Leah Klungness, co-author of The Complete Single Mother, states that post-divorce dating can be stressful for children.
She found that the young children she studied worried about how their parent’s dating process was going to affect them.Children between the ages 5 and 10 were more possessive of their mother than older children.Similar research also supports this idea: a gradual approach allows children time to adjust to their parents’ dating (and the new dating partner) at a pace that allows for successful parenting.If the decision has been made to bring the new partner into the child’s life, make sure that they meet on neutral territory (i.e., not home) in a casual setting.While there have been several studies on divorce, remarriage and step-parenting, very few exist for the courtship period parents go through before remarriage.
Here are some guidelines to consider concerning post-divorced dating and your children: Adjusting to the idea of dating isn’t just for parents. Constance Ahrons, author of The Good Divorce and We’re Still Family and professor emeritus at University Southern California, recently completed a 20 year longitudinal study on children of divorce.
More Online Resources: Click here to read a great article from the Boston Globe that includes a list of guidelines surrounding dating after divorce Tips, Resources, and Warning Signs for Divorced Parents: The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) presents a great article on divorce and your children A Family Education article featuring individuals experiences with post-divorce dating and their children A great review of dating, remarriage and children based Constance Ahron’s longitudinal study from Missouri Research: Anderson, E, et al (2004).
Ready to take a chance again: Transitions into dating among divorced parents.
Remember that meeting a new partner will bring up many emotions for children. The effects of divorced mothers’ dating behaviors and sexual attitudes on the sexual attitudes and behaviors of their adolescent children. For related content, check out our Divorced Mom’s Guide to Dating site here!
Sticking to neutral turf helps the parent provide the necessary structure children may need while being introduced to new partners.
This may be because of the diverted attention in the wake of limited time together due to custody issues.