Posted by: Brainy | 2003/02/15

What's best for 3-year-old-son

My son is 3-years-old, his parents, that wiould be his mother and I are divorced. He lives with his mother who has just started seeing someone after 1 year. I myself am seeing a woman whom I love dearly.

My new love is non-white and has two children of her own (5 and 11-years-old) but we do not live together.

Is it alright if my son spends time with my girlfriend and I or should I only have introduced her into the picture later?

Will I be robbing my son from important bonding with me if when I have him I also spend time either with my girlfriend or her children at the same time?

I only see him one or twice a week, usually on a week day or half day on either Saturday or Sunday.



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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dear brainy,
There are no easy formulas about how to deal with this sort off situation. Basically, it's good for your son to consistently feel loved by his parents. And it's fine for him to feel love from others, such as the new partners both you and his mother have found. He's a bit young to understand the situation except in the simplest terms. And when he visits you, while he shouldn't be made to feel neglected as he might if you were pre-occupied with the other children or your gf, surely it should feel fine for him to feel part of a normal family setting, behaving nomally ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Zeena | 2003/02/16

Yes, Brainy -- kids accept situations easily because they do not have other similar life situations to compare it with, being far too young. Your child, who no doubt "knows" (subconsciously) more about the divorce than you might realise now, needs love and security, and doesn't have to be alone with you to get that.

He will probably be better off as far as social development is concerned if he gets to know your girlffriend AND her children. Should you two decide to move in together or marry, he will be used to his step-siblings. Do not spoil him during the time he spends with you. (It sometimes happens that the parent who sees his child less often tries to be a "hero" to the kid and therefore spoils him and makes things very difficult for the mother, who after all is basically bringing him up).

Let him have a happy, secure and loving time with you and your girl and her kids. Make sure he knows how much you love him, but treat the children the same, and make sure that the discipline and rules you and your girlfriend impose are the same for all three kids. This will give your little one stability. I think this is basically the same as the Shrink said.

Reply to Zeena

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