It is an argument for honest, direct dialogue with kids about new relationships: Why Mom or Dad wants one, what Mom or Dad will doif a new relationship becomes serious, and how Mom or Dad's relationship with the child will be affected. had been divorced for six years when she announced to her children that she was thinking ofstarting to date again."They fell on the floor laughing," she recalls.
"They told me I was too old to date."Since then, Eva and her 13-year-old son have had many discussions about her relationships with menand his with girls.
Already anxious about the changes in their lives due to the divorce, and often feeling closer to a parent than they did before, they may now feel that a trusthas been broken -- exactly at the point when trust and reassurance are most needed. Rather than forgo romance, Neuman and parents interviewed for this article suggest addressing children's concerns head-on before dating begins: Make sure the introduction of your new significant other takes place only after you've had a privateconversation with your child about the relationship.
"My daughter pretty muchknew we weren't just friends. She made some comments to my roommate at the time, but not to me.""Don't ask, don't tell" dating policies are often the unspoken rule of parents who plan to keep their romanticlives separate from their children's lives, or who fear that introducing a new love interest who might not"stick around" will simply give their children a new reason for heartache.
remembers the conversation she had with her two sons following one of their regular visits with herex-husband.
Both boys were brimming with news about Daddy's new friend, Joanne.
I think it's horribly unfair to children."Joe B., father of 7-year-old Cathy, was initially very careful about how much time the two of them spent with his girlfriend and her son.
The parents and kids enjoyed ski trips together, often in the company of other friends.
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Gary Neuman agrees that casually introducing every date to a kid is a bad idea; equally wrong, he believes, is minimizing the importance of a new love interest.