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One of the most important and complex time in a single parent’s life comes when they have to introduce their new significant other to their kids. Single parents experience multitude of emotions during their courtship with a new person – excitement, anxiety, euphoria are common emotions felt when single parents are dating. However, at some point in their new relationship they are faced with questions of ‘How’ and ‘When’ to introduce their significant other to their children. Although there are no set rules or patterns to follow, we have come up with the following three steps to assist you with this issue.
So, you are single and dating again; and if you have kids then dynamics of your dating life would undergo a change. At some point in your new relationship you would have to decide to introduce your significant other to your kids. Before embarking on this unknown venture, analyze the quality of your relationship – the level of commitment and understanding between you and your partner.
Be honest to yourself and your significant other while analyzing the pros and cons of bringing your children into the picture. It might be a casual fling or spending some nice time with someone who is fun; someone you haven’t thought of spending a future with. Children are vulnerable, emotionally and physically to any new person introduced in the family. Therefore, it is necessary that you determine the intensity and characteristics of relationship before making any serious decision of introducing your kids to the new person.
Honesty pays off in the long run. You may find it bit uncomfortable in the beginning, but being honest with yourself and your kids about your relationship guarantees smooth and uneventful sail in parenting. In case you find yourself in a committed relationship, it is time to gradually start talking to your children about prospects of adding new member to your family. Don’t rush your children into accepting your significant other. You need to address your children’s fears of abandonment; which may arise from sudden introduction of your significant other.
Make them feel secure by having a constructive dialogue with them; ensuring them about their importance to you. Ask their opinion and involve them in the future planning for your family. If you have teens, take their advice for relationship to make them realize their role in family decisions. This honest dialogue and communication is necessary for laying grounds for introducing your adult relationship to your kids.
No matter how meticulously you have handled the situation, moment of introduction makes or breaks the efforts you have put in. Best way to make actual introductions is in an informal, outdoor environment which reduces the pressure of first meeting. Any casual activity like going out for an ice-cream or shopping can work in this situation. Just remember to arrange a casual meeting and keep the air relaxed and fun. Moreover, give your children some time to absorb and come to terms with the current situation.