When divorce happens and there are children involved, there are a number of hurdles to jump over: the announcement, the reassurances, the custody decisions. Don't forget your children's feelings as you are dating after divorce. Even though the ex is now in your rear-view mirror, your children still love. Eva L. remembers the conversation she had with her two sons following one of their regular visits with herex-husband. Both boys were brimming with news.
Rules of Engagement: Setting the Stage for Post-Divorce Dating With Kids | HuffPost Life
Women who do this think that getting in good with the kids will help impress their new love interest and advance their budding romantic relationship. Not only is this strategy unfair, it often backfires. It's not fair because it involves manipulating the emotions of children simply to further your love life. That's a pretty crappy thing to do. It backfires because when you start off acting like a fan rather than a friend, you often end up pretending to be someone you're not.
9 Rules for Parents Interested in Dating After Divorce - Detroit and Ann Arbor Metro Parent
It won't take long for the kids to figure out that you really aren't who you pretended to be, and they will then conclude that you were using them to get in good with their dad. At that point you will have your first obstacle to overcome -- one that is completely your fault. A better approach is to have the patience to get to know each other gradually. Rather than pretending to like every single thing about the kids only to have your real opinions come out later; you can slowly discover what you honestly have in common.
You won't like every thing about his kids, and they won't like every single thing about you.
But you will both be able to trust that your opinions are honest and the developing relationship is genuine. Of course, women aren't the only ones who do this. Make sure you don't let your new boyfriend approach your kids like they are Oscars that can be won if his performance is impressive enough.
Your kids deserve to be treated like people who are worthy of respect, not prizes that are up for grabs. Don't encourage your kids to call your new love interest Dad or invite his kids to call you Mom. These kids already have a mom and a dad, and being told to start calling someone else Mom or Dad only serves to confuse them or make them feel awkward; and it could even cause tension with their actual mom or dad. Instead, model for them what it looks like to approach a relationship in a mature manner: That's a lesson that will serve them well in many ways.
Your kids don't get to decide who gets cast as your boyfriend -- that's your decision. But they do get to decide whether they themselves like him. And don't be surprised if they don't at first. Many kids are not thrilled to have a new leading man waltzing into their house and changing up the family dynamic. While you can't order them to like your new boyfriend, you can insist that they treat him with respect while everyone works through the transition.
The best way to maximize the chances that your kids will eventually like your boyfriend is to be selective about who you choose to begin with, carefully vet him before you make any introductions, and then continue to take things slowly once you do. If your kids don't like your boyfriend, give them a chance to explain the basis for their opinion. If they tell you that he gives them a creepy feeling, they caught him rifling through your jewelry box, or he told them he's a reptile freak and he's in the process of setting up a snake aquarium in his house, these are serious complaints and you should break up with him immediately.
But if they tell you he is an attention hog or that you really don't need a boyfriend, anyway, because you have them, that's a different story. Complaints of that nature indicate that their objections aren't based on anything specific to him; but rather they dislike the idea of your having any boyfriend at all.
Begin locking your bedroom door for privacy before you have something spending the night, just so that option is available to you. Carefully choose the significant others you allow to get close to your family. Children get attached to people you date over a long period of time, and these breakups are often harder on them than on the adults involved. Letting your ex-spouse know your whereabouts when going out of town is a responsible act.
Unfortunately, many parents do not keep the other parent advised of their travel.Dr. Phil Explains the Biggest Divorce Mistakes That Impact Kids -- Dr. Phil
If your ex will not give you a phone number where you can reach them, suggest that they let you know who can reach they should an emergency arise. You can let a child know that you understand what they are feeling, but make it clear that their behavior is unacceptable. You can avoid forcing your child to deal with this by taking an overnight trip, going to a hotel, or waiting until you have some privacy in your own home. Many parents go to great lengths to keep their love life private, even when their children are in the house with them.
There are as many solutions to finding privacy as there are single parents. But, we humans are instinctively drawn to partnering up.
Rules of Engagement: Setting the Stage for Post-Divorce Dating With Kids
So chances are very good that sooner or later you along with nearly every other divorced parent will be dipping your toe into the waters of dating after divorce. There are many things to consider when making the choice to begin dating after your divorce. Here are a few of the questions that parents ask: Regarding Your Children How do I explain my dating to my children?
What you say to your children when you begin dating after your divorce will depend largely on their age. If you need a reminder about what to expect at each developmental stage have a look here When talking with young children infants and toddlers describe the person you are seeing as a friend. For example, "I'm going to see a friend. I'll be back soon. For example, "I'm going to see my friend. I'll be gone for about 4 hours.
You'll be in bed when I get home. You will likely want to have a more in-depth conversation about dating. We're going to talk for a few hours after dinner and then I'll be home. Just as you like to spend time with your special friends, I also want some time to be with my friends. It's OK to actually use the word date. You aren't going to freak out your child. Chances are good that he or she already has a good idea of what dating is all about! And this includes dating after divorce.
For example, "I'm going out on a date with person's name on Friday. I'm wondering how you feel about me starting to date. This does not mean that you are asking your child's permission to date. That isn't appropriate nor healthy for your child. You are simply initiating discussion that is likely to be ongoing. This is a good time to reassure your child that even though you are beginning to go out on dates, you will still always reserve time for just the two of you.
10 Utterly Essential Tips for Moms on Dating After Divorce
With teens it is important to be honest about your actions. For example, "I'd like to start dating. It's been long enough after the divorce that I am ready to meet some new people. I'm wondering how you feel about that.