Going through a divorce is an emotional rollercoaster for everybody, especially the parties getting divorced and their children. And it may not end after you sign the divorce papers. If you are divorced with children and dating, you might find experience new emotions or notice new emotions in your children.
Here are some basic guidelines that might help. And if you find this helpful, you might also find our blog about deciding when to start dating after a divorce helpful too.
Be Open with Your Children
One thing you have to acknowledge as a single parent who is dating after divorce with children, is that your children might view dating as a threat to the time you spend with them, notes FamilyEducation.com. As such, be honest with your children about why dating is important to you, and that adults need time with other adults.
But explain that that doesn’t mean any dating partners will replace your children. Gauge the depth of the conversation and how much you tell your children based on their age and maturity level.
Encourage Children to Express Their Feelings
As stated above, watching a parent begin to date again after a divorce can be a threatening experience for some children. Rather than ignoring the situation, encourage your children to express their feelings about your relationship with your ex-spouse, any new partners, and how they feel about you dating again. This can get the conversation started so you can become aware of their concerns and address them.
Set Healthy Boundaries
While speaking with your children about the fact that you’re dating again can be a good thing, you also need to set healthy boundaries. Be honest, but don’t share all the details. Make sure you don’t introduce a new partner too soon. Your children, just like you, will need time to adjust to life after divorce.
Author Christina Pesoli, writing for the Huffington Post in 2013, notes that creating a bunch of “waves” in your children’s lives by introducing them to a new boyfriend/girlfriend too quickly isn’t a good idea. In setting boundaries, make sure you take plenty of time to prioritize your relationship with your children.
Family law issues? Talk to an Attorney
Like emotions after a divorce, some find that legal issues don’t just stop after a divorce either. If you’re running into new legal issues – like problems with child custody, child support, and more – after your divorce, talk to family law attorney Molly B. Kenny about your case. Call us now to set up a consultation at 425-460-0550.