So you have a new beau and things have been going pretty smoothly. You have decided that he or she is a keeper and the two of you are pretty much in sync with one another. It's been a couple of months and now you ready to take the next step-- introducing your new love interest to your child(ren). Hold up! Wait a minute, Cowgirl! There are some things that you should consider before going to that rodeo and introducing your child(ren) to your new boo.
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IS YOUR CHILD READY?
Is your child ready to "share" you? That is what your child might believe is happening. If you have one child, like I do, your child may feel like your new love is taking up all of your attention, especially if it's only been the two of you for quite some time. When I mentioned to my son that my "friend" would be coming over, my son quickly informed me "I don't want a Dad!" To say that I was taken aback would be an understatement. My son equated any man who came into my life as being a "Dad" and he was having none of it. I think that he was afraid of this new person leaving him like his father did. I had to explain to him that I would have men who were friends that would also be friends to him. They were not trying to be his father, but that they would be nice to him. He seemed to understand and like that better. I also made sure that he knew that no matter who came into my life, he would always be my first priority and that I would never love him any less.
ARE YOU AND YOUR BEAU COMMITTED?
If the answer to this question is "No!", then don't bother introducing your child to your new friend. It doesn't make any sense to introduce your child to someone who you aren't even serious about. It will only confuse your child if someone is "here today and gone tomorrow". If you two have decided that you are committed, then and only then, should you introduce your child to him or her. Per Dr. Phil,
If you're a single mother, for example, and you introduce your new boyfriend to your children, they can immediately attach themselves to that man because they may be really hungry for male attention. If your new boyfriend bonds with your kids, and then you break up, he's suddenly gone from their lives. And then you date the next man and bring him by, and before you know it, it can seem like "revolving door dads" to your kids, who may feel abandoned or confused.
TALK TO YOUR CHILD
Once you have decided that you're committed to something long-term, have some conversations with your child about the situation. Explain to your child that you have a friend that you will be going out with and who will come over to visit from time to time. As I stated previously, ensure your child that you will not love him/her any less, and if the biological dad is involved, ensure your child that this new person will not take the place of the dad. Have some patience because your child may not be on board right away. If there are any questions, answer honestly, but make sure that your answers are age appropriate.
SET SOME GROUND RULES
Make sure that you have actually taken the time to discuss things like your parenting style, discipline, etc. He should NOT discipline your child. That is your job. However, if he notices that your child is doing something wrong, by all means he should tell them so but any disciplining should be left up to you. Even after your child meets your new love, there should not be any overnight visits for a while. Remember, take it slow...don't rush!
When do you think is the best time to introduce your child to your new beaux?
How would you go about introducing your child to someone new?
What if your child and new friend didn't get along?
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