Not every family is 2 adults and 2.4 children. Whether you are a single parent by choice or whether you have lost your partner, the issue of parents forming new relationships can be hard for kids and can manifest itself in many different ways.
So what can parents do to help their children deal with either parent introducing a new partner?
- This can be quite a balancing act. The main thing to remember is that you are your children’s biggest role model so take it slow.
- You may be head over heels in love with person, but that doesn’t mean that your children will feel the same. Be prepared for them “not liking” this person in the beginning.
- It’s important to remember that your children love their other parent too and possibly might still hold out some hope that their parents will get back together so when a new partner is introduced this can be quite confusing and difficult for your child to understand.
- Your children don’t need to meet (or know) every person you may be dating. Although you may be infatuated with your partner, especially after a relatively short space of time, many relationships don’t work out and putting your children through the undue “stress” of meeting a new partner and all the emotions that come with that, should be kept to a minimum.
- If you feel that your relationship is one that is going to last, talk to your children about your partner before they meet. Let them know that this person is special to you and you’d really like them to meet.
- You can explain that this person is not replacing their other parent and that they will not get in the way of your relationship with your children.
- Have that first meeting in a neutral place, like going bowling or a park, something that your child actually likes doing. This way they don’t feel like your partner is encroaching on their turf!
- As always, keep good lines of communication open with everyone involved and chat about how the first meeting went.
- As the meetings continue, make time for your partner to chat with your children in a relaxed way and without any pressure.
- It might also be an idea to let your former partner know that you have a new relationship.
- As your relationship develops, it might be worthwhile explaining why your partner is staying over and remember that you are showing your children how to conduct a positive relationship.