How do I foster a positive relationship between my son, 7, and my new partner? This is the first relationship after an amicable break-up with my son's father. I have not introduced my son to my new partner for some five months to ensure this relationship is on solid ground. My new partner has two children, teens, from a previous relationship. Yes complicated but I want this new family to work. Any tips?
One of the most stressful times of being a single parent is when you are trying to decide if and how you should introduce a new partner to your children. My best advice is to wait. Second, go very slowly. Just because you have moved on from your ex partner doesn’t mean that your children have had time to realize the finality of the separation.
It is also possible that you will date a number of people before finding a serious relationship. Try not to introduce your kids to what might be a short-term partner. Yes I know you feel that it is serious however 5 months is not that long for a child.
If you really feel that this is a committed relationship be sure that the ‘honeymoon phase’ is over and it is less intense. You know the excited, new, wonderful just can’t bear to be without out you phase. So if you are sure, then take it slowly, start by dropping their name into conversations, share stories about them, get your child used to the idea of them before they actually meet them. Do this for a while before you take the next step.
Be sure to tell your ex partner and any grandparents that are involved in your child’s life first. Not after the fact. Others will be more supportive if feel that they have been consulted rather then just told after the event. This is co-parenting.
Then for the first meeting, it is advisable to have a casual short – 1 hour meet. The local park to kick a ball or an activity like bowling where you all have something to do without any pressure to sit around a table and chat is best. Keep it short and casual.
Just remember that just because you think your partner is fantastic that doesn’t mean your kids will too. They may have lots of conflicting feelings particularly loyalty to their other parent. They may feel bad if they like your new partner. On the other hand, if you have been single for quite a while children and teens can be use to having you to themselves and become jealous or feel that you are not interested in them anymore or have time for them anymore. So take it slowly, if this is a serious relationship they will be around for years and years. There is no rush.