Young children and dating

There are many things to consider when making the choice to begin dating after your divorce.

Here are a few of the questions that parents ask: Regarding Your Children How do I explain my dating to my children?

With teens (15-20) it is important to be honest about your actions. It's been long enough after the divorce that I am ready to meet some new people.

I'm wondering how you feel about that." Since your teens are also likely dating, it is important to talk with them about how it may be awkward to have a parent dating at the same time. How will my children be affected by my decision to date?

But, we humans are instinctively drawn to partnering up.

So chances are very good that sooner or later you (along with nearly every other divorced parent) will be dipping your toe into the waters of dating after divorce.

Notice what "dating" seems to mean to your child and then talk about it.

This is a good time to reassure your child that even though you are beginning to go out on dates, you will still always reserve time for just the two of you.For example, "I'm going to have dinner with a man/woman that I met at work.We're going to talk for a few hours after dinner and then I'll be home. Chances are good that he or she already has a good idea of what dating is all about! For example, "I'm going out on a date with (person's name) on Friday.What you say to your children when you begin dating after your divorce will depend largely on their age. You'll be in bed when I get home."With school-age children (6-10) you can begin to provide more information.If you need a reminder about what to expect at each developmental stage have a look here When talking with young children (infants and toddlers) describe the person you are seeing as a friend. I'll be back soon."With preschoolers (ages 3-5) still describe the person you will be going out with as as friend. You will likely want to have a more in-depth conversation about dating."Most of the activity happens in a pack, and communication takes place between friend groups." By 8th grade, dating probably means talking on the phone and hanging out, usually in groups.By high school, kids are more likely to develop serious romantic attachments.For instance, Atkins suggests asking your child why they think someone acted the way they did, and whether they made a good or healthy choice. It's your job, as their parent, to figure out if your child is ready to handle the level of dating they have in mind.Pay attention to how they respond when you start a conversation about dating.It is also critical that you remain in the role of parent and not turn into your child's best friend where you each gush about your new girl or boyfriend. Every child will react in his or her own way to a parent's dating after the divorce.And as has been stated many times on this site, knowing your child will always help you better understand what may be going on for him/her.

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