Divorce happens, but what takes place after the divorce is final, may affect a child the most.
There are more single mom’s raising children nowadays than ever before. Some of the women share custody while others may have the children most of the time. Unfortunately, the statics of child abuse from a mom’s boyfriend or new husband is overwhelming.
More children are abused by male step-parents, or mom’s boyfriends than even reported. This does not mean that mom can’t date or introduce a new boyfriend to her kids, but being aware of certain signs or behaviors in the man is her job as a mother.
Children also can get attached to a man that mom brings home, so it is best to set up ground rules before introducing a man to your kids. Dating can be done when mom has a babysitter or the kids are at dads, in fact they don’t even have to know mom is on a date. Parents often involve their children in adult information that they just don’t need to know. A mom must always remember that her children where there first and make sure not to take too much time away from her kids to spend with a new man.
The best rule of thumb is if you like the guy and it may be more than just dating, then invite him over for lunch or dinner and introduce him as a friend. Depending on the age of the children, if they are older than you, can use age appropriate information such as, "I am inviting Tim home for dinner. He's a man that I have been dating and I would like to introduce you to him." Take the time to watch how this man interacts with your kids. A man that wants to meet your children too soon, may be a warning sign to stay away. After dinner, or maybe a movie with the kids, have him go home and no sleep overs or make out sessions around the kids.
If you are a mom that has your kids half of the time, use that time to date and the other time to just spend quality time with the children especially if they are young. There are two rules to follow: take it slow and follow your gut. If things feel weird with this guy and your kids then don’t ignore it. Listen to what your children have to say as well. Don’t be afraid to ask their opinion. Remember, you are a family and he is an outsider to them.
One last bit of advice is don’t use your new boyfriend as a babysitter either, remember those are your kids and until the relationship is established, it’s best to not become too dependent on him.
More dating after divorce advice from YourTango:
- Dating After Divorce: How To Get Back Out There [EXPERT]
- 17 Essential Rules For Dating After Divorce
- Divorce: Expert Advice & Survival Tips