I’m one parent of a two mum family. My wife and I conceived our daughter with the help of a sperm donor and at home artificial insemination – no turkey baster needed. We wished and hoped for her and on a rainy day in December of 2015, she swan dove into our lives and turned them upside down.
We’re parents to the most wonderful two year old little girl. A little girl who is starting to notice that families are different. She’s starting to notice that (sodding) Peppa and George have a mummy and a daddy. Eden is beginning to notice that not everyone has two mums. Not everyone calls their parents “mummy” and “mama”.
It’s a question I see a lot online. “How do I talk to my child about same sex families?” Usually followed by concerns of “I don’t want to ruin their innocence!” and “I can’t talk to my three year old about sex!” Look at the furore over Tom Daley’s baby news. People are losing their collective minds about how a baby can possibly have two dads.
So how do you talk to children about same sex families? Here’s the secret… you don’t have to talk to your child about sex in order to explain same sex families. It won’t ruin their innocence to talk about how different families are made up. It might cause a barrage of other questions, but that’s kids, isn’t it? If my child hasn’t said “why?” four hundred times, today, I know she’s not feeling well. Kids ask questions, and that’s okay.
Here’s a conversation we had with a friend’s daughter before Eden was even a thing.
4 year old : You know if you and Auntie Amy have a baby?
4 year old: They’ll have two mummies.
Me: You’re right! They would have two mummies.
4 year old: I have a mummy and a daddy
Me: You do. And some people have two daddies. Some people only have a mummy or only a daddy. Some people have lots of different parents.
4 year old: Cool. Can I have a biscuit?
Just talk to them. Talk to them about how families are made with love. Talk to them about same sex families the same way I talk to my daughter about “traditional” families. Answer their questions. You’re not ruining their innocence – you’re making them more understanding of the world around them. It’s not about sex. It’s not about genitals. It’s not about where babies come from and how they are made. It’s about families and how they come in all kinds of weird and wonderful shapes and sizes.
Some people have a mum and a dad. Some people have two mums. Some people have two dads. Some people have one parent. Some have four. But love makes a family…
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