Dating After Separation Having Kids

Published: 27th March 2009
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No matter how your own life will go after separation with your ex spouse, the most precious and fragile thing left with you is your children. They need to be taken care of under any circumstances. They need to be protected from another possible emotional shock in their young lives.
That's why before considering starting to date again after divorce, one should very carefully think about this, taking into account children's interests and protection.

Let's talk about where are your children emotionally after the divorce of their parents, what are their fears, expectations, hopes.

What you need to do to help them grow healthy after this painful experience and protect them from another possible stress.

Generally, after divorce of their parents, children are either distressed or angry. They are not so experienced yet to hide or to kill sincere feelings inside, so you can see and tell by your child how he feels.

However, quiet children require more attention - they respond to adversity by withdrawing emotionally or freezing. These quiet children may be more distressed, and need help more, than children whose emotional upset is obvious.

Children look for protection, unknowingly seeking help in you. So, this period, right after divorce, might be crucial for all future relationships between you and your child. From your behavior and level of attention you grant to your child right now, will depend how he or she feels, and what kind of personality will be grown into.

Though, you need to take care of yourself first, and stabilize your own emotional conditions. Your children need to see and hear you self-confident and full of life. And this is the best motivation for you to arrive there - your own children need it. I recall a comparison, which I've read somewhere - first rule of safety on airplane's board is: put oxygen mask on your face first, otherwise you will not be able to help your child. I think it's very true.
They might look not listening, but they do see everything. Your behavior, your actions, voice, emotions, literally everything - is a model your children will most likely adopt and follow.

You should be aware, that children most often feel either guilt for divorce of their parents and fear of loosing a second parent.
This is the time you need to be a very special in attention. Despite the fact you're busy with your job, a new match, busy with your own feelings - find special time for you children. They must feel loved and special like never before.

Never give promises to your children not to date anymore. You can't guarantee it to yourself, don't cheat, even if you're not going to. Keeping your promises lets your child know that he or she can trust you, which will help him or her adjust to your divorce more easily.

Open communication with your children is always the best you can do. Talk wisely, talk with love, at the same time do not let your children to command you where to go.
You need to start a new life for the sake of them.

When you are ready, you are about to start dating again and begin new relationships. There are several short advices as how to proceed with new dating. We discuss here all those dating after divorce related topics more detailed.

Before you start dating again try to "socialize" your kid. Spend more time with friends, in good company, so when you start dating your children won't feel that your date is taking their time with you, but just a normal time going out.

Let you children know that their relationship with you will not change because you are beginning to date. Being secured and assured in their relationship with you, they are less likely to feel afraid.

Spend as much time with your kids as you can. Spend this time both by yourself and with your new partner. It will tell your kids they are important and that you are paying attention to their needs.

Listen to your kids. Let them express their thoughts and impressions of your new date. It is not only good for them to feel important to you but you can also surprisingly find out some very interesting things about your new partner. A childs view is free from "adult wisdom", they see things as they are. And this can be very helpful. Just listen to your kids.

Do not criticize your children in the presence of your new partner. And don't allow your date to discipline your kids. Otherwise kids will realize somebody more important came into your life. They will not feel secure.

Don't introduce casual dating partners to your children. Children become attached easily and then suffer more loss. Having a revolving door with many short term relationships in your child's life causes ambivalence. Think which model your child will follow when they grow up.

Do not force an introduction of your new partner. If you have already decided they are the right person, do not force your children to meet or accept them. Give them time to get to know the new person in your life. If handled correctly, given time, your child will accept the relationship.

Being single with children is often challenging and exhausting. Another set of challenges appears when it comes to dating. It's easy to be confused as to how to parent and date at the same time. Communication with your child is always the goal no matter the situation.

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