Dating after divorce and how that effects a child
Two-plus years out of a bad marriage, I’m in no rush to find husband No. When I do take that step, I want to be certain it’s a lifelong, healthy relationship that’s good for me and good for my three kids.With a 50-percent divorce rate, America is seeing more mixed families than ever before.“Take each child’s temperament into consideration and developmental age,” says Spector.“Be concrete with little ones, abstract with teens and pre-teens.It’s a different game to date when you’re a parent and while there are no hard and fast rules, parents and experts agree on some guidelines – the least of which is, let them be ready before you are.“No matter their ages, explain (to your children) why you’re dating and that no one will ever replace the other parent,” says Dr.Terri Orbuch, professor at Oakland University, research professor at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and a family therapist.“Tell them they are your first priority and you’ll always be there for them, no matter who you’re dating.” If kids are resistant or negative, don’t get defensive. “I’ve done a pretty careful job of limiting (my son’s) exposure to anybody that I wasn’t 100 percent sure could be marriage (material),” says Sean Singer, a divorced dad in Plymouth.
Dan respected his sensitivity, approaching him with conversation or a board game as a way to grow close.
Seven years since his divorce, Singer has only introduced his now 14-year-old son to two women, neither of whom he ended up marrying.
“In both cases, (I introduced him only) when I was sure that I was going to maintain a long-term relationship,” Singer says.
(Our kids) friended each other.” “To this day, they still joke, ‘We remember when we met Jeff. '” “Unless you’re very, very serious, the person shouldn’t sleep over,” says Spector.
Especially with teens, while they hear what you say, they are more likely to do what you do, says Dr. Both agree that the significant-other-sleepover is a values call – and both hesitate to give the green light from a clinical perspective before there’s a ring on your finger. Reserve sleepovers for nights when the kids stay with the other parent.