People that wish to birth children seek out traits from a variety of lovers. Diversity in lovers is prized, and care is usually taken to offset traits between lovers to ensure the child is balanced and well-rounded. A child's temperament is further improved by the sharing of feeding between lactating females during the first few years of life.
The mother’s role is a right and a choice with moderate responsibility to the child, consisting of birthing the child, choosing a guardian, and moderate responsibility to breastfeed young children of the clan. Mothers choose the degree to which they work with the guardian and elders looking after the child.
Upon birth, the mother asks a close Vili or Omnispirit relative or associate that the mother believes will be a suitable guardian for the child, and if the person agrees they join in the Bond of Kinship and act as a guardian.
The guardian’s role is a privilege with high responsibility. They are the carer and mentor to the child until the child first comes of age. They are responsible for the day-to-day wellbeing of the child, including seeking out lactating mothers for the child in the first few years of life, making food, proving shelter and warmth, protecting the child, bringing the child to elders and other children for lessons and socialisation, and introducing the child to Skylding life as they age.
While all children are bonded to their birth mother, they are seen as a child of the clan as a whole. Children reside with the guardian and those they are Union bonded to, or sometimes with the mother for a time (or together if the mother and guardian happen to share a union bond), often living in boers with other guardians and children. If the mother has several children, it is not uncommon for them to have different bonded guardians. This sometimes results in different siblings having little to do with each other, except belonging to the same clan and sharing a Kinship Bond.
All children are naturally bonded to their birth-mother. They take a matronymic at their coming of age ceremony when their gender is affirmed. Before then they use a matronymic of Mother's name followed by Barn.
Elsa Frejasdotter has three children, Arne, Astrid and Lovisa. Before they are sixteen they are referred to as Arne Elsasbarn, Astrid Elsasbarn and Lovisa Elsasbarn.
At their respective coming of age ceremonies Arne takes the matronymic Elsasson, Astrid takes the matronymic Elsasdotter and Lovisa takes the matronymic Elsasastir.
One week after the birth of the child the clan holds a Kinship ceremony. The ceremony is lead by a Godi chosen by the mother, who becomes that child’s personal Godi for their childhood leading up to the first coming of age ceremony.
The kinship ceremony involves:
- Bonding the child to the Mother.
- Bonding the child to the Guardian. The Guardian is a Vili or Omnispirit Skylding chosen by the mother to be the role model to the child. They are rarely the child’s biological father (as this is impossible to identify). Generally, the Guardian role is given to the mother’s Guardian, a sibling, or a friend. The person must be willing to take responsibility for the child.
- Bonding to siblings - these are both other children bonded to the mother and guardian. If a sibling is absent a special ceremony is held at a later date.
- The child receives its first tattoo of Frigg’s eye.
- Naming: their first name.
All children must have a mother and guardian bonded to them during this first ceremony.