Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Forum - Vol. 94 - What Should They Know?

Hi all.  Welcome to another session here at our Forum. 

As I have discussed from time to time, while my first several years in this lifestyle was focused on domestic dicscipline, recently we have been exploring taking it to a new and different level. Before this year, FLR was never really an explicit goal of our relationship.  It was more classic domestic discipline, of the sort that Fred lives and has been kind enough to describe.

When change happens, it's often gradual and its impetus may be varied.  This subtle shift we are going through from DD to a wider FLR is like that.  Some of it came as a direct result of connections made through this Forum.  Exploring the more FLR-oriented portion of the disciplinary spectrum, through comments on this blog, through the blogs maintained by members of our community, and sometimes through emails with some of our members, left me more open to exploring wider themes of submission.  Frankly, my own inability to conform to authority was also part of the impetus, as I continued to watch my maverick orientatoin and inability to follow rules at work continue to limit opportunities (though while undeniably making opportunitiies as well).  Hence, our increasing exploration of FLR as I have asked my wife to continually take more and more of the lead.

In inching toward a more FLR-oriented lifestyle, we inevitably move toward a more transparently female-led lifestyle.  Spankings are episodes; FLR is more of a continuing power exchange and, if the woman is leading and making decisions, that is inevitably going to be on display at various levels.  And, how far that leadership extends may be a function of the settings in which it is allowed to be on display.  In trying to really embrace her leadership, we keep confronting the issue of how transparent to be about it.

Hence, last week's topic focused (or tried to) on interferences and impediments to living the DD or FLR lifestyle.  One that always comes up is children, and this time it was no different.  Though, my question also tried to get at what role our need for anyonymity conflicts with our desire to make DD/FLR a bigger part of our lives.  But, this week, let's stick to the children issue, particularly since Marisa and K.D. were beginning to have an exchange on that exact issue from seemingly very divergent perspectives.

So, for this week's topic I ask, what should kids know and when?  Marisa's position (if I am representing it accurately) was that they should not, while they are kids,  know about the physical disciplinary aspect of the relationship.  KD, on the other hand, lives a life where it is all out in the open.   We seem to have both ends of the spectrum represented, so let's open it up to those who may be at either end or somewhere in between.

I admit to being a fence-sittter on this one.  Our ability to keep things secret is probably less than we imagine.  Kids always know more than you think they do.  There also can be a big, bitg price to be paid for maintaining secrecy while trying to develop a deeper FLR, because keeping thing opaque also may mean the FLR takes root only in limited, sporadic ways because it is seldom on open display.  I also struggle with whether knowing about the DD elements of a marriage would really have the negative impact that some people think, or whether most kids even care that much about what their partents do, beyond the normal mild to moderate distaste at the idea of any adult engaging in anything sexual, let alone kinky.  Rhiannon has asked on her blog whether, perhaps, kids are so wrapped up in their own worlds that they don't care about what we do mearly as much as we presume.  Also, might their reaction depend a lot on the age at which they learn about it?  Coming out for the first time when they are teenagers could be unsettling, but what if a fully "out" FLR that included DD was just what they grew up with as young kids?   And, finally, to what extent, if at all, does gender matter?  I don't think it is the worst thing in the world for young women to grow up with a strong sense of female empowerment, since god knows they are confronted with enough negative images and inputs on that front. But, what about boys -- would knowing dad gets spanked give them an increased respect for women, or a decreased level of respect for dad?

Big themes, and I know we have explored this one before.  But, our community here continues to grow, so sometimes it is good to revisit and open things up to our new members to give their perspective.

Have a great weekend!

Dan

12 comments:

  1. Well, Dan, I have to admit, you managed to mention just about every valid aspect from every perspective on this issue in your post. A thorough response might well take on the aspect of a research paper or thesis. I will attempt to be more concise than that while trying to touch on the key points.

