Welcome back to the second and final installment of answering your single parent dating questions! I’d like to thank Dating Dad and Define Relationship so much for being a part of this and helping out fellow single parent daters!
What’s the best way to introduce your children to your SO? (from Single Mom Strong Traveler)
DD: For this one I’d definitely spend some time building up to it. The kids need to know that this person is serious, and that they make you happy. If you’re happy then they are more likely to be too, so positive association is key. I plan on doing this in a neutral place so there’s no sense of home or space invasion; it’s corny, but something like a funfair would be perfect. Lots to distract and occupy, and without any need to force conversation for very long. Wherever it was done, it would need to be treated very carefully and with the kids at the heart of it all. Softly, softly would be the order of the day, with not too much overt smushy stuff between the two of you in order to reinforce that the new SO is never going to come between parents and kids.
DR: For the first meet I invited him round to my house and both kids were there. I had told them he was a good friend and we saw each other a lot. I let them ask me questions after they had met him and I answered them honestly.
Would you be okay with your SO getting involved in parenting discussions with ex and yourself? (from Single Parent Network )
DD: Ooh, now this is a tough one. It’s tough to say for sure, but ultimately yes, as they are going to be (to a greater or lesser extent) co-parenting the kids 50% of the time so shouldn’t feel like a tacked on extra. They might or might not have as much experience of parenting as I do, but they will have their own methods and ideas which will need to be part of the whole discussion and approach as, in my opinion, the key to parenting is consistency. If they’re getting one thing from one parent and something totally different from a step-parent then only trouble can come of it.
To make it more personal regarding my own situation, this is very tricky for me as not only is my ex-wife’s boyfriend the person she had an affair with (thus ending the marriage), but he is also 16 years her junior, making him only 7 years older than my eldest daughter. I appreciate that I have a natural aversion to him, but in my opinion not only is he not a good role model for them but, at 21 years old, there is no way on earth he is capable of or has the life experience to help raise them when he is barely out of his teens himself. Whilst I would expect my new SO to be able to engage with my ex, and while I would ultimately like to be on professional parenting terms with any new (grown-up) partner she meets, I just can’t ever see myself having any form of parenting discussion with her current boyfriend.
DR: Absolutely not. Ever.