Family Bonding: Introducing Child To Your New Partner @ Reward Me

New family dynamics

Introducing your children to your new partner can be difficult for everyone concerned. Here’s how to help them adjust to your new relationship.

Taking the first step
There are no hard and fast rules on how to introduce a new partner to your children. Both adults and kids are unique, and each one may react differently. But the situation does need to be handled carefully. While you may be excited about your new relationship, your child may not be so keen to have a new adult in their lives. It’s important to take your child’s feelings into account.

Relationships come and go, but your child remains yours forever and there’s nothing more important than building a stable relationship with your child. Children need to feel unconditionally accepted, especially if they come from broken homes, as many of them already feel rejected. Divorced parents need to work on their relationships with their children and be aware of their feelings before they broach the subject of a new partner.

Some tips to make it easier
Before you introduce your new partner to your child, take into account your child’s age, temperament and personality.

It’s important to remember the following:

  • Be honest with your children. Kids easily pick up on changes in your attitude or habits; so don’t lie about going out on a date.
  • Make sure your commitment to your children is clear. Children whose parents are divorced are scared their parents will abandon them and that you’re choosing this new person over them.
  • Don’t ask for their approval. You don’t need your child’s permission to have another relationship. But don’t disregard their feelings either.
  • Encourage them to voice their concerns. Let them tell you what they’re worried about, especially if they fear rejection or neglect or feel jealous and confused. Reassure them that you’ll always be there for them even if you have a new partner.
  • Keep the first meeting casual. Invite your new partner over when there’s a group of people around and casually introduce them. Or go out for a bite to eat or for a walk in the park, where you can spend time with your children and your new partner. Make sure you don’t single out your partner for private moments, and avoid physical contact like hugs and kisses.
  • Give you child time and space. Your child may need private time to absorb this new development in his or her life.
  • Reassure your children of their real father/mother’s love. Some children may feel being friends with your new partner means they’re betraying their other parent. Spend time with your children alone. Make sure you still spend plenty of time with your children on your own so you can continue to nurture your relationship with them.
  • Make sure your partner is someone you see yourself being involved with for a long time. It would be unfair and confusing to your child to be introduced to a new person every other month.

“You don’t need your child’s permission to have another relationship. But don’t disregard their feelings either”


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How to cope with their reaction
Children can react with jealousy, anger, pity for the other parent or happiness that you’ve found a new love interest. Your role as a parent is to acknowledge their feelings and reassure them that what they are feeling is normal.

Making it work
Once you’ve introduced your new partner to your kids, the next step is to work out how to take things further and define your partner’s role in your family.

As your children get used to the idea of a new man or woman in your life, you should start including your new partner in family outings or events, and give your child time to develop their own relationship with your partner. If your new partner also has children, try to keep things simple in the beginning.

Then there’s the tricky issue of when it’s okay to share a bed. Some children might resent waking up to find their mother’s new partner in bed with her. Decide what is appropriate for you and your kids, depending on their ages and how long you’ve known your new partner. Remember, it will take time for everyone to adjust to the new dynamics in your life but you can make it work and find happiness with a new partner.

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