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Monday, June 18, 2012

Teach Your Children

D/s and raising children

One of the most common and repetitious question asked of someone in the lifestyle who is known to have children is how do you handle it? Handle what? Kids? They'll rather sheepishly ask...you know the whole Master/slave bit with kids around?

While the slave here does serve her Master, she is not the children's personal slave. They speak to her with respect or they will have privileges removed. The Master shows the slave great respect when dealing with her at all times, but especially so in front of the children.

Someone recently described a dinner scene, where the spouse became belligerent because their food was not properly plated for them and this was done in front of the children. What exactly does this teach or demonstrate to children? The writer was rather insistent that the children don't notice it and went to say this was common in BDSM. Even going as far to say it was a common occurrence in their home. All mouse could think was, "Oh dear how unfortunate for those kids."

The children do notice, and this might come as a surprise, but they keep score too. Even children as young as two notice how their parents interact with each other. Daddy always treats mouse with utmost respect, he so frequently says, "Please" and "Thank you" the children have picked up the habit (without being instructed or even encoraged) of saying thank you and please to mouse as well. He would never, ever behave in such a way in front of the children, nor would he yell or disabuse mouse in their presence or even within their earshot. Even his eyebrow arch will not go unnoticed by the children and instantly it registers as he's likely displeased with something, Sometimes in that awkward moment, they will shift their gaze toward mouse to see her reaction. Just like they understand when Daddy is unusually quiet to give him a bit of distance. They know they can always ask about homework questions and they aren't afraid to go to him if something is bothering them or on their mind, but silly stuff -- no they know not to bother him with that -- for that they go to mouse.

In fact, when mouse found herself moody or deeply out of sorts, he will actually remind mouse actively, and if needed pull her into another room. This happened recently when Daddy lectured mouse, carefully in front of the children explaining why we need to be respectful of each other. But the lesson wasn't lost on kiddo, who caught himself later the following week and apologized. While mouse was humiliated at the time when Daddy did it, it turned out a powerful learning experience on conflict resolution.

The children also routinely see us, hold hands and see Daddy kiss tenderly the back of mouse's hand. They see us embrace and kiss (not suck face, but tenderly kiss). They see how much we care. They have witnessed Daddy recieving a shoulder rub when he was feeling weary. Likewise, they have also observed Daddy giving mouse a much needed foot rub as we sat on the sofa watching a movie.

When kiddo asked once why mouse does so much for Daddy (and this was while she was still working) the reply went something like, "We both work super hard all day long, but mom gets to leave her work at work. It helps mom to relax to do special things for our family. Your dad loves spending time with you, and wants to actually see us all, so be brings work home that he doesn't have time to complete. Gosh, if he didn't bring home his "homework" we might never see him!"

Now, this answer not only satisfied kiddo's curiosity, but also got him thinking about it and thanked mouse for all she does and then thanked Daddy when he got home from work. That left Daddy a little bewildered, but accepted it in the spirit it was offered.

Accidents happen, not often, but there was an occasion where a riding crop was left out. We didn't dwell upon it, no questions were asked, mouse simply picked it up and put it away. Had there been a question, honestly mouse isn't sure what she might have said. It would have largely depended on what was going on and how the question was framed. The riding crop was quite old, given to Daddy by a friend many years ago. Certainly mouse might have said she was simply cleaning the cabinet and forgot to put it away. Of course the crop was discovered on a chair in the study. Had it been found somewhere else or had it been something else entirely, like say a vibe or the plug, really don't know what mouse would have said. Being careful is the key and if directly asked, honesty is the best policy. It's something we've already discussed. Sex toys aren't taboo anyway...and really nothing to be ashamed of if they are discovered. Snooping is another issue entirely tho. The toys are kept in a box way up high in the closet. If a child were to discover them, it wouldn't be by accident. And that is something that wouldn't be tolerated. The chances are pretty good however, they would NEVER ever mention it and become highly embarrassed themselves.

NO child wants to think about their parents having sex of any kind not when child is 13 or nearly 50. Oh when they're 50, it might pass their mind and they might think it's cool that they still get it on....but they don't want to ever consider details. Seriously. They don't want to know.

It was a timely reminder to be careful with our "tools of the trade," and something to keep in mind.

Song selection: Teach Your Children; Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young

30 comments:

  1. Hi mouse, I wrote about this once - and came to nearly the same point you did - no one wants to know about sex their parents are having - no one.

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    Replies
    1. Kitty,

      Yep, mouse has written about it before as well, mostly tho in comments, maybe a post. But this last time mouse truly became annoyed. Can you imagine anyone tossing a dinner plate at their spouse because it wasn't plated right, or the way they preferred, in front of the children and then chalk it up to BDSM?

