Juggling family life and your love life is never easy, especially if you’ve got young children. However, as a single parent it’s crucial to allow yourself some ‘me time’, and an opportunity to meet the perfect match. But when you start dating someone special, when do you introduce them to the kids? Let’s take a look at this age old problem, and how to approach getting the kids involved.
Keep Dating Discreet
Having kids doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun as a single adult. It just means you have to manage your priorities carefully. One of the most important rules when it comes to divorced and single parent dating is to keep it discreet.
Whilst finding a new partner may be an exciting prospect, a stream of boyfriends and girlfriends may create instability in your child’s upbringing. So only introduce a date when you’re absolutely sure that it’s not just another fling. After all, you don’t want the first time your kids meet your match to be when they come downstairs for a class of milk!
Prepare Both Parties
Before you throw your lover and little ones into close proximity, prepare both sides for the introduction. Have a frank and open conversation with your date about where you think the relationship is heading, to ensure that they are on the same page. Ask for their honest opinion about meeting the children – they may have their own family to worry about, or no experience with kids at all!
Meanwhile, be as upfront as possible with your children about the new man or woman in your life. Little ones may find it difficult to understand, whilst divorced parents will have to consider how their children (and ex) will feel about someone joining the family. Whilst it’s important to embrace your relationship, always consider the feelings of other people involved.
The Seal of Approval
When the time finally arrives to introduce the kids, plan a day that will be relaxed but fun. This first introduction can be a daunting situation for both your children and your new partner, so choose a neutral setting that will ease the nerves and lay the foundations for a memorable day.
Why not plan a trip to the zoo or a theme park, or pack a picnic and head to the coast? A light-hearted family day out will feel much more natural than a stuffy meal. By giving them a chance to spend time together, they’re far more likely to bond.
Bringing a new partner into your clan can be an exciting time for both you and your children, provided you go the right way about it. Take your time and don’t force the issue if someone isn’t ready for the introduction, to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible when your relationship does get serious.
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