Divorced and Ready to Date – What to Do When Your Kids Say No
Your divorce papers have been signed and everything has been finalized. The chapter of your life that included your husband is over and now you want to move on with your life. You are ready to rebuild the family that you have and you are ready to get back out on the dating scene. But your children are resistant to the thought of you dating. How do you cope with this?
Fear of Further Loss
The age your child or children are when you get a divorce makes a difference to how they will react to it. A child has not lived long enough to have any solid life experience and as a result fears that the absolute worst thing possible will happen. When their mother meets a new man their fear is that they will not be loved as much by their mother and that she will have less time for them as a result. This often works the same when their father meets a new woman as well. To comfort and reassure your child that none of these things will happen it is important for you to talk with your child often and to listen to what he or she has to say. Encourage your kids to talk about their feelings and show love, support and understanding. Do not tell your child that what he or she is feeling is wrong because this will cause your child to emotionally withdraw from you.
Love and Attention
Your kids need as much love and attention as you can possibly give them. They also need to be reassured that you are there for them and that they are a top priority for you. Many parents make the assumption that their children understand that they need to have a life outside of being a mommy but this is not the case. Whether you have a young child or a teenager they are not likely to understand this because they think your life revolves around them. It takes quite some time for most children to understand that their mothers need other people as well.
When You Meet Someone New
Once you have met a new man get to know him well yourself before you introduce him to any of your children. You need to figure out if the relationship has the potential to become serious before you get your children involved. A man who is worth your time and your heart will understand this.
The last thing you want is to introduce your kids to new men all of the time who come and go. This can cause them to be confused and insecure and also sad if they happened to really like the man. Teenagers often become protective of their mothers when it comes to who they date and you do not want to cause them any more worry than you need to. After all they have been put through enough already!
Keep the new man away from your home when your children are at home until you are sure that he is a keeper. If you decide to get sexual then either go to his house or bring him back to your place if your kids are not at home (such as if they are staying with grandparents or their father for the weekend).
If your children do not want you to date they will often show this by becoming clingy or by whining a lot or throwing temper tantrums. It is important to talk with your children about how it is time for you to start dating again. Be gentle and kind with their feelings.
To make the transition as easy as possible for all concerned keep these ideas in mind:
-Make your children aware that your dating is very much like the time they spend with their friends.
-When you decide to introduce your children to a new man, prepare them beforehand.
-Some children might assume you are dating because you do not enjoy spending time with them. Assure them that you enjoy being with them but you also need to spend time with other adults whom you share things in common with.
-Start slowly. Spend a minimal of time with your new beau and work up to more time in order to assure your children that they are not losing you.
-Set aside time with your children before and after your dates. Mommy and children time matters too.