How Dating As A Single Parent Can Affect Your Child
Single Parent Dating Advice
Dear April Masini,
I got divorced a few years ago and need some advice now that I am finally ready to re-enter the dating scene. The problem is, I have a 7-year-old son who lives with me. Is it OK for me to date and to let him know I'm dating? He is with his father every other weekend and occasionally during the week, but that doesn't give me much time for dating. Do you have any advice or tips on dating for a single parent?"
Dating with Son
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Dating with Son,
The most important advice to remember is that when single parents date, their children should not be involved in any way until the two decide they want to get married to each other. Otherwise, there is too much pressure and stress on the children. Hardly anyone in this day and age is 100% sole custody of their children in a divorce, so dating should be done during the time that the children are with the other parent, or else, dating should be done with babysitters hired, and the daters meeting at a mutual location instead of being picked up at the house so that the kids are involved.
That said, dates should not discipline each others' children at all. They shouldn't babysit each other’s children either.
Some of the problems that occur when children are involved in their single parents' dating:
- Kids get invested in one of their parents' dates only to have the adults break up and yet another abandonment issue heaped on a child of divorce.
- Kids think that if they don't behave, the date will "leave" mom just like dad did.
- Horror stories abound about dates being abusive to children. You don't really know someone as well as you may think you do. And if you're dating someone you met on an internet dating site, as opposed to few mutual friends or acquaintances, you have to be sure that person is safe to be around your children.
- Step parenting potential? Your child may not like your date, and by introducing your child to this date and involving them in each others’ lives, you may be tacitly asking your child to accept this person – who may not be around in three or four months.