Even though I’m not a parent in a group marriage any more, I still co-parent with my ex-spice.
On a trip to visit my family in Virginia, I was discussing child-rearing with my own parents and we were talking about the different experiences my kids had as a result of being reared by four people. My parents asked what the kids did with the various parents and I told them of SCA events they’d be taken to, hikes they went on, museums they liked, and oh… anything you’d take a kid to do. My parents comment that the kids were lucky that all their parents were willing to share their diverse tastes with the kids.
In fact, I’m writing this on a train. The choice of the train trip was simply for fun – to give the children the experience of a long-distance train trip. I could have flown just about as easily and cheaply, but hey. Experiencing a range of travel is fun, right?
A poly family (even a divorced one), has an opportunity to enrich the lives of the children involved in wonderful ways. Because there are lots of people with different tastes, take that potential source of conflict and try to make it a strength. Abigail and Betty hate museums, but Carlos and David love them? Carlos and David can take the kids around to count dinosaur bones and enjoy the museum experience of the city boy while Abby and Betty plan for a nice camping trip that causes Carlos and David’s pavement-loving souls to shudder.
Thing is, it’s more than just taking the kids on outings. It’s about who and what you are as a person and what you have to teach the child. Are you a musician? Is one of your spice an artist, a good cook or a skilled potter? Do you have a passion for creating geeky gadgetry, or gardening or… God the list goes on forever. What you love and have a passion about is often something you teach a child to give her new opportunities.
Anyone who has been in a large, extended family has experienced this. Like most things poly writers go on about, it’s not entirely poly-specific. Interested, involved adults who care about the children are good for the kids. The variety of experience a child can get from people who care deeply about them is a fantastic benefit to any child growing up.
Besides, for those of us who enjoy the company of kids… Well, it’s fun for us, too!
 We were at Colonial Williamsburg at the time, and were discussing educational experiences.
 But make no mistake, the outings are actually important, even if it’s a trip to the park.