Are you a divorced or separated single parent who is dating again? Have you introduced your kids to your new partner yet?
As a professional South Asian matchmaker, a question asked by my newly single clients is, ‘When should I introduce my new partner to my kids?’
First of all, I always tell people looking for partners that there is no need to introduce the kids to all your dates!
You should only introduce this new person to children if it’s going somewhere. Why do I say this?
Because if a child has seen a parent’s response to an unsuccessful previous relationship, they will be super protective. In short, they won’t be open to a new partner. Consequently, take your time when you make the introduction.
As such, here are my 5 Tips for introducing your new partner to your kids:-
A child’s response to divorce or separation is not easy to understand.
They need time to adjust to the split.
They may be angry, sad or frightened about the future.
Introducing your children too soon to your date could add complications to their adjustment to divorce or separation.
As a result, waiting will pay off for everyone in the long run.
Take it slow…
- Collaborate with your kids
Firstly, talk to your children.
Explain that you are dating someone whom you care about, and that you’d like to introduce them.
Furthermore ask them how they feel. Do they have any questions?
In addition, reassure them that your partner or date will not replace their other parent. Your relationship with your kids won’t change.
Many young children may be confused to know that there is someone new on the scene.
Moreover, they may be angry or feel rejected. You need to address these fears and concerns.
And tell them that your relationship remains a priority.
Finally, ask for your kids’ feedback about how and when they first meet your new partner. Don’t just arrange something without letting their knowledge.
- Be Realistic
What’s more, be realistic about your children’s acceptance of your new partner.
You may be captivated, but your children may not feel the same!
- Talk to Your Partner
Similarly, talk to your new partner about your child/children and your family life.
Tell them about your child’s fears and their response to past liaisons.
And inform them about your child’s relationship with the other parent.
Hence, let them know that they need to accept and include your children as part of your friendship.
Nevertheless, they also need to know that children may still be adjusting to the situation.
So before introducing the children discuss the nature of your bond with them.
Ask them, ‘where it is going?’
Most of all, what role do they want to have in their lives?
- Think peace – not war!
Finally, aim to bring peace not war to the introduction!
Only introduce a new partnership into your children’s lives if it is going to also bring them love and stability.
Avoid overly complicated or stressful relationships.
Until they are resolved, keep them away from the children.
Most of all, remember it’s unfair to expect a children who have lost one parent through divorce or bereavement to do so again.
But all couples are prone to arguments and stress, and sadly kids can sometimes get caught up in it.
However, this should only be sometimes, not all the time.