How Should Divorced Dads Introduce
the New Girlfriend to the Child?
By Elizabeth Barletta
As a father you are always faced with great challenges. Most are beautiful — others can be rather uncomfortable. The latter category certainly includes explaining to one's own child that one has a first girlfriend after divorce from the mother. But, how do you do that?
Children are certainly the biggest victims when mom and dad split up. For them, a world collapses and the fear of losing at least one parent forever or not being able to see him any more will make them unspeakably sad. And this sadness will usually mingle with a sense of anger. Anger at the parents who have failed to remain a couple and are angry at their own inability to change anything, you can read our tips about dealing with child anger.
Yes, this situation is terrible and yet many children all around the world have to go this painful path. If anything, these wounds on the child's soul heal only badly and are subject to the constant danger to break up again. Therefore, they should be extremely careful when you, as a father, have a new wife by your side and want to tell your child about it.
Create clear conditions
The first requirement for your child to take on the new relationship well is a "child-friendly" separation from your previous partner. Although it is often difficult - mutual reproaches and insults to the child are completely out of place and should be avoided. A stable relationship with both parents, that's what their child needs most. It should by no means have to worry about losing one of them in the end through endless endless conflicts.
Only when you have overcome this hurdle should you tell your child about the new woman in her life. Also your girlfriend needs to understand that dating someone with kids is not that easy.
The second step
Adult people need an adult partner to be permanently happy. In most cases this is certainly the case and therefore you should give this to your child right at the beginning.
Find a quiet and relaxed place where you can tell your child about the new woman in your life. Depending on the age of your offspring, this could be a picnic, a restaurant visit or just a walk through the park. No matter what place you will choose, you should take care of your child’s comfort and security. For example, if you decide to go outside, don’t forget a baby sun hat for your child.
What about feelings, children, who are a bit older, will understand and perhaps accept your desire for a new partner. Nevertheless, do not expect your child to jump in the air when making your "confession".
Acceptance is one thing — enjoy it a whole other. Maybe your child will only realize right then that the separation of his parents is really definitive and irreversible. Talk about it in peace. And be sure to tell your son or daughter that your love for him or her will never change.
Not only do you hug your child, but you also take away his understandable worries and fears about the changed life situation. That's not easy — but you can do it!
The first meeting with the boyfriend's kids should be a pleasant event. For example, you can go to an amusement park together. Do not make any very serious event out of this meeting. Imagine your girlfriend as a friend. Do not kiss her while the child is there. When talking, try to get everyone involved in the conversation. Try to leave the girlfriend and the child alone, go somewhere for 5-10 minutes.
It is also a good idea to introduce your child to your girlfriend in your home — then both of them will be able to take a good look at each other, and will not be distracted from side to side, as if this was happening in a cafe. And then it will be easier for them to adapt to some inconsistencies in everyday life and views — they already knew about it.
If your child still reacts with anger or even with complete rejection, please do not take that personally. Accept his feelings, because you demand the same from your offspring. Just give your child time.
Smaller children take such a message often more relaxed than the big ones. They usually see this as a gain for themselves and look forward to a new game partner. At least subconsciously, they too are struggling with the fear of the new situation. And often they are overwhelmed, which is only too understandable. Face it and prepare the theme according to age. Maybe so:
"You know, honey, there are places in my heart. A playground for you from which nobody can drive you away. Then there is a place for a woman who is currently completely empty. There are still places for grandma and grandpa, my friends, our dog ... And if a woman came, she would find an empty place, but she would never be able to come to your children's playground. Hearts are big and everyone you like or love has space in your heart ... "
In this way, especially the smaller ones learn to understand that nobody wants to take something away from them. You could also involve your new partner in such a conversation, because, for example, at a later date, she could add the following: "I do not need your daddy. I have my own dad. But the man who is all alone and that's exactly what I want to have ... "
Time and patience
It may take more than just a conversation to convey to your child, no matter how old, that his fears and doubts are completely unfounded. For you, it may be self-evident that the new girlfriend will not dispute or even belittle the feelings for your own child. Your offspring may see it differently for some time.
Take your child seriously and be patient. Then soon there is nothing to get in the way of getting to know your new partner for the first time.
Hi, I am Eliz! I am a mother, writing for the living and pleasure in Top-Mom.com. I am a frequent traveler with 2 kids. My check-in list counts more than 13 countries, and it is only just beginning. Previously, it was quite difficult for me to handle the kids with varying weather conditions that they were prone to while traveling. Now, I know the appropriate gear for both mother and baby that comforts them the most.