After a divorce, most men and women eventually want to get back into the dating scene but this is difficult to do when there are children involved. It can be hard to talk to teens about any kind of personal issues, especially when it has to do with your feelings about finding a companion. Although teens are old enough to understand why their parents are interested in dating, most are not mature enough to put their own feelings aside in order to let their parent fulfill his or her needs. If your teen becomes upset or angry at the thought of you dating, he or she may do their best to put a damper on your dating life. The best way for you to convince your teen that you need to begin dating is to be prepared for any concerns they may have so you can put their worries at ease.
Prepare Yourself for a Negative Reaction
By preparing yourself for a negative reaction, you can remain calm while listening to what your teen has to say. Some children are happy to hear that their parent is planning to begin dating but many times teens become upset when mom or dad tells them about such plans.
Some children may feel jealous at the thought of their parent falling in love and spending time with someone new. In some cases, teens may feel like their parent is abandoning them. Some teens may secretly hope that their divorced parents will one day reunite and view any new partner as a threat to the entire family.
Listen to Your Child’s Concerns
Whether your child’s concerns about you dating are valid or not it is important for all of the children in the family to have the opportunity to express their opinion on the matter. Children who have the satisfaction of being heard tend to be happier while kids who feel like their thoughts and feelings are being ignored are more likely to be sad, angry and frustrated. You should do your best to ease any concerns your child may have. You should also be prepared to answer difficult questions. Your teen may ask you whether you plan to remarry one day or if you would ever have more children with a new partner.
Do Not Involve Your Teen in Adult Issues
Some parents want to be open with their kids and share too much information about their dating activities. This can be overwhelming to teens, especially if they have recently had to deal with the pain of divorce. Although it is okay to mention that you are going on a date, your teen does not need to know the details of your romantic life and they do not need to meet the people you are dating unless you are in relationship that has become very serious.
It is better for you to meet your date at a local restaurant or coffee shop rather than have the person pick you up at the door. If you are unsure whether the relationship has a promising future, it is better not to involve the kids. Once you decide that you have found a great partner it is time to begin slowly introducing the person to your teen.
Introducing Your New Partner
Before introducing a new partner to your kids, you need to make sure the person will be a terrific role model and is willing to take on the role of stepparent. Children deserve to have a stepparent they feel comfortable around so you need to make sure that the person you are with is kind, loving and respectful. Rather than simply inviting the person over to your home to meet your child you should plan a fun family oriented outing that gives your teen the chance to get to know the person without any pressure.
While some teenagers handle divorce and a new step-parent quite well others seem to fall apart. Teens that have witnessed a bitter divorce may begin to self-destruct. If your child is having a difficult time after your divorce and has begun to skip school, drink alcohol or take drugs you can click here to find out more about some of the helpful programs for troubled teens that are available.