Dating With Children

janae

When parents divorce or separate, their children’s world is often turned upside down. Feelings of loss, anger and confusion are common in this situation. Children who have lost parents through death have similar feelings. Even children of single parents can have negative feelings associated with “not having” a mother or father in their life.

When a parent begins dating, these negative feelings can be intensified for the child. Dating is a huge step for single parents—and their children. If you’ve decided to start dating, it is important for you to discuss and accept all of your child’s feelings when this happens. It’s also critical that you carefully consider who will be spending time around your children.

When a parent begins a new relationship children experience a range of emotions, such as:

1.Feeling insecure:
Some children may feel their security threatened when their parents begin to date. They may become angry and aggressive. Some children wonder if they will still be loved if their parent finds a new partner. Make sure to ease your child’s fears by showing and telling them how much you love them. Show an interest in everything they do and congratulate them for their achievements as well as their efforts.

2.Dealing with change:
It is sometimes hard for children when there are changes in their everyday life. This is particularly true when it involves a parent’s new “friend.” For example, be sensitive to how your child feels when he/she comes around. Keep things as routine as possible.

3.Worries about a new parent:
When dating gets serious and children hear anything to do with a possible “new parent,” they may be concerned that one of their parents will literally be replaced. Make sure to reassure your child that if your new relationship becomes permanent your new partner will be an addition to their life, and not a replacement.

Remember, your children need comfort and reassurance. They need to know that their parents will always love them, even if and when their parents form new relationships. Comment below to discuss the topic.

 

~Janae

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