta run--they're hungry again!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Diane B View Post
For our homestudy, we had to identify, by name, three male role models. It was ridiculous. We tease our friend Eric about this every time he comes to babysit, along the lines of, "Hey, Eric! Could you crush a beer can or something? Anna needs a male role model."
Oh my goodness! We just had to list 3 references, and only one was male!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by FtMPapa View Post
Personally, I think this whole idea of "kids need male role models" is a bit of bunk - I think it's another misogynist and homophobic, heterocentric way of questioning lesbians' abilities as parents.

Does anyone worry about the male role models for families headed by single straight women after the man splits? What about, I see this in my neighbourhood a lot, families where mom is working hard to support her family, and her mother or an aunt and sometimes a sister and her kids as well all end up living under the same roof?
: It's so refreshing to see that someone else besides me thinks this.


I know this thread isn't about role models anymore--I just got so psyched when I saw that the old antiquated idea that children need men was finally being challenged!
 

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I definitely agree that the necessity of "male role models" is silly, BUT, I do think it's great for kids to meet lots of different people who are kind, respectful, and loving. We are blessed to belong to a church that is queer positive and full of nice dads/guys. Aside from that both of our dads are around and involved in our daughter's life.

I used to completely laugh off the "role model" argument. However, now I see it like any other parental responsibility- seek out and find a good community of different kinds of people for our daughter to grow up around.

How to find them? That's the hard part! Is there a local "cause" you can volunteer with? A foodbank or stream restoration, i dunno, something where good folks would be found? Are your kids old enough for sports? And even though advertising on craigslist seems silly, finding some sort of collective of families via CL could work!

good luck
 

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You know, I also don't know any bio men. I do however know a lot of FTMs so that works. Still, I'd rather have a broader gender spectrum in my life and in my 'someday' childs life.
I was going to recommend the Q Center (http://www.pdxqcenter.org) but I just noticed that the usual family play group isn't on the May calendar.
To be honest, thier website is a bit crappy. It is difficult to find things on it. So maybe I'm just missing it. They have two "dads" things each month and then there is the Pregnant&Parenting lesbians group (PLOP). You'd think they would have at least one combo event!
I promise that when I get preggers I'll going to get those two groups to colaborate some more. Then your family can come to them! Besides, gender segragated groups make me itchy.
 
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