      Hugs,
      mouse

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  2. First I have to say your song selection is one of my all time favourites.
    I know you have been asked a lot about the children, which always bewildered me because it seems obvious to me that you and Omega treat each other with so much respect.
    It's unfortunate that some people(as you mentioned) don't think kids pay much attention. I can only say to this other blogger you mentioned that kids are very perceptive and always listening...even when you think they're not.
    At monkey #1's graduation brunch my MIL was sitting next to my mother. The MIL was saying something rather loudly that was questionable for ears under 18. My mother, bless her heart, said something I'd heard throughout my childhood.

    "MIL, certain people with large antennaes are listening."

    I almost laughed out loud. My mother used the remind me when I was caught eavesdropping on an adult conversation to please, "pull my antennaes in." it always embarrassed me(which I'm sure was the point) and I'd hurry on my way.

    I swear our monkeys have selective hearing. Can't hear us when we are asking them to do something...but can hear H and I whispering on the other side of the room.

    Sorry for the long comment. Really I could talk forever about this subject. Mostly because it saddens me how often I see parents disrespect each other in front of the children. Those comments they make to each other will stick w/those children forever and teach them so many wrong things. I can only hope these other kids see other healthy relationships.
    I think your relationship with Omega is inspirational...and I'm sure your kiddos do too...or they will when they're adults as most kids don't think about that stuff till they're parents themselves.
    Hugs back,
    mg

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    Replies
    1. Mg,

      We have moments where we will bicker or argue, and gasp, sometimes in front of the children, but we do keep it respectful. Everyone does, but becoming belligerent or screaming just isn't done.

      Hugs,
      mouse

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  3. Children are a lot more perceptive than often people credit them with, some more so than others.

    My children are not my Masters which adds another dimension, he does not have children of his own, i cant fault the way he is with them but its not always easy either because sometimes i feel conflicted.

    I am concious of ensuring that my children are not exposed to behaviour that makes it blatantly obvious that my relationship isnt like their friends parents, although i suspect if looked at closely enough the tell tale signs are there but its never been picked up on.

    I should think a lot is common sense, manners and respect should work both ways regardless of any dynamic. Like you i think honesty is the only way to go when dealing with childrens curiosity and questions, tailoring the answers to suit the childs age and level of understanding.

    I dont think having children in any way effects a dynamic which i have had a few heated debates about in the past, you just adjust behaviour accordingly.

    tori x

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    1. ps

      i thought it a funny coincidence after reading your previous post that this weekend here in the uk Jaws was re-released in the cinemas and i took my son to see it...he wasnt impressed!..not enough gore apparentley.

      tori x

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    2. Tori,

      Kids totally are perceptive! They totally get it. We want children to learn right from wrong behaviors. As parents, isn't that our prime directive?

      Hugs,
      mouse

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    3. Oh and tori. Jaws....shudder..

      Nuff said!

      Delete
  4. Wow, you read my mind. i was going to post today about somet hings the kids happened to notice this weekend, minor but soem funny things were said. I like the way answered kiddos' question, that does teach a good lesson.

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    Replies
    1. Please dancing.... Do write it...we need more voices, mouse supposes on this topic.

      Hugs,
      mouse

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  5. I think this is a really interesting post. I have often wondered myself how the children were handled and this more than answered my questions so thank you for posting this. I have been a long time lurker here and while I don't understand everything that you both do together, I can see that your relationship is very special and very loving. I will admit that at first glance I didn't see that so I'm glad I stayed around and read more.

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    1. Thank you Kat and welcome.

      Hugs,
      mouse

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  6. I feel like my son sees in my M/s marriage is far, far more beneficial to him than what he saw in my vanilla marriage.

    With my first husband... Meh. I was content, I guess, but I never got what I wanted from him. No matter how many times I communicated my needs, he adamantly refused to fulfill them. So my son saw two very distant people.

    Now he sees me with a husband who is very affectionate, and who expects respect and gives it in return. My son knows I defer to Master (though he does not know we refer to his stepdad as "Master" or "Owner"). He also sees Master show gratitude when I do what he wants.

    Words such as "Master", "Owner", "slave", "pet", and more are not spoken for little ears to hear. Toys stay out of sight.

    D/s or M/s with children is not nearly as complex as people assume. I think you explained it very well. ^.^

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    1. Wendy!! Thank you and welcome. You're right M/s isn't really all that complex and shouldn't be.

      Hugs,
      mouse

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  7. Your children are lucky to have such good, intenional, and careful parenting. I teach school, and so I get to see lots of parenting styles and skill levels -- and I get to know the children who come out of those various settings. Good parenting does not happen by accident, and good, polite, decent, honest, self-directing, self-motivated, responsible children are that way because they have been carefully and consistently shown what is expected, and then helped to achieve those things. In general, the things parents do in private, inside their intimate lives do not impinge on that set of realities. What matters is that children absorb the message, day in and day out, that all people are valued, all are welcome, all have dignity, and all are worthy of respect and kindness.

    swan

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    1. swan,

      You're so right! Everyone has value and worthy of respect. Some people really think somehow the power exchange means accepting that one half of that is less.

