Yes, dating again after being single for so long is scary—dating with kids however is exceptionally terrifying. Dating with kids is whole new ball game since you have to take into account your kids’ feelings and thoughts when you want to start dating someone who is not their daddy or mommy. However daunting the though of dating with kids make you feel, it can also be extremely rewarding when you do it right.
Undoubtedly, your kids will have a tough time understanding, much less, accepting that you’ll be dating someone other than their mom or dad because kids will always hope that you and your partner will eventually get back together and that your separation is only temporary. Likewise, some kids simply don’t want the idea of sharing their parent with somebody else.
On the other hand, dating with kids is something that you’re going to have to do eventually; plus it’s healthy for you. As a parent, it is your job to make this big transition easier for both you and your kids. To help you with this difficult task, read on and try to apply the following rules and tips you can use when you start dating with kids.
First off, speak with your kids.
Prior to dating with kids, make certain to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your kids on what you are planning to do. Tell them that you want to start dating, but not with their mom or dad, and why.
However, it is important to note that you are telling your kids about it and not asking for their permission whether you can date or not, since being a good parent means that you should not let your kids rule your entire life. In that instant, the ultimate goal is to make them feel like they’re not being left out and to make them aware that changes are bound to happen.
Timing is crucial.
Don’t just jump on the chance to introduce the person you are dating if you’ve only gone out for a few dates, and more importantly, if you don’t have any idea where the relationship is going. Preferably, you should wait until you have genuine feelings for the person, if you trust the person enough, and when you feel secure before your kids consider your date ‘Daddy’s girlfriend’ or ‘Mommy’s boyfriend’. Make sure that you have a dependable sitter so you won’t have to bring your kids out on dates with you.
It is also vital that you resist any temptation to make your new guy or girl a parental authority in your children’s eyes right away since your kids will resent you for this. Parenting should only be done by you and your kids’ other parent, or until such time that your kids feel really comfortable with your new partner. This also applies to letting your date pick up your kids from school, soccer practice, or piano class.
The Truth will always set you free.
Sound totally cliché, but absolutely true. When dating with kids, discretion is most certainly advised, but sneaking around and lying to your kids’ faces are not. If you’re all for extramarital sex and your kids start asking, then you must be able to make your children understand (in age-appropriate and specific approach) why and the certain conditions surrounding it—most especially if you have teenagers.
This is because you can’t possibly do it if you can’t explain it properly to your children since you are their role model and doing it sends the message that it is okay to do it. Further, if you haven’t made your relationship known officially to your kids, your date can’t, under any circumstances, come into your house not until your kids are fast asleep for at least a good, solid hour. If your date can’t wait a measly hour, then he or she is probably not worth it.
In addition, try not to arrange a sleepover first, and in the event that it is inevitable, make absolutely certain that your partner leaves your house at the least, an hour before your kids get up in the morning.
Don’t forget to spend quality time with your children.
There is no doubt that the apprehension over dating with kids stem from the fact that most kids think that their parent will not have enough time for them when they start dating. This is a very valid concern for kids so you have to everything you can to balance your time with your kids and your new girl or guy. Likewise, when spending time with your kids, don’t bring your date along since this will defeat the purpose.
On the other hand, when you’re out with your date, be out with your date physically and mentally. When dating with kids, a common mistake parents tend to make is act out their guiltiness because they’re out while the kids are at home. In this scenario, calling your kids every five minutes and constantly talking about your kids are big No-Nos.
‘Casual’ is the operative word when you introduce your partner to your kids.
When the time comes that you feel like you’re relationship with your partner is going somewhere or getting more serious, introduce him or her to your kids casually, and then to close families and friends, but without all the hoopla. You can start by going out to lunch or dinner with your kids, a picnic in the park, or perhaps a day in the beach where your partner will have the chance to just hang around and speak with your.
Never introduce your new partner during the holidays or big family events especially if your kids haven’t had the time know him or her first. Make sure to also screen and prepare your partner about your kids, and remind him or her that private information you’ve shared about your kids should never be mentioned. Remember that when dating with kids, first impressions are crucial and can mean the start of a blossoming romance or the end of it.