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Dr. Wendy Walsh
Introducing children to a new partner poses lots of risks and consequences for single mothers.
Mr. Right may seem perfect in your eyes, but kids sometimes tend to view a new lover in less endearing terms. Children may fear their father is being replaced, family dynamics will change or they will lose the quality time they have with their mother.
That’s why it’s so important to be strategic and thoughtful when introducing a new partner.
Being selective is crucial. Children living in a home with a male who is not biologically related to them are eight times more likely to become a victim of emotional, physical or sexual abuse.
My advice is to wait as long as possible. It’s best to be sure this guy is going to stick around before your kids grow attached to him.
Remember, you may not be the only one with a broken heart if the relationship turns sour. Breakups are stressful on a kid’s young heart, too.
If your relationship goals are purely to create a sexual connection, and no more than that, it’s probably best to avoid having your children witness this relationship.
Be careful of the playboy who pretends to be good boyfriend and daddy material but then vanishes right after you’ve introduced him to your kids. Put your man to the test before exposing him to your precious angels.
“If a guy ever refers to your
children as baggage, run!”
Don’t trick your kids by setting up play dates with your partner’s kids. It may be convenient and seem like a simple solution, but kids are smart and they will catch on in a heartbeat. You most likely won’t be able to fool them.
If you don’t see long-term potential or an exclusive monogamous relationship, introducing a new man to your family won’t only hurt your heart but your kids’ hearts as well.
Take care of your kids and their needs before scampering off to the movies and dinner dates. Be open with potential dates about your children and why you want to hold off introducing him for their protection.
Most importantly, talk to your kids about introducing them to your new man. Ask them if they’re ready to meet him, how they’d feel about spending time with him and if they are comfortable with you seeing him.
Meeting a stranger can be scary, especially if your little ones still hold hopes for Mommy and Daddy getting back together. Make sure they know Mommy is still available and they will always be number one.
And if a guy ever refers to your children as baggage, run!
Photo source: madamenoire.com.