17-Nov-2015 08:23

Parents dating after a divorce

I think it’s totally appropriate to use the word “date” with them. For school age children (6-10), more information may be appropriate – such as describing the person as a “special friend.” Pre-teens and young teens probably know more about your situation that you’d like to think.

But I’ve seen enough of my clients go through this process that I’ve picked up a few pieces of advice. The answer to this depends largely on how old (and mature) your kids are.I always recommend waiting until the relationship is serious.What serious means is up to you, but stability is always key in a child’s life and this is no exception.Dating is naturally a roller coaster, but part of your job as a parent is to shield your kids from some of the ups and downs. But, as a rule, it takes between one and three years for a person to emotionally recover from a divorce. For most people, dating was a confusing and tumultuous experience. This emotion roller coaster isn’t made any easier with kids. Remember though, it’s important to remain the parent. And for many parents, that new beginning involves starting to date again. They’re probably dating as well, so they’re familiar with the deal.

By the time your children are teenagers, it’s best to just be honest.

In fact, it may provide a great opportunity to discuss the whole concept of dating with them.

As easy as it is to gush or complain about your date, that’s not really an appropriate parent-child conversation. Every child reacts uniquely, it’s the nature of kids.

You know your child and can probably predict their reaction better than anyone. Your child is probably holding out hope that you will reunite with his other parent. That’s a very personal question that has more to do with you and your family that childhood development.

Dating can destroy that illusion and that can hurt. But make the decision based on what you think is best for the kids – not out of guilt or fear.

Also, your child is going to have to start sharing you in a new way with a complete stranger. When should I introduce my new partner to the kids?

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