There will come a time after a separation, break up, or divorce that you will want to start dating again. Some people are able to do this almost immediately, but when you have kids, the subject can be a difficult one to tackle. You don’t want the kids to feel out of place or neglected, but you also don’t want to forfeit your chances of love.
However, when you feel like you are at that point when you want to look for someone to share the rest of your life with, here are a few pointers that will help get your children more comfortable with the idea.
Get to Know One Another Without the Children
Alone time is a rare commodity as a single parent. Thankfully, most single parents have a babysitter or two that they can call, and in the first few months of dating, you will want to use the babysitter often! You want to date your suitor sans kids because you want to get to know each other and make sure that you are both compatible. This will give you time to determine if the attraction you feel for the other person is genuine or if it is just temporary.
Take it Slow
You don’t want to rush anything, especially when it comes to introducing your children to the person you’re seeing. Your children will probably have a variety of conflicting feelings such as betrayal, jealousy, fear, and maybe even resentment. When you slowly introduce the other person to your children, you are giving them the opportunity to warm up to your significant other on their own terms.
Make the First Meeting as Stress-Free as Possible
Forego the dinner at a nice restaurant or even going over to the significant other’s home for dinner. You want to create a situation that is as stress-free as possible. Have the meeting some place the kids can have fun like the playground, a water park, a sports game, or even a theme park. It is believed that kids adapt the best when they are playing, so when you introduce your special someone and then the kids can play with them, chances are they will hit it off.
Don’t Force It
As much as you want your kids to warm up to your new significant other, you can’t force it. You have to let your kids go at their own pace when it comes to getting to know the new person in your life. Always let your children know that you are there for them and if they have something to say, they can always come to you.
If the Relationship Ends, Allow Your Children to Grieve
Sometimes, no matter how much you don’t want it to happen, your new relationship may end. This could leave your children feeling lost and hurt all over again. You want to allow your children to have their own safe place to feel upset and grieve. Talk to your children and let them know that they can confide in you regarding their feelings about the situation.