Talking with kids about parents dating
An article at Healthy advises that you should be upfront with your child about why you’re seeing this new person and what they mean to you.“Tell your youngster about this man, and explain why you like him. ’ Show her that you would like her to participate in arranging this first meeting.”Making your child part of the process—but without giving them veto rule over your dating life—can help ease them into the idea that Mom or Dad has someone new, and that as the children, they’re still important. Their other parent will still be a part of their lives, and their relationship is in no way threatened by this new person.“Children who have close relationships with both biological parents are more likely to accept a new parent partner into their lives without distress,” says the article at Family Share.
Likewise, a piece at Family Share recommends that you spend time preparing your children well in advance of meeting your new partner, and then when it happens, don’t rush things or immediately seek approval.“Spend short intervals together and let the exposure build over time. “Because they feel safe in their relationship with mom and dad, they are less likely to be threatened by a new adult entering the picture.” Suffice it to say, this is just another reason to keep the post-divorce relationship with your former partner civil.
As during the divorce process, it’s important that you remain acting as a parent to your child, no matter what age they may be.
Now that you’ve discussed the notion of dating with your kids, it might be time for them to meet your new partner.
Since your teens are also likely dating, it is important to talk with them about how it may be awkward to have a parent dating at the same time.
It is also critical that you remain in the role of parent and not turn into your child’s best friend.
Regardless, encouraging open communication and allowing your kids to speak their mind about your dating partners shows them that you consider their opinions to be important.“On one hand, it is important for parents to listen to concerns that their children raise about new partners.
Since they have some comprehension about who you mean when you refer to your “friend,” they may have questions about what this could mean for them (as well as their relationship with you as their parent).
Be sure to reassure your child that you have enough love to go around, and no matter what happens with this potential new partner, being a great parent is still your top priority.
If they are still very young and don’t quite understand the concept of dating or relationships, that doesn’t quite mean you’re off the hook—you just need to adjust your language to suit their level of comprehension.
For toddlers and preschoolers (ages 3-5), an article at Divorce Help for Parents recommends using the term “friend” to refer to your date—as in, “I’m going out to visit my friend,” or “I’m spending some time with my friend tonight.” You can keep up this language for children ages 6 to 10, but once they’re in the pre-teen and young teen years, they’ll likely have some knowledge about dating and relationships.
Dating after divorce requires some caution on the part of adults.