PowerTech System Trading LLC

+971-4-3245033
info@powertechsys.com

How and When to Introduce Your New Partner to Your Kids

How and When to Introduce Your New Partner to Your Kids

Key points

  • Waiting until children are ready to meet a new partner improves the chances that the new relationship will succeed.
  • When introducing their children to a new partner, parents should typically wait until the relationship is strong and has lasted 9-12 months.
  • The integration should be gradual. Start with a brief meeting in a neutral place. Let your ex-spouse know ahead of time.

Nine-year-old Tina (not her real name) confides that her dad has a new girlfriend, Lucy, and that she came over for dinner last night. “Lucy sat in my chair, I’m always next to Daddy, and he didn’t tell her it was my seat.” Tina sobs as she relates this to me.

Jenny, who’s 14, tells me that meeting Mom’s new boyfriend was “annoying.” “He tries too hard to be funny, and watching them snuggle on the couch was gross,” she says.

Jon, 16, says he retreated to his room and blasted the music his dad hates when his dad calls him out to meet the new girlfriend. “No way am I ready for that,” he says angrily. He refuses to leave his room.

After a divorce, it is normal to want to date, explore new relationships or find a new love. You might want to show yourself that you’re still attractive or worthy of loving attention. You may think you are ready to “move on.”

The problem is that your children generally aren’t ready to move on, nor are they ready for you to reconstruct the family with a new partner.

How will you know when your children are ready?

The research tells us that waiting until they are ready improves the chances of your new relationship’s success. If your kids aren’t ready they may sabotage the relationship or reject the new partner (or you). If they feel jealous or threatened by the attention you are giving a new love, they may act out behaviorally or shut down, depressed.

When drafting parenting plans with divorcing parents, I often suggest waiting until the new relationship has been a committed relationship of at least 9-12 months duration, after the divorce is over. Many parents resist this recommendation. I explain that this gives everyone time to Thai sexiga kvinnor adjust to a new parenting schedule and the children have the time to grieve the loss of the family as they knew it. Furthermore, if your new relationship doesn’t work out, it will be another loss for your kids, especially if they have become attached to your new partner.

Most dating relationships end before 9-12 months, so exposing your kids to a new love early on means your children risk experiencing one loss after another. Over time, the losses can affect your children’s future mental health and wellbeing, success in relationships, and your relationship with them.

  • “It’s too hard to only see my new partner during my off-duty time.”
  • “I want to share my joy with my children.”
  • “Janice really wants to meet my kids, and I want to see how she likes them before we go further…”
  • “I just know my kids will love him. He’s so different from their dad.”
  • “I know my kids want to see me happy, and I want to show them what a real loving relationship is supposed to look like.”

Why these justifications won’t work

“It’s too hard to only see my new partner during my off-duty time.” Your kids didn’t choose the divorce. They are probably seeing less of you now than before the marriage ended. Seeing less of you now means your time with them is precious. It is important to focus on your kids when you are “on duty” without the distraction of a new partner. Depending on your parenting time schedule, you can use your off-duty time for dating and cultivating a new relationship. Eventually, when you are certain that the new partner will stay in your life, you can begin to cautiously integrate the new relationship with the children.

“I want to share my joy with my children.” After bringing her new girlfriend home to the children, Amanda tells me this was wishful thinking. “Your children will never be as joyful about your new love as you are,” she says. Kids are naturally more concerned with how the changes will impact them.

“Janice really wants to meet my kids, and I want to see how she likes them before we go further…” It’s important that your new partner and your children get along. It’s also important that your new partner understands that your children are your highest priority. (Your children should feel that from you too.) While developing your new relationship, read a few books together about blending families and stepparenting. Take time to be sure that your relationship is rock solid and then take more time to prepare yourselves and the kids for the introduction, after being certain that your children are ready.

“I just know my kids will love him. He’s so different from their dad.” Your new partner will never take the place of their other parent. At best, hope that your new partner will be similar to a favorite aunt or uncle. If your new partner believes that they will be replacing the other parent, the boundaries will be crossed and your kids will reject them. The job of a parent includes tough things, such as discipline, and your new partner should never cross into that territory, except in the case of a real emergency.

Post A Comment

Categories

Recent News