Posted by: patsy | 2011-04-10

the children and new partner

when is the correct time, if ever, to introduce kids to a new partner in your life??? I feel so guilty all the time, I know they want me and their dad to get together again - I''ve got sons, and they are extremely protective over me, as soon as I even speak to another male, all their radars are up!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDivorce support expert

Dear patsy,

Your concern is legitimate and there is no right or wrong time really, it's more the who and the how. If you are dating lightly and bring regularly different men to be introduced to your children they may start feeling resistant and threatened. However, introducing a person you have been seeing for a while and feel comfortable to introduce to your children should not become an issue.
It is important from the start though to reassure your children that no one is going to take the place of their father and under no circumstances should a new partner take the role of their father. Explain as well that it is not because they see you in the presence of a man that it means that this person is going to move in.
Remember, as parents, all we truly are, are role models. Put yourself in their shoes and how they are perceiving the situation. The chances are, if the situation feels uncomfortable for you, it will be uncomfortable for them. If the situation feels right, it is more likely that it will be accepted as such by them as well. Follow your intuition as well. There is nothing like a mother's intuition. If you are concerned about their reaction to being introduced to a new friend, may you not deep down be concerned that this may not be the right person after all. Trust your children as well as they are often very good judge of character.
Right now their world as they knew it has been shattered. Allow them to trust the changes taking place into their life and always remember that without a proper explanation, it'll be hard for them to trust a situation that they don't know. Talk to them. Let them know what is going on and reassure them that nothing will ever happen without anything being discussed as a family first.

All the best.


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