Dating a child of divorce

Accept responsibility for your own decisions, and accept the potentially dramatic consequences of your actions.

Dating after a divorce can be a precarious situation for both parents and children.

If he's worried that dating will cut into your time together, for example, then you might create some special one-on-one time with him.

If he's really put off by the idea of you dating a man other than his father, explain that you're making new friends, just like he does when he's in a new situation.

"At age 9, children are most concerned about getting the love, care, and attention that they need," notes Robin Goldstein, a Potomac, MD- based child-development specialist.

"If you start to talk to your son about bringing a stranger home, it could trigger all sorts of anxious thoughts and negative feelings on his part."Rather than create a situation like that, try to keep your dating life separate from your life with your son," Goldstein advises.

Approaching the topic may come more naturally in some cases, and some children will naturally be more inquisitive about future relationships and their personal role in this newly structured family.

Do not blame your spouse for becoming irrationally angry and your children for becoming resentful and alienated from you.

Increasing the frequency and duration of visits over time allows children to develop a relationship with the significant other rather than feeling like they suddenly have a new mom or dad, or someone to compete for attention with.

Q: I'm a divorced parent and I plan to begin dating again.

Many parents wonder about the professional opinion and recommendations of psychologists and doctors on the issue of parental dating. Alan Yellin is a psychologist and a marriage and family therapist who believes that the time to introduce a child to a significant other is when you are pretty certain that you are going to move on the path towards engagement or when you are engaged.

He recommends starting off rather slowly without any demonstration of affection and for a short period of time.

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