Dating with children involved
That seems to be the best time to share what’s happening. If you’re fortunate enough to go from dating to moving in together and forming a blended family, what role should the new stepparent play?As I mentioned earlier, custodial parents often want the stepparent to be a real parent with responsibilities for the kids.How do we help kids through these transitions and avoid instability? Kristen Hadfield, a post-doctoral fellow I supervise at the Resilience Research Centre who has been doing research in the US, Ireland and Canada on mothers, stepparents and kids. First, parents are cycling in and out of romantic relationships at a higher rate than ever before.All those online dating sites are doing what they were intended to do.For example, Hadfield found that custodial parents wanted their new partners to take on a parenting role with their children, as well as being the parent's romantic partner.Parents figured that a new adult in the home would help them put some much needed distance between the family and the last romantic partner who was there, whether that person was the children’s biological parent or not.The problem, of course, is what to do after the relationship breaks up?While most parents tend to cut off ties with their former lovers, it’s seldom that simple for the kids.
After the Relationship Ends: What do we Tell the Kids?
But for those who do, and feel connected, a few visits, birthday cards, and texts could make the transition a lot smoother for everyone involved.
The Next Relationship And what about the next relationship?
Lately, I’ve noticed a pattern of serial romantic relationships among friends who are dating online.
They meet, and a few months later, introduce their new partner to their kids.
After all, they didn’t choose to break up and can become very upset when they lose contact with another caregiver, especially if they had begun to like having that person around.