While it may not seem like it for some people going through divorce, but life goes on after the split is finalized. This also means that divorcing parents continue their romantic lives and may meet someone new. When this happens, the inevitable challenge is introducing a new love interest to children. There is no simple or sure-fire way to do so. It really depends on the person, the parent, and the child’s temperament. With that said, we offer some tips to make the process easier.
Tell the ex first – If the ex-spouse knows about the new interest first, it could lessen the impact on the child. Kids may feel guilty (or caught in the middle) if they announce something that was supposed to be a secret, or if the news ends up hurting the ex.
Have the meeting on the kids turf – This could include a play date at a park, or a pizza party. Regardless of where it is, the child should not be forced into meeting the new person.
Take your time – It is okay to wait before introducing the new person to the children. This is especially important if your relationship (with the new person) is new as well.
Set boundaries – If the new person is introduced as a “friend”, keep it that way. Depending on the child’s age, they will figure out the nature of your relationship in time. Nevertheless, be careful about introducing the new person as a friend and having them act as a de-facto parent.
Be prepared for growing pains – If the kids don’t like the new person at first, don’t worry. It is common for new love interests to be viewed as threats.
Source: HuffingtonPost.com, How to take the stress out of introducing the kid to your new love, April 3, 2013