And they want to share that person with the rest of the family and unfortunately that is sometimes premature. The kids aren’t ready to come to grips with another adult in their lives.” People – especially if they’ve been in an unhappy marriage for a while – often rush headlong into a new romance, he said.
He said it can be especially difficult for pre-teens and teens to accept their parents’ new love interests. Parents should establish clear boundaries, especially early on in a romantic relationship.
Seeing a parent date represents a major change for a child; expect them to have strong emotions about it.
Don’t be defensive and don’t try to explain your situation.
When do you introduce your kids to your new love interest? How should you talk to their kids about your boyfriend or girlfriend?
Michael Harris, a child psychologist at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, hears from lots of divorced parents in his practice who want advice on how to deal with dating when they’ve got kids. Take time to cool off before entering the dating scene. People aren’t thinking clearly after their marriage breaks up, making them especially vulnerable to making bad choices, he said. How long does it take for someone to get in a better place with a death? It doesn’t happen in a few weeks.” Wait at least 3 to 6 months before introducing your kids to your love interest. He gives this advice to parents he sees in his practice, and while they understand waiting is important, many go ahead and introduce their new girlfriend or boyfriend too soon anyway.
When it comes to dating, there’s no need to tell your kids what you’re up to.