Going through a divorce somehow turns your life up-side-down and requires a whole lot of adjusting, not only for you but everyone around you; your parents, friends and most importantly your children. Women need to acknowledge that children are hurting just as much if not more than them and the rest should be done cautiously and with constant consultation to the feelings of the kids. Don’t shove them with therapy and leave it at that while you continue with your life and move on; it is an ongoing process that will need you to have a chat constantly and make them understand things they seem to be lost on.
The chat with the kids
This does not say you should let your kids run your life; you are an adult and can make choices that best fit you. Make them feel that you are talking to them because you want to consider their feelings and not because you are giving them a pass to run your life. But we shouldn’t forget that everything we bring to the house is going to affect the kids. So if you are consideration meeting someone new and think you are ready for that, have a chat with your kids about it; ask them what would be a reasonable ideal situation for all of you.
Inform them of your intentions and reassure them that you will still be there for them like you have been and that your partner won’t be a replacement for their father. When you have met someone, and feel things are going well and promising, talk about him to your kids. Don’t inform them about any Tom, Dick and Jerry you meet. And don’t go into details of how much you love your partner and how they are “the one”, keep it simple and not too overwhelming.
Meeting for dates with your partner
Now that they know a little about “Mr. Promising” you don’t have to lie about your whereabouts. When he is taking you out inform them of that and don’t take hours and hours out with him. Introduce the patterns little by little. Start with a casual breakfast and then move to lunch and finally when they have gotten used to the idea of you dating him you can spend late nights outing with him. Never ever tell them this and do the other, they will pin it all on your new lover and never like him. Be clear about everything and try involving them by getting their opinion.
Try not to have sleepovers at his place early on in the relationship; it is a big step and should be considered with great care. Kids are inquisitive by nature and they will come to conclusions that are not necessarily the case. Leave sleepovers to when they know him personally and are comfortable to leave you in his hands.
Introducing the guy to the kids
I know a lot of newly divorcees have always questioned when is the right time to introduce your new partner to your kids. It is not that simple and varies from situation to situation; there are a whole lot of factors that play a role in coming to a “right decision”. The kids’ age for one, the intensity of the divorce and how the kids are dealing with the splitting of their parents to mention a few. All you can do is make sure that when the time is right; don’t bring them in family holidays like, Christmas, or special activities that are only done by the kids and you, like picnicking. Make the first interaction as brief as possible and less awkward. It should be in a fun environment and one that they won’t be forced to stare at him for hours and those that will enable them to do other things or should we say “escape” if they feel overwhelmed.