Dealing with Your Children When You Start Dating Again
After becoming single again and being able to keep all your kids with you, you look forward to busier days and nights attending to your kids needs. This will take up most of your time and will be a fulltime job. However, once you get used to the daily grind, you will have to start looking at things that interest you, which may include finding a new partner. Once you find someone new, you may be faced with the dilemma of wanting him to meet your kids or not. If you are faced with this, heed these words of advice to make you decisions much easier:
1. Make sure that you keep the time with your kids separate from the time that you spend with your new love interest. Especially in the beginning of a relationship, make it clear to him that you need time with your kids to make them comfortable with the idea that she is dating someone who is not their father. If you mix up the children and lover times, your children will feel unhappy and may hate this new person from intruding on their time with their mother. You may also be putting your partner in an awkward situation if your kids openly resent him. Keep the time separate for now until you feel it’s time to take a step up.
2. When you are sure that the person that you are dating has the potential to be a long-term partner and who is interested in meeting your children, then maybe it is time to let them all meet. Don’t expect this moment to come up within the first 6 months of the relationship, sometimes it will take over a year before you actually introduce them. Be mindful that your children may not take to your partner immediately and may feel uncomfortable or even threatened by him at first. But as time goes by, let him spend a little more time with the kids and for sure they will warm up to him eventually. And be honest with your kids about who this person is. By lying to them, he will only be a target of more of their resentfulness when they find out the truth. Slowly introduce him into the family routine and activities so he becomes more familiar with their and your needs. This way, the children will build up the trust they have in him gradually and comfortably before finally accepting him fully. But don’t expect it to happen overnight, so be patient and understanding with them
3. Don’t let your partner ever sleep over while your kids are around. This will only confuse them and they will suddenly be exposed to the sexual and intimate part of your life. Kids are very observant about these things so don’t underestimate them. Instead, plan a weekend away from home for you and your partner to enjoy together alone while your mother stays home with the kids. It is understandable that both of you have your basic needs in strengthening the relationship, just don’t do it in front of the kids.
4. As your partner is introduced to your children, try to set up a regular routine that your partner can be a part of so that the kids get used to it. For instance, he can be the one to either pick up or drop off your kids at school every day. Or he can join you and your kids for dinner every Friday and after that enjoy a movie night with everyone in the evening. Once a month you can even have your partner organize a nice family-friendly activity, like going to an amusement park or going to the beach. This way the children can also look forward to fun things that your partner can enjoy with them, and it’s a great way for them to get to know him better.
But while you are not dating yet, be sure that your life at home is stable enough for your children before you decide to tend to your own romantic needs. Being a parent is a 24/7 job which requires much of your attention to let them grow into healthy and emotionally intelligent kids. Build and heal your own life at home first so that you can later start dating without the guilt and hassle of an unstable home life.