After divorce, families are left to adapt to parents living in different homes and everyone moving forward with their lives. For parents, helping children getting used to a life where their parents are no longer a couple can be difficult. What can also be challenging is helping your children become accustomed to you having a relationship with someone new. Here are some tips for introducing your children to your new partner:
Take Your Time
Adults and children often operate on different schedules when it comes to working through their feelings about a divorce. It may be that when the divorce is finally over, the parent has reached a place where they are comfortable with pursuing a romantic interest. Also, parents may already be engaged in relationships before the divorce is completed. Remember, that no matter where you are emotionally in terms of being ready for a new relationship, your children may not be prepared to meet your new partner right away. Depending on their ages and maturity, kids may be feeling angry, sad, and insecure for a significant period following the divorce. Let them have the time and space they need to get used to their new situation before bringing your new partner into the picture.
Talk to Them Beforehand
The last thing you want to do is take your children by surprise when meeting your new romantic partner. Sitting down with your kids and having a discussion about the new person in your life will be vital. Allow them to express their feelings and discuss what your partner’s role in your life will be. This is also a time when you can provide reassurance that you will continue to make time for them on your own. You may also want to ask your children how and where they would feel the most comfortable meeting your new partner. Children can feel as if they do not have a voice during divorce. By giving them the opportunity to make choices about when they are introduced to your new partner you are also letting them know that their perspective matters to you.
Choose an Activity That Interests Them
Once you have determined that the children are ready to meet your new partner, it will be beneficial to select the right environment and situation. When assisting your children in getting used to the new person in your life, it is helpful to have everyone be involved in activities together. This can reduce the pressure of constantly interacting and will give everyone a shared experience. For example, if your children enjoy the outdoors, set up a day for all of you to spend time together engaged in an endeavor such as hiking. By coming together as a group in a positive environment, you can help your children get to know your new partner in an atmosphere of comfort.
We understand the issues families encounter following divorce and can assist you in planning for a healthy transition for everyone involved. Please, contact us at the Draper Firm to schedule a free consultation or call us at (866) 767-4711. We invite you to learn more about our firm here.