It’s not easy for kids to accept one parent is moving on or dating somebody that’s not their dad. Children have this perfect picture of a happy family that includes both parents in the picture. So telling them about a guy that’s not their father could be quite tricky, and very nerve-racking.
The fact that you and their dad are no longer partners’ is already one reason for them to hate this new guy, but who knows, they could be indifferent and end up loving this new person. It could honestly go both ways.
However, if you’re dating someone new, it’s important to let your children know at some point, regardless of how concerned you feel. But, before you have that awkward, but necessary conversation with them, here are some tips that should help when breaking the news to your children.
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Dating somebody that’s not your ex may be heart-breaking news to your children, and that’s a sad fact since it may mean everything to you. It may even be worse when you’re a single parent, because your kids may already be used to the whole ‘you and them against the world’ vibe.
That’s why it’s important to wait things out before making that big announcement. Don’t let the excitement get to you, because your children may not be as happy about your new partner as you are. If you’re dealing with a teenager, it could even be more tricky introducing someone new into their life.
So, ensure what you have with this man is serious; that means you should have dated him for some time before thinking about introducing him to your children. Whether he’s a family friend they are accustomed to or a ‘new friend’ you met recently, ensure the relationship is serious enough to make a fuss about.
This may seem irrelevant, especially if you’re not really ‘friends’ with your ex. Regardless of the situation, informing your ex about the new relationship should help you on both fronts. If the separation happened a while ago and you’re both over it, your partner’s input could help.
Here’s the thing, if you’re not a single parent and your ex shares custody of the kids, then he’d know how to handle this conversion from his side. As parents, it’s your responsibility to cover for each other, it doesn’t matter if he’s no longer in your life.
A son or daughter hearing that their dad is okay with their mom dating a new guy may accept the truth better, as opposed to if he isn’t. They could all end up ganging up on you!
If you have a baby, it may not be important to tell your ex about this new guy so he doesn’t start asking too many questions. The baby may be his, but as long as both of you called it quits, he doesn’t have to know everything about your life.
Kids need to know that no one can ever replace their biological parents. However, that’s one thing people find hard to accept, regardless of age. Your kid may not even be a teenager, but a full-blown adult. However, introducing a new flame would still be a life-altering affair.
That’s why it’s important to make sure they understand you will always be their mother, and will never neglect your parenting duties. That way, your kid would feel more safe accepting this new person into his/her life.
Your love-life should never come in between the commitment you have as a parent and guardian over your kids, so make sure you let them know that in the most truthful, passionate, and reassuring way possible.
Whether you have a girl or a boy, or maybe even both, they would need a moment to let the information sink. First off, they probably aren’t used to imagining you with somebody else, in fact, they would prefer if you remained single forever!
Of course, this is a selfish feeling. But think about it, not many kids like imagining their parents with a man or woman who isn’t their biological father or mother.
So don’t get discouraged if they aren’t excited immediately, kids don’t realize immediately how happy their parents are or could be with somebody they love. Once they do, it won’t take long until they finally come around to the reality of the situation, and hopefully even give the relationship their blessing.
Sometimes, kids feel shut out or neglected simply because parents fail to listen to what they are really saying. Those aggressive actions or dismissive gestures could actually be a cry for help. At this time, your kids probably have a lot of questions to ask, and you’re the only one that can answer them.
So don’t shut them out or ignore them, ask those curious kids or teens about their feelings. Make them feel comfortable, don’t shout or be authoritative but be willing to listen. It could be after a hearty dinner or a fun day visiting cool sites, while everyone’s still cheerful and happy, present your case again.
Ask them questions about what they think about your boyfriend’s presence in their life, and if they would be willing to meet him.
Don’t dominate the conversation, listen more, and speak less, this is one situation you don’t want to mess up. Even though you have the right to keep on dating regardless of their opinions, what most parents want is a good relationship between their kids and their partner.
So don’t be a closed book, encourage them to ask as many questions as they want and get ready to answer all the appropriate questions.
Being a single parent to a teenager could be very tough, especially when you’ve suspended dating anyone for a long time. Many women know how to zero out on dating relationships and focus more on their parenting and work. However, that’s something that could take a toll on anyone’s self-esteem.
So it’s normal for a part of you to want your kid, or teenager to immediately accept this new person into their life. However, it’s important to consider how they feel as well. As excited and happy as you may feel, they may not share the same energy. All that teenager can think about right now is why her father and mother couldn’t work out.
So rather than forcing the relationship, give your son or daughter all the time she needs to process what’s happening, and when she comes around, go ahead and introduce this guy to your family.
It’s better to ensure you and your new partner are serious before letting your children know. You don’t want to introduce a mere fling to your kids just to break up the next week. So take your time and ensure this guy feels the same way about you and is also ready to meet your kids.
It depends on how old each child is, however, regardless of their age, it’s still important not to rush the news. Ensure they are in a happy mood and gradually let them know you are seeing someone new.
Yes, it may be a bit complicated because it’s not just about you and your partner, but children are involved too. The couple would have to consider the feelings and best interests of the children at every stage of their relationship.
First of all, it’s important to talk to them first before bringing your partner over. Let them know that you have someone you really care about and ask them if they would like to meet him. It’s important they are relatively comfortable with the idea before you bring him over.
It’s important to sit them down and ask them exactly what they dislike about your new love interest. Maybe your child is still not used to the notion of you and your ex being apart, or feels his/her mom would be taken away somehow. Try explaining everything as calmly as possible after you listened to their concerns, then continue by re-assuring them about your love and affection.
Did you enjoy reading through this list? It’s never easy introducing a new partner to your kids, but these few tips should ease the process and make things a little less awkward. Have any thoughts or contributions on the topic? Please leave a comment below and don’t forget to share this.