As a single parent diving back into dating again, there is an inevitable moment in that relationship where you will have to introduce the person you’ve been dating to your kids. This is generally a tricky situation and sometimes it can really put a damper on things for everyone involved. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take that will help the whole introduction process go a little smoother.
Naturally, as a single parent your primary focus should be on your children. Yes, a divorce or separation is hard for you to recover from, but just imagine how difficult it is for a child older than 2 years old. When you finally think it is time to begin dating again and you’ve met someone that you feel like could be the one, it is up to you to ensure that when you introduce your children to your new partner, it goes as smoothly as possible.
Too often, parents who want to forget about their failed relationship and move on too quickly, they don’t realize how their decision will affect their children. Kids who are old enough to realize that one parent is missing may not take the whole mommy/daddy is dating thing too well. Typically, children who are older will need extra care when it comes to the separation. It could be as simple as sitting them down and talking about the situation, asking them to vocalize their feelings, and help them understand what is going on.
Before you start bringing your new partner around, you will want to think about it carefully. You don’t want to bring the new person around and expect either of them to be okay. You will want to make sure your partner is prepared and even wants to meet the children, and you will want to plan a time to bring them around your kids when they are most relaxed. This could be in the afternoon on a weekend or maybe after dinner during the week. It is always a good idea to discuss and plan anything with your new partner, just so that they are on the same page.
It is always a good idea to have the initial meeting on neutral ground. If everyone meets at your home, your partner may feel uncomfortable and the kids could be disinterested; and if you meet at his place, the children may feel uncomfortable. Try to think of an activity that the kids will enjoy and the adults (you and your partner) can play with them. It has been known that children are more receptive when they are having fun. Some examples include a theme park where everyone can go on the rides together and play games. Or, you can go to an aquarium or zoo. Not only are these places fun and educational, but they offer both your children and your new partner to share interesting facts they may know about a particular animal.
Dating isn’t easy, so when you try dating with children, it may feel like an impossibility. By heeding this advice, you may find that the whole introduction process is a little smoother.