Rules of Engagement: Setting the Stage for Post-Divorce Dating With Kids | HuffPost Life
If you've been dating someone for a while and feel relatively confident that you are heading toward commitment, talk to your children and explain that you are. I'm talking about a vetting period measured in months, not days. Feel free to date, but try to schedule your dates on evenings that your kids are. Talking to your children about dating after a divorce can be a frank conversation, but it also needs to be sensitive. Here are a few strategies.
Becoming socially active again is important because it helps free a parent from becoming obsessive about his or her parenting role. Meet your dates away from home in the beginning of a new relationship. Introduce your dates as friends if your child resents your dating. Explain that parents need adult friends too. Enjoy the benefits of joint custodyif you have it.
You can perhaps confine your dating to the times your children are not with you. If you only have access to your children on weekends, they may have to share in your daring life. Just remember that the longer this takes, the easier it will be for your children. 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. 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. 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.
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. It is also critical that you remain in the role of parent and not turn into your child's best friend where you each gush about your new girl or boyfriend.
Kids Talk About Marriage & Divorce
You are modeling for your teen. How will my children be affected by my decision to date? Every child will react in his or her own way to a parent's dating after the divorce. The research does offer some information about how children in general are affected by parental dating after divorce. Your child must now share you - which isn't so easy to do.
Dating After Divorce - Keeping Your Kids From Freaking Out
It is very awkward for children to adjust to having an adult who is not their parent acting in a parenting role. Children often experience loyalty conflicts between biological parents and new partners. Children fear future rejection if the new relationship doesn't last. On a more positive note, parental dating after divorce can also offer benefits to children.
Happier parents in better moods. A role model of a happy adult relationship. New people who care about them. Should I wait until my children are grown before dating? This is obviously a very personal decision with no one right answer. Know yourself, know your children and ask yourself this key question: Is this a decision I think is best for my children, or am I reacting out of guilt or fear?How To After DIVORCE!
If your answer is the latter, you may want to address these powerful and often destructive emotions before making a final decision about dating after divorce. When should I introduce my new partner to my children? Most professionals agree that parents should keep their dating relationships private and away from children until the relationship is serious. Only you can decide what "serious" means for you. What you should avoid though is introducing your children to every person you date after your divorce.
Dating after divorce is as hard on kids as it is on parents. If your children attach to every person you date, they are likely to be hurt and experience loss each time the relationship doesn't work. This roller coaster ride is hard enough for adults. Why expose your kids? The other side of this is that children are often not all that nice to people their parents are dating. And why would you want to expose your new friend to that?
Take things slowly and give everyone the time they need to adjust to this new world of dating after divorce. How long after my divorce should I wait before I begin dating?
It takes anywhere from years for individuals to emotionally recover from divorce. In a perfect child-focused world, parents would refrain from dating until they are emotionally ready. Obviously the time needed to heal is different for everyone.
Some professionals suggest waiting a year after the divorce before dating. What if my children don't like the person I am dating? This presents a tricky situation. On one hand, it is important for parents to listen to concerns that their children raise about new partners.
Dating after divorce requires some caution on the part of adults.