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Many argue there is no way to have a 24/7 D/s relationship and be a parent. I say there are ways. In fact, many of you probably already do it. After searching for information, articles, and reading A LOT of blogs, what follows is my take on different ways to make it happen.
The ages of your children affect the choices and challenges you are presented with in any situation.You may be more free around younger children. For example, an infant or young toddler woken up by a scream or other such noise, isn’t going to come knocking on your door with questions, but can simply be rocked back to sleep, and your lesson is learned (if you’re lucky!). An older child would be much more complicated to deal with. Explanations would be needed, even if they are not wanted.
The advantage we have in the BDSM world, I believe, is our communication skills. Its been said over and over. This ability should flow over in our interaction with our children, as well. What you should talk to them about depends not only on your situation, but also on your own standards and morals. Obviously, if you choose a more open path, your children will see more and hear more. This may be fine for you. If you choose a more closed path, you may never have to deal with it at all concerning your children. As long as children are not exposed to extreme adult situations, there is no simple right or wrong path to take. Remember, safety first includes our children!
Depending on how you live the lifestyle, some of this may not apply to you, but I think you’ll find it useful nonetheless. For the purpose of this article, I chose to assume the reader has a 24/7 D/s relationship, or pretty close to it. I am not including the sexual aspect of the relationship here, as children of any age should not be included in those situations. You cannot hide everything from, nor adjust everything for, your child and some things may be overheard accidentally, but this is generally the exception, not the rule.
Many subs have “rituals” they do in service to their Doms, perhaps a greeting at the door when they return home. That is a common one. If you are supposed to be, lets say, naked and kneeling, obviously you cannot do that with children running around, no matter their age. Adjustments should be made accordingly. If you wear a collar, or other such symbol of your ownership/relationship, it may be a non-issue until your children are older and can ask questions. It’s not hard to answer something like that, really. A simple “Mommy/Daddy wears this as a symbol of our relationship/partnership/marriage (fill in the blank) as a reminder of the things we do for each other” can work to satisfy even an older childs curiosity. Or you can change the symbol to something less obvious, like a simple locket no one would question. Or even a certain undergarment to be worn. If you are to sit at Master’s feet on the floor when they have returned home, put some soft pillows down and have the children sit with you.
We all use safe words. (I hope we do!!!) They are simply a code, of sorts, to show a particular meaning, like stop, go, slow down, etc. You can make other code words or actions, for use in front of the children, to let each other know how you feel about a subject. When being a parent, you have to be strong and forthright, even while you may be a sub. It can be a challenge to be submissive to your Dom and possibly have to be dominant over your children, maybe even within the same given daily situation. Confusion easily happens, when, lets say, your child is misbehaving in some way, and in your frustration, you lash out at your Dom. A code word, or even a touch, can work quickly to put you back in your place, and may even help you (or both of you) see the situation more clearly, all without your child realizing it.
Rituals like these can become part of your normal, stable home environment, and the children won’t even need to realize if it makes you more comfortable that way. If you start while they are still young, things like this can become non-issues, which is probably where most of us feel the most comfortable, no one enjoys defending their lifestyle choices, even in front of toddlers, haha. It can make it even harder when the questioner is your child.
For these reasons I think it’s a good idea to have stability and a routine worked out in your relationship before children are brought into it. In this world of blended families we have, that simply does not always happen. This is where age appropriate discussions come in, as toys will undoubtedly be found, noises overheard, and even code words figured out. Children are smart!
I wish I could take credit for this next one, but I cannot. In all the blogs I read, this analogy just takes the cake, and the ice cream, as it were. (I will put a link below so you can read the blog if you want). I simply had to share this, and I will use my own words here.
We often refer to “normal” lifestyles as “vanilla”. After all, vanilla is the most common of the flavors. Lifestyles can be likened to ice cream. Vanilla being the most common, and almost everyone has tried it. Many are satisfied and never try another flavor. Some like the flavor, but want different toppings, nuts, sprinkles, etc. Some even stop eating vanilla ice cream altogether and go with the different flavors, or even make up their own flavor and unusual toppings.
I think this analogy just might be a great way to break the ice when talking to your child and may help lead you into other ways to appropriately discuss things with your children. While we are talking about vanilla here, Id like to say, even though the vanilla world may not understand our flavors and toppings, we are no different from them in the fact that we love our children and want whats best for them. No matter the flavor we like, we put their needs above our own, and do the best we can to keep the scales balanced. I also believe the happier we are, the happier our children will be, and therefore we need to take care of our needs, too. Be honest, and open, while being age appropriate, and our children will respond in kind.
Read as much as you can. Blogs are a great way to glean information from someone elses similar experience. It is impossible to fit it all in here. I ask that you share as much as you can. With each sharing comes more information for others to learn. This is such an important topic to cover, and no one article or person is going to have all the answers for your situation. I ask all of you, from one parent to another, to share your experience and advice, and keep our lifestyle the one of many flavors.
The ice cream analogy –
some general info –