    I do think that every couple has a family situation that is unique to them. Therefore a one-size answer is probably not possible. The age of the children, the degree of the "L" in your FLR, the comfort level of the people involved, and even where you live and what you professional situation is all can color this significantly in a rainbow of hues.

    I've said before that I feel that FLRs are one thing in a world of things that kids are going to be exposed to. Perhaps they have a dying Grandma, perhaps they've seen or experienced prejudice, bullying, or worse, maybe they go to a school where a diverse range of cultures are all looking at each other's habits, dress, or even religions with curiosity, suspicion, or disdain. This is real life. Kids are born into a world that is not all nice and certainly not innocent, and we are supposed to train them to be functioning adults by the time they reach 18.

    Even what you want your kid to learn, is your decision as a parent. I know parents who shelter, others who practically force their fledglings to fly early, and others who had kids but don't seem to think their responsibilities extend much further than making sure they are fed. Who is right?

    I believe any issue can be handled with a child of any age honestly. All one needs to do is answer their questions in a way that satisfies their curiosity while being age-appropriate. I have been astounded at how clumsy some people are with this though. Perhaps that is why so many prefer to err on the side of caution by avoiding certain topics? But honest common sense and a bit of style can go a long way to deal with anything from death, to religion, to responsibility, to sex, to whatever! (and that includes FLRs).

    That said, I certainly believe a kid can be raised in an FLR while not exposing them to anything harmful while simultaneously acknowledging the belief that one's lifestyle choice, (no matter what it is) is valid, and nothing to be ashamed of. How you do this is a matter of intelligently considering every circumstance that Dan mentioned and then being only as open as you need or wish to be.

    An FLR also does not have to result in a father having no credibility. For years marriages were predominantly MLRs in the true "Father Knows Best" tradition. That certainly didn't mean you didn't listen to Mom or worse...show her disrespect. Why should an FLR be any different?

    That's enough for now, I will probably add more as more responses come in. (Great topic, Dan)

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    1. Great points, KD. I've had similar thoughts about MLR and the bias it shows that people aren't really put off that much by a male-dominated relationship and many still treat it as fairly normal. Yet, switch those roles, and it seen as scandalous. I do wonder whether being honest with kids in the way you described does lead to an "all or nothing" approach to beting outed, because one thing that I think is not at all controversial about kids is they say the darndest things. So, if you're not comfortable with it getting out among your sociial, probably best not to share a lot with your kids, either.

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  2. That's an excellent point, but I don't think anything need be "all-or-nothing". That's why I think 'age-appropriate' knowledge is key. You can live as openly as is practical in any situation. With toddlers about, how hard would it be to just wait for that early toddler bedtime before doing things? You wouldn't tell your 3-year-old about the wisdom of 'safe' sex'....but you'd probably want to tell your teenager! You could tell a young child where babies come from though. Later, as they get older, more can be revealed. As open as we are, I don't think either of us would have thought it wise to reveal all to a 6 year old. Even when we did come out, Rosa's youngest was already 9. We also made sure that everyone understood that not just because you know something, doesn't mean everyone needs to know it. It worked in our case.

    The other thing that can't be worked into an answer on something like this is that there's "kids" and "my" kid. "Kids" are a general entity of young folk running about in a homogenous collective. But your kid is a specific person that you know better than anyone. As a person, your answers and what you share can be honest, and unique to who they are. Is your kid a gossip? Closed-mouthed? Curious? Indifferent? Perhaps a bit of a spanko themselves? Grossed out by anything their parents tell them? Only you as a parent know these things. Parent accordingly.

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  3. My children are all grown up and out of the house, so other than my disabled son (child #4, age 25) "Babyman" who visits on occasional weekends, I'm what I would call "child-free" but I have an opinion:

    I'm not sure when the proper age is for parents to broach the subject of DD, but I do feel it's important for the children to see that their parents are in a loving and caring relationship, and that there is no anger or fear on either side. You can discipline without cruelty, and children need stability, and they instinctively know when things are not well between their parents. Yes, parents disagree, and I'm not suggesting that you hide it, but I'm suggesting that everything be discussed with a sense of mutual respect, and in a loving way.

