In this article we want to address the issue of children and your new partner. Now a days its common for your new partner or yourself to already have children.However common as it may be its still a serious issue. Dealt with wrong and you can harm both your child and your new relationship. We will discuss several aspects of this in hopes it can help you make wise choices for yourself and children.
When do I introduce child to new partner?
This is your first big hurdle. If you introduce them too soon and relationships fails that can cause problems. If you wait too long that too can cause issues. Let first talk about too soon. Your child young or older sees this new person as potential parental material even if you don’t. Introducing them too soon (and you breakup) can cause them to think they are to blame and thus blame themselves for your loneliness. In addition if you introduce every new person you date you paint and equally ugly picture and give no hope of stability to your children. The other aspect of this course is the other parent. You don’t want your children feeling the other parent is being replaced. That is not the case its merely you seeking a meaningful relationship with someone other than other parent. Make sure your children know this is not a replacement parent. Be ready for struggles as well. We will talk about this again later. So when do you introduce your child to this new partner? Its not about a time frame like 3 months or the like. It when you feel this relationship is going to last either for quite a while or he/she may be “The one”. This avoids the revolving door of potential partners that can cause problems with your child. When you are sure this can last and he/she feels the same its time they got to know children.
Young children 10 and under.
With this age group its hard not for them to see your new partner as a “replacement parent”. With this in mind it poses problems. Whether or not the other parent was a good or bad parent you do not want your child viewing your partner as his/her next Daddy or Mommy. If the other parent has a good relationship with child or other parent is deceased the child can resent new partner. Make sure your child knows this is someone your spending time with you really like (don’t use word love). Explain you have no current plans to wed or live together your just enjoying time together. Your child may ask if that’s possible. You can say yes but not at the moment and they (The child) will be first know if it looks like that could happen. Let the child know you just want him/her to get to know this new person as you expect to be seeing a lot of him/her. Since you will be seeing this person frequently you felt it best you get to know each other or get to know each other better. It would be wise to include the child is some of your dates. A trip to the movies can include child. Let the group of you enjoy time together. This is good gauge for you as well to see how your partner deals with your children. If it does go further this is important. Encourage your child to interact with partner but don’t push them together either. Letting your child get to know this new partner (when time is right) makes the possible transition to living arrangement or marriage easier.
Children 11 and over.
This age group can be very difficult. These children due to their age will likely fight this more than younger ones. Children in this age group can be rebellious as it is any change to their way of life might result in further rebellion. Tread very lightly with this age group. don’t force anything. Talk to your child as much as he/she will allow let them know you care about how they feel about this as well. There is no easy fix here its about patience. How long this takes is basically up to your child and not you. You can certainly do this to help or harm things but its up to child and this age group can be stubborn. Find common ground between your partner and child. If they have similar interest then exploit that. If your new partner has connections your child may benefit from that’s great too. Whatever you do not force your partner on child let them grow to know each other and bond without your pressure. If child needs space from your partner ok let him/her have that but make sure the child knows door is open to build a relationship as well. As with your younger children make sure your child understand this is not a replacement parent just someone you (The parent) enjoy spending time with. The prospect of marriage or the like is not an issue at time but if it becomes a possibility then you will discuss it with the child for his/her view on issue. For now this is a new friend of yours who can share time with child as well.
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