Should a Single Mom Introduce Kids to Her New Boyfriend?
been divorced for a year or so and have been dating someone for
a few months. Both he and I have kids. How and when should we introduce
our kids to each other?
by first focusing on your relationship with your new boyfriend.
Dont rush to introduce your kids to him if youre not
sure your relationship will be serious.
you feel as if this may become a long-term relationship, talk about
your boyfriend and his kids with your children, suggests Thomas
Haller, MSW, author, along with Chick Moorman, of "The Ten
Commitments: Parenting With Purpose."
in lots of listening so the children feel heard," he says.
Then slowly, begin going on outings with your boyfriend and his
on doing child-oriented activities such as going roller blading
or to the zoo, he says. But dont push the children on each
other. "Dont jam everyone into one car," Haller
advises. Instead, meet your boyfriend and his kids at the zoo or
dont want at this point to push the kids into creating relationships.
Allow the relationships to evolve slowly and naturally over time,"
the activity, let the children mingle with each other. But again,
dont insist that they spend every moment together. Dont
plan for a whole morning of close encounters between your boyfriend
and his kids and you and your kids. Give everyone some space.
may find--like I did--that one of your children feels possessive
of you and isnt very open to sharing you. He may resist taking
part in activities. In this case, its very important to meet
your boyfriend and his kids at a public place where there are other
people. Take the focus off your boyfriend and his kids. Tell your
child that you want him to go to the activity with you, says Haller.
resistant child may slowly warm to your boyfriend and his kids.
Or he may like your boyfriend and his kids immediatelylike
my son didbut worry about losing you.
to view the world from your childrens point of view. They
may be feeling protective of your ex-husband or possessive of you.
Be sure to listen to them if they express these feelings. Its
important that they feel as if they are being heard and understood.
move slowly and patiently.
me informed, Jennifer. And good luck.
Cohn is co-author of "One Family, Two Family, New Family:
Stories And Advice For Stepfamilies" and co-host of Stepfamily
Talk Radio, an internet radio show. Visit her at www.stepfamilyadvice.com