      Hugs,
      mouse

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  8. I agree with everything you said, and have really nothing to add except that I laughed about that bit about the kids picking up on the "please" and "thank yous". We have a soon to be three-years-old at home who absentmindedly say "Thankyousoverymuch" when I hand her things. I think it's hilarious, and also a good sign of the level of courtesy we extend to each other in our home.

    We do sometimes argue in front of our kid, but we're working really hard on putting an end to that, and that is despite our power dynamic, not in any way because of it. When we're in balance, we're nothing but affectionate and polite to each other and to our kid, and save the harsher side of the dynamic to when she sleeps or is with her grandparents. (Thank God for grandparents!)

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    Replies
    1. C,

      Yep and it's when they say things like "excuse me," to the dog. Lmao!

      Hugs,
      mouse

      Delete
  9. Mouse,
    I grew up with my parents' sex life, interpersonal, intimate, dysfunctional dynamic all lived out loud and publicly. It. Is. Not. Good. For the kids. Even if I thought it had been so one sided and seemingly wrong, but was consensual, it still would have been no good for us to have been exposed to. So I agree completely. They need to see us respect each other, period.

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    1. GG,

      Respect is totally the key. Not who is on the top or who is on the bottom, consensually or otherwise. When kids are involved kids can always tell the difference,

      Hugs,
      mouse

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  10. I am simply commenting to commend you on such a wonderfully rational methodology in your parenting.

    I'm personally thankful that Serafina and I are just beyond our child rearing years, it allows us to freely express ourselves without worry about how our actions might effect little ones. If we did have to deal with children, I'd like to think our own style would be similar to the way you and Omega deal with the challenge.

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    1. No doubt Sir it totally would be!!

      Hugs,
      mouse

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  11. mouse: This was lovely to read. I love that Omega puts emphasis on people respecting one another within the household. He sounds quite charming!

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    1. It's a hard rule. It's how he was raised too. He always had deep respect for his parents. Even his brother and he don't always get along, but they are always cordial. Deep down mouse thinks they care.

      Hugs,
      mouse

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  12. Always respect, always please and thank you and "Do you mind doing this for me?"

    You're absolutely right that kids pick up every tiny little aspect of how we interact with each other. Our little one sees much the same between us - lots of love, hugs, little soft kisses. He surprised us a few weeks ago by asking "Do you mind getting me this while you're up?"

    Seriously. Awesome.

    Awesome post, too.

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    1. Conina,

      Yep!!! Daddy will always ask too.

      Hugs,
      mouse

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    2. As a nanny, I must say that anyone who thinks children don't pay attention must have been 1) a very spacey child, 2) never spent a lot of time around children or 3) just doesn't pay very much attention themselves.

      Everything I do around the kids I care for is constantly being watched. From whether or not I put my napkin in my lap, the way I talk to their parents, my own manners, to the lexicon I use is all picked up on by them. Kids look up to the grown ups around them whether or not they can help it.

      When I use good manners, the children pick up on it and want to use good manners, too. Consequently, if I'm PMSing, I have to be careful to not show or give off any irritation if they mess up on something like littering trash around the living room. If I do, then they think getting upset is an appropriate reaction to when they're frustrated. That they can't use their words to calmly express something.

      The day after their parents have had a big fight, too, it shows. They're more skittish, needy, and requiring extra TLC. They definitely feel the effects and treat each other worse.

      I'm glad that you and Omega are so respectful of each other in front of them. Kids learn to have relationships from their parents, so if you show them a loving, respectful home, they will look for those kinds of relationships when they grow up. You guys sound like such great parents. <3

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    3. Thanks!! We do try. The respect thing just isn't an option for us, we've seen how well kiddo responds to it.

      Hugs,
      mouse

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  13. I was very interested in your post. Especially since we will soon have 4 children in the household (although, the oldest is 16 and thinks she is moving off to a college dorm ASAP)

    When H and I began experimenting with our move into a DD relationship and now a tiny bit of D/s, we began to notice how the girls were effected, and in a positive way.

    I was the one who needed the most help and guidance as I often argued, disrespected and treated H in a bad light in front of the girls.

    So much has changed in the way I speak to H in front of them now and how we talk to one another as a whole. We have had a lot of talks about it once H finally got past being comfortable to voice his opinions. We have agreed to be a united front. It's a great thing now.

    The girls see Daddy now as a Head of Household, but also, see us BOTH doing things as equals and talking to one another as equals. The respect is much more well rounded now.

    I hate to think I was raising girls who would try to walk all over their man like I used to do with H.
    Boy, looking back on it, I'm very embarrassed at how sharp of a tongue I had. (shudder) Makes me want to make a post too!


    -Emi

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    1. Emi,

      Mutual respect is sooo important. Loved your blog post!!

      Hugs,
      mouse

      Delete

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