- Clarinda Brandão
Single Parents: When To Introduce Your Children To Someone New
Introducing your children/child to your new partner is a big milestone in your relationship and it shouldn't be taken lightly. Many single parents struggle with the "when" and "how".
The "When" is very selective and individual. Everyone is different and "when" might feel sooner than someone else who would rather wait.
I think it's important to have the discussion with your new partner and see if they are comfortable with meeting. Are your kids ready? Introducing a child younger than 4 years old and a child over 4 is a big difference. Their understanding of the world and relationships are very different.
Be sure you and your new partner are in it for the long-haul and are looking to grow together and build your relationship. You want to be sure that introducing your kids is the natural next step in your relationship.
Don't force it cause you need validation of what you mean to one another. Do it when it feels right for all of you.
It's important that you and your partner have built a strong foundation and have had time to get to know each other as indivudals. This is extremely important, because bringing a child too soon into your relationship doesn't just effect the child, but the relationship itself. Too soon can make you jump into "family mode" and for a single parent it might be nice to finally have someone to share the responsibilites on a more constant basis; however, for the person coming into the aready formed family dynamic, it might feel overwhelming and can end up be disconnecting. Allow time to know your partner and be a couple. Then move into the next stage of introduction.
The best suggested way is to slowly introduce each other in a public and open area. If you both have children, bring the introduction to a park. Have the kids meet and slowly introduce yourselves to the kids. Casual and easy. Let the kid(s) begin their relationship with your new partner in a friendly and casual environment.
If your partner doesn't have kids, just remember to keep it simple. No pressure for anyone. Plan a fun afternoon with your partner and your child.
No PDA on the first meeting. Let your children get to know your partner as your friend, first. Once you have a good feeling about the introduction and feel good about all of you together, you can start showing signs of affection to your partner and show your children his or her role in your life.
Again, this is all different based on age of your child and how long the parents have been seperated. To learn more or get specific help on the introduction piece, feel free to contact me and I can always offer more indept information on an individual basis.
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