Don't let motherhood kill your mojo. Follow these tips to protect your kids as you play the field.
Single parents have it rough trying to balance their personal lives with the demands and responsibility that come with being a parent. Dating can be especially challenging, as there are certain boundaries that should not be crossed because the overall well-being of the child has to come first.
Parents should take caution every step of the way to ensure the safety of their family. Single mothers, in particular, should be careful to keep personal information confidential. Some of who appear to be the nicest men are dangerous and potential threats to you and your kids. Additionally, you want to be sure your children are not overexposed to the complexities of adult relationships. Madame Noire: Girl Code: 5 Common Courtesies You Owe Every Woman
With that in mind, single parents actively dating should adhere to a few basic guidelines:
Rule #1: Wait, wait, and wait some more before introducing a boyfriend. Your child does not need to meet every guy that takes you to dinner. Studies have shown the revolving door negatively impacts a child's perception of relationships and commitment. Children are wired to desire nuclear families, so seeing Mom with another man is an adjustment within itself. Sure, he's dating you and your child but there is no need to open the door for emotional bonds unless it's something you all plan to make official.
Rule #2: Don't sacrifice special moments with your child to see a man. At times a shot from cupid can tempt you to start putting Mommy's romantic needs first. Though it can get lonely raising a child on your own, be careful not to push your child aside to fill that void. School plays, baseball practices, dance recitals and all other activities still come first. The amount of involvement you have in your child's life should remain the same. They should never feel like you're investing in a new relationship more than them. Match.com Study: Single Parents Date More Than Childless Singles
Rule #3: No sleep-overs. Kids aren't stupid. They have an idea of what's up when a guy spends the night in your room. Frankly, it's nothing they should ever have to see or ponder. You can't be surprised if your 10 year-old daughter wants her boyfriend (that she's already too young to have) to spend the night because you do it. Until he's your husband, he needs to sleep in his own bed in his own house.
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This article was originally published at Madame Noire. Reprinted with permission from the author.