Telling the kids about the birds and bees is old news; now I’ve got to tell three generations of offspring that the main man in our shared and ever-blending world exudes serial paternity.
Thanks USA Today for the June 16 article on “Older dads try parenting a second time around.”
A sociologist at Stony Brook NY University calls the trend to have a family, then have another family “serial paternity.” Ever heard that serial word with anything but killer?
Our oldest four children, teens and early twenties when I married their father 33 years ago, can easily recall how that challenge felt for them.
The 3-year-old I brought with me had to find his place in the midst of their learning to accept us all, and then the baby born into the whole shebang has needed to find his spot as an uncle younger than the grandchildren I inherited. He’s 31.
And now that we have it straight after much practice, we read that we’re a sequential family. I hope everybody’s coming for Father’s Day dinner at my table so we can discuss this new image. I’m traveling in Missouri as I read this report or I’d be inviting them immediately.
A new generation of toddlers and about-to-be-born babies sail right along because our blend (pardon me, slow learner: our sequence) is normal to them.
But as we wonder how to teach our family teens about responsible sex, how am I supposed to be thinking about Multiple Partner Fidelity? That’s what the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor calls us, through Cassandra Dorius of their Population Studies Center.
Writers love words so these are OK with me—-but they need conversation and blended family, or sequential, families like mine know best how to react.
More to blog when I’m off the road and talking to the generations in my multiple, sequential, serial, partnering family, presumably one with fidelity.