When it comes to navigating the Christian dating world, whether you need help with Christian dating yourself or you are helping to ensure a fellow Christian’s first date goes off without a hitch, there...
How To Introduce Your Kids To A New Partner
By Top10BestDatingSites Staff
The question of when, and how, to introduce your new partner to your child or children is a complicated one. As a Christian single parent, dating is one step closer to being in a committed, monogamous relationship with someone, and hopefully, finding yourselves in a peaceful, happy marriage. When kids are involved, you must be sensitive to and respectful of their feelings when it comes time to introducing them to your new partner.
When Is The Right Time To Make Introductions?
Parents should first and foremost look at the new relationship and make sure long term commitment is the next step. Can you envision making this person a part of your family? Is there a basic level of commitment to each other? Have you and your partner discussed future plans? If the children have either met or gotten to know a past partner from whom you are now separated, consider that they might be more hesitant to get close to anyone new. If you or your child is working with a therapist, you may want to seek guidance from him or her as to your child’s readiness. For each family, parent, child, and situation, there are unique details which must be taken into account when deciding when to introduce the kids to a new partner. As a Christian single parent dating seriously, here are a few things to consider:
- The ages of the children. Sometimes younger children can bond more easily to new people. Pre-teens and teens can have more difficult times.
- How much time has elapsed since the break-up? If your marriage split up recently, you can assume that your child or children are still feeling a bit tender. If many years have passed, or there was never a relationship to begin with, it may be easier for your kids to accept a new person in their lives.
- What is the child’s relationship like with the opposite parent? Is the other parent involved in the child’s life? If so, to what degree?
- Are they involved in your online dating quest? What are their attitudes like? Are they supportive? There are children who are extremely supportive of their parent finding a spouse. Some children, usually older ones, are very pro Christians dating after a divorce.
Time To Meet - Introductions Made Easier
Introducing kids to a new partner can be intimidating and stressful, but it can also be a positive experience of discovery and friendship. The following list of proactive steps can serve as a guide:
Discuss With Your Child or Children First
Do the children know that you are seeing someone? If the kids are aware that you have met someone and it’s getting serious, then you are one step closer to being able to make introductions. If not, introduce them to the idea of your new partner. The conversation should be in private. Some parents feel it is better for their children to have this discussion one on one with their parent, and not as a group together with their siblings. Reassure them that a new partner does not replace their other parent or take away their time with you. Let your children know you are open to hearing their feedback, concerns, or questions.
Setting the Right Tone and Locale
Make the first meeting a short, sweet, neutral encounter with a pleasant interaction. The child’s own home is just a little too close for comfort. A fun, pleasant place can go a long way towards helping your child feel at ease. A group setting can be more comfortable at first than one on one. Some ideal locations may be a picnic or a walk in the park, a trip to a museum or zoo, a casual restaurant, sports event, or performance of theater or music.
Be Sensitive to Your Child’s Perceptions and Comfort Zone
Avoid physical intimacy in your child’s presence. Even hand holding could make kids feel uncomfortable - so just hold off. If there is something your partner should know about your child, brief them ahead of time so they can be sensitive about how to interact with your child.
Approach the Introductions With Reasonable Expectations
A new relationship will likely form naturally between the child and your new partner. Remember to allow them time to go at their own pace.
It’s not easy to be a Christian single parent dating, it’s a challenging process. However, with sensitivity and some thought, strong, lasting relationships can blossom and endure for life.
It’s a good idea to check some high ranking dating sites like ChristianMingle or match.com, which often have tips and valuable information about how to overcome these common hurdles in the dating process.
Are you a Christian dating after divorce? Haven’t yet met someone whom you’d like to introduce to your kids? Don’t despair! Try Zoosk, winner of Online Dating’s Most Innovative Award of 2015!