Dating After Divorce and Introducing the Children

11:06 AM, Aug 28, 2013   |    comments
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It's best to hold off involving your kids in a new relationship without exploring these variables as it may cause them further trauma and possibly sabotage the relationship.


Kids from divorced families have already experienced a loss and can get attached very quickly. Instead of determining when to introduce the kids based on the amount of time that has passed, think about it in terms of where you are in your relationship.

Also consider the amount of time you have been divorced. Children are not ready to have another parental figure thrown into the mix right after their parents' split.

Age of the children:

Kids at different ages present different issues. Overall, it is difficult for children of any age to witness their parents dating. Teenagers resent seeing their mothers showing affection to other men; their mothers' overt sexuality can be troubling and confusing for teens. As for the fathers, children may become even more upset when they date. This could be because they might already see their fathers less, causing them to feel more threatened by new relationships.

Goal of the relationship: The point is to get clarity before involving the children

Reason for including the kids: The truth of the matter is that colliding the dating and parenting worlds are tough, so really make sure you have a solid understanding of the motivation behind blending the two.

Reality check: Children often become embarrassed and confused when seeing their parents act like adolescents.

  •   Acknowledge to yourself that children are likely to view a date as a threat to their own personal time and experience with you.


  •   Be very clear with kids that adults need time with other adults


  •   Encourage kids to express their feelings, but don't allow them to dictate the terms of your love life. Make sure the introduction of your new significant other takes place only after you've had a private conversation with your child about the relationship.


  •   Have hope: if the proper groundwork if laid, and if the new boyfriend or girlfriend is really committed to you and accepting of your children, they can indeed develop a fond relationship with your new partner.

Read more on Family Education:

Courtesy of:

The Clark Institute:  Private Practice Psychotherapy for Children,

Adolescent, and Adults

Human Resource Associates

Matthew Clark, Psy.D.


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