When Should You Be Introducing Your New Partner To Your Kids?
Going through a divorce is an emotional time. The grief period starts while you’re still in the marriage. Too many people stay in the marriage way after it’s already expired. Most will say they stayed for the kids sake and that’s not entirely true.
Most people stay in the marriage out of fear of the unknown. They stay because of the fear of being alone. When you’re unhappily married you can fantasize about being on your own, single, independent and free. You can daydream about Mr or Mrs right or the “one that got away”.
When you’re out of your marriage and when the grief period is almost over the chances of you wanting to go on a date will increase. Not many people want to be alone. And yes, there is a difference between being alone and feeling lonely.
The one thing you will consider more than anything when it comes to dating after divorce is – Your Children.
- Will they like your new partner?
- How will they react?
- Will they get along?
- Should you tell your kids you’re dating?
- And when is the right time to introduce your new partner to your kids?
In this post I’m going to talk about when is the right time to be introducing your new partner to your kids.
People ask me when is the appropriate time to introduce their new partner to their children. How long should they wait? There isn’t any set time frame that’s going to make it easier for the kids when they find out you’re dating someone.
Your Kids Will Still Feel:
But….. they may also feel excited!
They could get along really well and have lots of fun. In every situation there are negatives and positives. We can argue the point any way we like so when you are in this position make sure you consider all the benefits that can happen too.
Parents are worried if they introduce their new partner to the children they will get upset if they break up in the future. Well, you know what? If you broke up your children’s other parent you should know nothing is fool-proof.
You can be single and date someone for 12 months, get engaged for 12 months, live with each other for 2 years and then have a child. There is no more security in doing a relationship in that way.
It’s sounds like an appropriate way “society” would approve of. But in the real world it doesn’t mean your relationship is less likely to break up or your children are secure in their family together long-term.
6 Things You Need To Do When You Introducing Your New Partner To Your Kids
1. Just be honest
It’s ok for children to meet your new partner. That’s the golden rule. If things don’t work out then you explain to your children that it didn’t work out. You don’t tell them all the details – just what they need to know.
2. Hold back on the affection
Keep the affection private and don’t do it in front of your kids. It’s a weird thing to see your parent kissing and hugging someone (who seems like a stranger to them.) It’s also being respectful. Give them time to adjust to the new situation first.
3. Don’t treat your new partner as if they are the other parent
In other words, the discipline needs to come from you. You can’t expect your child to be ok with a stranger telling them what they can and can’t do.
4. Don’t buy your children’s approval
When the new partner is being introduced, it usually happens at some place that’s special or fun. Somewhere, like the zoo or the park or somewhere even more awesome. Don’t think that a fun environment is going to suggest to your children “here is my partner and it’s going to be fun and games from now on”.
Kids aren’t that stupid but they can be manipulative and play you off to the highest bidder. So, if you are willing to throw money at the acceptance of your new partner, be prepared to pay the price. When you are introducing your new partner to your kids just keep it simple. They already have enough to process.
5. Talk to your kids about how they feel
Let them know its ok to talk about how they feel. Don’t shut them down. Their whole life is changing and they need to be able to talk about it and trust you. They need to trust that you are still there for them and that they are still your number one priority and love.
6. Shower your children with love and quality time
When you have a new partner they take up all your thoughts. Your children will feel your lack of attention so make sure you are “present” when you are with them. It’s ok to have a partner and spend time with them just remember to spend some quality time with the kids too so they feel part of your new world too.
When you are introducing your new partner to your kids it’s a big step. It’s a natural progression and everyone will adjust. Give it time and everyone will find their place again.
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