11 Dec Preparing Your Kids for Post-Divorce Dating
After you have gone through a divorce, getting yourself and your children adjusted to new living situations can be tough. One of the hardest things for your kids to adjust to is your newly rekindled dating life. Once you begin dating again, it is important that you approach the situation in a way that will be comfortable for not only yourself but your children as well.
Depending on the maturity of your kids, this step could come easily or provide you with a lot of frustrating stress. It is important to remember that it is entirely natural for you to get back on the dating scene, so you should never feel guilty for doing so, even if your children do not understand at first.
By preparing your kids for this chapter in your life, you can make things so smoothly. To help you new divorcees re-entering the dating scene, here are six steps you can take to help prepare your kids for your post-divorce dating life:
1. Talk to Them
The majority of the insecurity a child might experience when you begin dating again is likely to come from a feeling of confusion. They may feel confused about what this means about your relationship to them or even your former spouse. For kids of all ages, just putting forth the effort of talking to them about your new significant other can help resolve their confusion and make them more comfortable with their divorced parent seeing new people.
2. Let Them Ask Questions
Beyond just speaking with them, you should open up the ability for them to ask you any questions they have or raise any concerns they might be experiencing. Your parent dating someone you don’t know can be scary to a child of divorce, but by allowing them to get the answers they desire, the situation can become much more comfortable for both you and your kids.
3. Don’t Rush Into Introducing Them
Not every person you date will end up being a significant other, or a long-term relationship. You can save your children a lot of confusion, or the frustration of losing contact with a new significant person in their lives, by waiting until the relationship becomes serious before introducing them to your new partner.
4. Make the Introduction Memorable
Particularly if you have younger children, it is important that you introduce them to new partners in a way that is comfortable and makes them feel safe. For younger children, introducing them to a partner while in a kid-friendly environment can help them associate your new partner with a sense of joy and excitement. Try taking a day in the park as an opportunity to get these two important people in your life acquainted.
For older children, do the same, but keep it casual enough so that it doesn’t feel overbearing or condescending to them. Older children have more complex emotions, so you must approach the situation in a more sophisticated manner. Additionally, helping them prepare before the encounter is always a good idea.
5. Reassure Them
Even if the introduction goes great, and you answer all their questions right, there is still bound to be some doubts and fears while they become accustomed to this new situation. Always offer guidance, advice, and keep the topic open to ensure your children can make the transition into this new life in a comfortable manner. Reassuring them goes beyond a once-and-awhile activity, and you must place focus on helping them every day. Remember, most children do not understand the complex in and outs of adult relationships, and will need a helping hand throughout the transition.
6. Be Upfront With Your New Partner
Your kids and yourself are not the only ones that need reassurance, guidance and help during this transition. Accepting what are essentially new family members is a stressful task that your new partner will have to engage carefully with. Follow the same steps you do for your children, but do so in a more adult relationship oriented manner.
Some partners may not be comfortable with meeting your kids and becoming part of their lives for good, while others may want to meet them almost immediately. While it is important to consider these feelings when beginning new adult relationships, you must always ultimately go with the path that makes you feel most comfortable. Doing so will help you feel de-stressed and happy, which will make life much easier for your family.
Now that you have these six steps you can feel more assured in your ability to move on with your romantic life. Never allow yourself to feel pressured by any of these angles, and approach each step in a way that makes you feel comfortable and safe. Your life is about to take many new exciting turns, so embrace it!