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Mum Refuses to Allow Son to Play at His Friend’s House Because His Parents are Polyamorous

Mum Refuses to Allow Son to Play at His Friend’s House Because His Parents are Polyamorous

When your child makes friends at school, you’re usually overjoyed! For one mother (let’s call her Jane), who shared her concerns in the popular Reddit sub AmItheAsshole recently that’s not the case though. When Jane’s  7-year-old son (let’s call him Alex) became good friends with a boy in his class (we’ll call him Tom), Jane had some concerns about Tom’s home life – namely that his parents are in a polyamorous relationship. For clarification, a polyamorous relationship is a relationship where both partners are allowed to pursue romantic and sexual relationships with others, with the consent of all people involved.

Over the current school year my 7 year old son has become good friends with a boy in his class. I’ve allowed the boy to visit for playdates at my home but made excuses when his mom invites my son to her house. I feel like a prude to say it, but I don’t agree with their lifestyle and don’t want my son exposed to whatever goes on in their house.

The boy’s mom is in her early 30’s and his father is around 60. They are also polyamorous, and another woman lives in their house, and she also has children with the father. The father has a lot of children, many of them adults now, and has grandchildren and a great-grandchild that are older than his youngest child.

Jane’s list of concerns include:

  • Tom’s parents’ polyamorous relationship
  • That there’s multiple children in the home, a lot of which are teenage and adult age
  • Jane heard talk around the town about how Tom’s family are a bit alternative and disruptive, having regular loud parties and riding dirt bikes on the street

I don’t want my son exposed to their family dynamic as I think having multiple partners living with your children is wrong and this will set a bad example for my son. He has already asked me questions because he has been confused about what his friend has told him and doesn’t understand how his friend has 2 moms and a dad.

I am also concerned about what he may see or hear at their home as they are very alternative parents. There are several teenagers who live in their home, and I would be concerned about how they would treat my son or what he would learn from them. The family has a bad reputation locally and I haven’t heard great things. A mom friend of mine lives on their street and says they regularly have loud parties with all sorts of people there and the kids are constantly riding dirt bikes up and down the street (they’re semi-rural but still it’s noisy). The mom seems very nice, and the boy has been polite and mostly well behaved at my home (some swearing but after I told him we don’t allow it he stopped).

The last time I turned down they boy’s mom’s offer to a playdate she wasn’t taking no for an answer. The mom told me she could do anytime and day, would pick him up and drop him off. I couldn’t say no so I told her I would get back to her and have been avoiding her ever since. My son has also been begging to go over to his friend’s house as his friend told him that his mom had asked, and I said no. He’s brought it up a lot and has called me rude names over it. Apparently, his friend has a skate ramp in his backyard, as well as a tree house, trampoline and zipline. To him that sounds awesome, to me it sounds dangerous.

My husband thinks I’m being an asshole by not allowing the playdate for superficial reasons and that I’m upsetting our son for no reason. He admits he shares my concerns over the polyamorous relationship the parents have and isn’t sure our son she be exposed to it but argues he already has been exposed from his friend who talks to him about it. Am I the asshole for denying a playdate? I’m not stopping them from being friends and still allow they boy around my house. I don’t see why it matters where they play and therefor would prefer it happening in my home where it is safer.


Understandably little Tom is excited invite Alex to his home and share fun experiences with him and has told him all about their zipline, skate ramp, tree house and trampoline. Alex thinks this is awesome (and we do, too!), so continues to ask his mum when they can go to Tom’s house. Jane noted in her post that she sees these activities as dangerous, and sticks to her “no” to going to their home, despite Tom’s mum’s persistence in not taking no for an answer, noting that she’ll pick Alex up, drop Alex off and be able to make any day and time work, whatever suits them. (Talk about going above and beyond!).

We understand that Jane might legitimately be concerned about Alex being hurt on a zipline or skate ramp, but also see these are incredible experiences for Alex if done safely and we aren’t entirely sold that Jane is too worried since it was last on her list of priorities.

Commenters were quick to offer the concerned mum advice.

It’s tough sending your kids over to someone else’s home. 7 is still really young. My daughters are 8 and 9 and I don’t think polyamory would be all that difficult to explain (Some people love multiple people! Cool, huh?) However, a 60ish year old man with multiple partners significantly younger than him would give me pause.

But why not go with him? See for yourself what the home is like and how they treat your son and his friend? Or meet the mom at the park for a neutral playdate? All you have to say is that you’re not ready for him to go places without you yet and you’d rather get to know her first. – personospaper

Kids don’t really care about two moms and a dad any more than they care about two moms full stop, they know families have different set-ups to them. The older man / exclusively younger woman/ with many kids setup though, that I’d have concerns over.

Either way though what matters isn’t how your kids friends parents love each other, but whether your child will be safe in their care. – PepperyDeer

Sometimes you just have a bad feeling.

Seeing if that feeling is justified or just prejudice by coming along and getting to know these people is a great and safe solution. – kim-fairy2

The family has a bad reputation….

Like, a bad reputation for kids cracking their head open from using skate ramps, trampolines, and zip lines unsupervised?

A bad reputation for giving kids drugs and alcohol? For leaving firearms out unattended? For being sexually inappropriate around 7-year-olds?

Or a bad reputation solely based on having two moms and a senior citizen dad?

In other words, what are you really afraid of? If it’s that your son will be in danger, NTA. If you’re hung up on three adults in a consensual relationship, that’s not a good reason to deprive your kid of a buddy with a zip line. – StereoOnCookingBacon

Personally, I believe Jane’s biggest issue is that fact that Tom’s parents are polyamorous as that’s the point they started their post with. It’s important that children are exposed to different relationships so that they personally feel like if they don’t fit into the singular cisgender, heteronormative narrative, that they know their mother will love them and they won’t be outcast. It’s a small step to show your child that you will accept them no matter their sexual orientation. It’ll also be the world of difference to Alex as they will feel they can come to their mother and talk these things through, whereas if all Alex sees is his mother close him away from anything not monogamous or straight, they may start to feel resentful towards their mum, especially when they start seeing more relationships that don’t fit the monogamous, straight couple in their everyday lives.

There’s an opportunity here for Jane to go to Tom’s home, get to know their family and his mother better and actually give Alex an opportunity to be there and have a great time at his friend’s home, but we think Jane is hung up on the polyamorous relationship a little too much, and won’t allow it. I hope Jane sees this as an opportunity for self-growth and, if Jane went there and then found that the home environment wasn’t one that she wanted her son to be part of, and not just because Tom’s parents are polyamorous, then I would absolutely agree with Jane. I believe that Jane owes Alex and Tom’s friendship the opportunity to go, even once with her, to see what it’s actually like there and if those concerns are actually something to be worried about. We’d love to know your thoughts, too!

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