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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a 30 year old mom living a pretty mainstream lifestyle......However, My husband and I are VERY liberal and are completely open minded and excepting of all lifestyles....We have a couple of gay friends with children and we know the question will arise from our children..."why does so and so have two mommies...or two daddies...or even just a mom and no dad...etc??"

What do you feel is the best way to answer kids questions??
 

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Many of my friends have told me that they tell their kids something similar to what we tell our kids. All families are unique. Most families have a mom and a dad, some have two moms, some have two dads, some have one mom, some have one dad etc. There is a book out by Todd Parr that's good which is call All Families are Different. It touchs on divorce, large families, small families, adoption etc. I usually touch on the similarities all families have at the same time too.

Thanks for asking.
 

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We also like Todd Parr's The Family Book--it also makes the point that there are lots of different ways to be a family, and different kinds of families.

I think I've told this story before here--when my daughter (3) was asked by a friend's son, also 3, why she had two moms, the friend, my partner and I all held our breath, wondering what she'd say (we read the family book with Maddie, but didn't really know what she'd made of it...). She looked at the little boy like he was a little crazy, and replied "Because that's what I picked!" (Like, "hellooo, did you not see that check-box on the parent selection form??")
So your kids might get interesting takes on it if they ask the kids of your queer friends!
 

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I would definitely start telling them now about all the different kinds of families there are. No need to wait for them to ask questions! Even if you don't have any gay friends with kids, I think it's important for all kids to know that there are many different ways to make a family. You can just bring it up out of the blue, or in the context of a children's book (or a few children's books). I also think it's important that when talking to your kids about their future, you never imply that they are or will be heterosexual. My parents consider themselves to be very liberal, have many gay friends, live in a diverse and open-minded city, and STILL they always assumed that I would be straight (i.e. asked to a seven-year-old me: "Lex, what if your future husband doesn't want to have 16 children?"). With our kids, we refer to their non-gendered "loves" of the future when it comes up.

HTH!

Lex
 

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Yes, that's it the Todd Parr book is The Family Book. He also has one call Everybody is Different I think which is also good(I think it also mentions the two mom/two dad thing as i believe Todd Parr is in the club).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My husband and I had talked about this just the other day, but we thought that bringing it up, would actually seem like we WERE pointed it out...in other words...we would never just say" now see honey that person is ...."black, asian...etc", so why would we do it for "different families"...

Thanks for the book ideas, we will check them out!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Telle Bear View Post
My husband and I had talked about this just the other day, but we thought that bringing it up, would actually seem like we WERE pointed it out...in other words...we would never just say" now see honey that person is ...."black, asian...etc", so why would we do it for "different families"...

Thanks for the book ideas, we will check them out!
Certainly you don't point and stare without tact but I'm sure you've had conversations with your kids about race and difference. Just like there's all kinds of people, there are all kinds of families too. I definitely think you should bring it up intentionally, just as I think you should have pointed and purposeful conversations on race and other issues of diversity.
I agree that Todd Parrs stuff is great too.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Telle Bear View Post
My husband and I had talked about this just the other day, but we thought that bringing it up, would actually seem like we WERE pointed it out...in other words...we would never just say" now see honey that person is ...."black, asian...etc", so why would we do it for "different families"...
Your family is a "different family" too. ALL families are different. Talking about all the different kinds of families that exist shouldn't make you seem pointed about any one family. And you don't have to discuss it in the context of any family in particular either. You could just bring it up out the blue like, "did you know that not all kids have a mom AND a dad?" and go from there (i.e. "some kids only live with their mom. Some kids live with their grandparents. Some kids have two dads, or two moms. Or two moms and one dad and one stepmom," etc.).

That said, I don't see anything wrong with helping my kids to notice the different kinds of people/families around them. If we walk by a person in a wheelchair who only has one leg, for example, I certainly will say something like, "did you notice that that man only had one leg? His body is different from your body. All bodies are different. Some people don't have any legs, or any arms. Some people have one leg and one arm. Some people have two legs and two arms. Some people have really long arms or really long legs. Every body is unique." NOT saying anything would, IMO, imply that some differences shouldn't be talked about because they're too different, or less ideal and we'd rather pretend we don't notice them.

We have this movie, "That's a Family!" that you might enjoy as an easy way to introduce kids to all different types of families (gay and lesbian familes, single parent families, families formed through adoption, divorced families, families where one parent has died, families where kids live with grandparents, etc.). My kids are a little young for it (target audience is K-8), but they still enjoy it and I do think it has increased their awareness.

Lex
 

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Well, if you don't bring it up, someone else will - i.e. another kid making an anti-gay statement, something stupid they see in a movie, etc. etc. I would much rather bring up issues directly so that I can mediate the information for my daughter, whether that's race, gender, sexuality, disability, politics, or whatever.

Another great book our family loves is "And Tango Makes Three" a true story about a peguin family at the Central Park Zoo with two dads. It makes the point about different kinds of families in a very gentle, beautiful way.
 

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I hope it's ok to jump in again, because I thought of one more thing:

If you take care of educating your child about difference, my daughter doesn't have to deal with your children's questions, which is a lovely thing. So that's another way to look at it; you are really being supportive of children in same-gender families, (or in our case, transracial families too) because your child won't be saying things to them on the playground like, "You can't have two mommies!" or "You don't look like your mom!" My daughter handles herself just fine, but how nice if she didn't have to deal with it from other children because their families had already taught them and exposed them to different kinds of families!
 

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When my Lucy was 3 she went to a friends in home DC while I was at school. Two of the boys had 2 mamas, AND two papas! It was such an evolved situation I must say. The couples basically shared custody, though I think mamas had somewhat more time. The only comment I remember from Lucy was to ask who nursed Ethan when he was at Dads' house LOL!!!
laoxinat
 

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This thread is great!

My first girlfriend was very invovled with my neices and nephews and she and I bought them the Todd Parr family Book. It has been the best thing for them.

My mother was VERY concerned about them growing up asking to many questions and not understand. Kids oddly don't observe certain things.

 

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I wanted my children to understand that being gay was not a lifestyle choice, but rather a fundamental part of a person. I explained that most girls want to marry boys when they grow up and vice versa, but that some girls want to marry other girls, some boys, other boys.

I used the "marriage" term because I felt it was a way for my children when they were very young (like under age 5) to understand the nature of the relationship, that it wasn't just "friendship" but something else. I think that they understood from an early age the fact that people who were married were in a relationship that was something more than simple friendship.

I am hetero myself, but we have several friends that aren't and I just thought that this was important to address at any early age.
 
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