If you’re a Mom with children still at home, I’m sure you have concerns about how your dating might affect your kids’ lives. Issues such as jealousy and challenges with time-sharing are real. But I’d like you to consider the positives.
Yes, it’s true that “a happy Mother is a good Mother.” But I also believe that Moms who date have a great opportunity to teach their kids – especially their daughters – essential lessons about taking care of themselves and interacting with boys.
How did you learn how to “be” with boys when you were young and maturing? Did your Mom sit you down as you were entering puberty and have “one of those talks” with you? Did she maintain an ongoing honest conversation about it advising and supporting you along the way? Or maybe, like me, your Mom had very little to do with your development in this area.
I never got much of an education from either of my parents about how to live in the world with boys. They were mostly just interested in whether I followed their rules, which were designed to keep me safe and keep them sane.
The most they ever gave me in the area of support or guidance was the customary “it’s their loss, honey” when I was ignored or dumped. Those were just words, and I never believed it. And seeing their relationship surely didn’t teach me much on the positive side.
Looking back with the perspective of a 50+ year old, my early education about selecting a companion, dating, and falling in love came from my friends, movies, and magazines. Armed with this going into adulthood, I was ill equipped to face the challenges of building healthy intimate relationships.
As a Mother of this generation, you no doubt get more involved than my Mom, or probably yours. You talk to your daughter about her life and her loves, show her support, and build her self-esteem whenever possible.
The strongest lessons we learn, though, are from observing the behavior of others; especially those we love and respect. If you’re married or have a life partner, your daughter will learn innumerable lessons about communication, appreciation, compromise, and intimacy.
If you’re a single mother who is dating, you have a wonderful opportunity to model other behavior in a positive way. By bringing your daughter into your experience she could learn so many important lessons. She could learn about: