Sometimes, relationships fail to work. Divorce can happen even to the most charming couples. When that happens, kids are often the ones that suffer the most.
You try hard to provide them with their needs and wants, thinking this is the best way to make up for them after failing to provide them with a complete family. Eventually, as your broken heart starts to heal and you begin to move on, you begin yearning for your true love. You search high and low, willing to try everything, including dating sites and even the services of a professional matchmaker, to find the perfect one.
Once you find the one, the next challenge is introducing your significant other to your kids. It is only natural to be afraid of their possible reaction. This is especially true when they still hope that you and their other parent will change your mind.
Know that you deserve to be happy, even if it meant in the arms of another great love. But since you have kids with your previous ex, it is only fitting that you prepare for the big day before making the introductions. To help you tread this sensitive topic, here is a short guide you can keep.
Do Allow the Kids to Process the Separation
It does not matter how old your kids are. Remember that they deserve to have some time to process that you and their other parent are now single. They must realize there is no longer a chance for reconciliation.
Even if you started getting back to the dating game, avoid showing this off to your kids. It is best not to introduce a new love interest unless your relationship is now serious. This will help avoid confusion and further frustration.
You want to give it some time before you introduce your new serious relationship. For best results, wait for the honeymoon phase to end. Don’t let your excitement to share your new love with your kids ruin this important news for them.
Don’t Forget to Get the Other Parent Involved
Not all separations turn out to be ugly. More parents who divorced are now practicing co-parenting for the sake of their kid’s mental being. If you and your ex are on good terms, make arrangements wherein you ask their help introducing your new partner to the kids.
Letting their other parent know about your intention to introduce your new loved one is a sign of respect. You are keeping them in the loop while preventing untoward incidents involving your ex. They can even help you make the introductions less stressful.
Choose a Low-Key First Meeting
Some parents try to make it too obvious that they are planning to do something intense. You might think that taking the kids out on a fun date is the perfect way to make the introductions. But if you don’t plan the day well, things can quickly go downhill.
The last thing you want is restless and stressed kids receiving news that one of their parents is now dating somebody else. Make the introductions light and understated. Choose an activity that involves lots of waiting time and awkward silences.
Avoid showing public displays of attention around the kids. No matter how much you want to show them your love to your new partner, you want them to process things one step at a time. Make the introductions short, allow your new partner to have a few minutes’ worth of interactions with the kids, and make sure you spend alone time with the children as you would during regular visits.
Don’t Forget to Listen to Your Kids
You may hear words of protests or actions showing they are against your new relationship. Instead of getting mad, calm yourself down and listen to what they have to say. Remember that it is only normal for them to resist change.
Spend as much alone time with them to explain your side. Have a heart-to-heart talk and use words they can understand. You can’t simply expect them to welcome your new love with open arms as they are still healing from your split.
There is no need to tag your new love along every time you spend quality time with your kids. Show them that even if you now have a new partner, you still care enough to spare alone time with them. If they have any questions, answer concisely and truthfully.
You and your kids deserve happiness. Sometimes, this means welcoming your new love to the mix. If you need help making the introductions with your kids, you can use this list as your guide.