    As a woman, I will say that I want my male counterpart to be strong and not meek when it comes to being an example. I don't want him to blindly follow me or obey me, or to act fearful of me. I want and deserve respect, yes, and I want my children to see that. I can be in charge without raising my voice or reacting in anger. Trust me, my children (all boys) know that I'm the one who makes decisions, but they also see that we (Myself, Shilo and Stitch) Love each other, and that we handle things with consideration of the others.

    I always "wait out" my anger, and I approach Shilo with a clear head before giving him discipline. Not only am I in control of my household (easy part) but I have to be in control of myself (hard part) because there's nothing much worse than reacting in a rash manner and having to apologize for it. Yes, apologizing is necessary on both sides, but it's better to avoid the mistakes in the first place.

    Lastly, because they are adults, and I'm mostly "out" (kind of hard to hide the polyamory part and the spanking bench is a dead giveaway) they know, but we have an unspoken agreement to not discuss the mechanics of any of it.

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  4. No kids but wife seems to not care if others hear i made her,mad sat at the mall n was taken into family restroom and spanked hard n long 15 min she was crabby its a secluded hall n was not busy but when we came out a sexy older lady was there n saw cathy put the brush back into her purse n she said to her "Good for u" looked at me n said ' if u were mine we would still b in there' cathy said " no worries going home now for his real spanking " the lady said good as i blushed rubbing my ass

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  5. Dan

    Funny this should come up now. A few weeks ago Anna discovered that one of our sons had been caught cheating on a test. He had some of the answers on his cell phone. As punishment Anna took his phone away
    for the summer.
    Anyway he and I were going on an errand together and out of the blue he turned to me and asked me what sort
    of punishment did Anna give me when she wanted to punish me. Before I could answer of course my mind went to spanking and how do I explain this to him. Fortunately he kept on talking and then asked did she ever
    take away something I really loved and needed? Like sex?
    I burst out laughing . I smiled and said " wives have their ways but trust me your mom never deprives me of sex". But that incident and your topic did get me to thinking about how does one explain this to a son.
    peter

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    1. Thanks for sharing that, Peter. Do you think that, if he had taken it in a different directiion, you would have told him how she REALLY punishes you?

      Dan

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    2. Dan
      I think about telling the boys at some point. They are a bit too young now but I would be open to doing it I think at some point. If for no other reason than I want my boys to know that it isnt anything to be ashamed of, as long as it is a consensual act between a husband and wife. I havent spoken about this with Anna so I put it out here as a thought only.

      Peter

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  6. When we submit ourselves to any authority that helps us become better, stronger, and bolder men of purpose and character, there should be "quiet pride" in that type of submission and training. As a marine, I submitted to authority, as a husband I have found a place of service, love and companionship. If it were to become common knowledge I might be embarrassed a bit, but I choose to honor her, and only her.

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    1. My wife thinks nothing of telling me dishes are my job when the kids are around. She has gone to baseball games with my step daughter and her sister leaving me with a list of chores. Telling her sister jokingly when asked where I am that I'm home doing my maid work. My step daughter has joked that I like doing maid work as she has cuddled with her mom on the couch. If there is a TV show on that I am not interested in and I start to turn on the computer she will ask / tell me to go clean the bathroom / toilets instead.


      The kids don't know I'm spanked / punished but they know I do submissive things without the word or connection to submissive being used.

      We have talked about my step daughter one day knowing. She is playful today and will pretend to boss me around or swat my behind. She's going to be one heck of a dominatrix one day.

      For now tho it's teasing fantasy talk that she would be told and what she would be allowed to do to me or do with me.

      The rough stuff is behind closed doors.

      Delete

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