Divorce and dating effects on children
They are dealing with their own issues of loss, betrayal, adjustment, trust- just to name a few.Parents need to make sure before things get tricky that children understand their continued importance to them, the freedom for the child(ren) to continue a close loving relationship with the ex-spouse (despite any personal misgivings) and the possibility of new people in the parent’s life.Your attitudes and behaviors on dating will be a model for your children.Teenage children are entering a new world of dating behavior that may include sex, and will look to their parents as models of behavior. Research has shown that single parents’- and especially mothers’- attitudes and behaviors on sex and dating influence their children’s attitudes and behaviors.Children bond easily, and may fantasize that the parent will marry the new partner.After all, this is the model of relationship that the child knew before the divorce.
Enjoy your children, take your time before beginning a new relationship, and wait before you involve your kids in that new romance. Some fathers feel unsure about how to spend blocks of time with their children without a woman present; some mothers are anxious to quickly introduce a “better role model” to their children and have the family that wasn’t possible with the children’s father.Neither situation serves the child’s need for time to adjust to family changes.Can you imagine his experience finding her in bed with a strange man? When they become teenagers, how will you be able to teach them about responsibility and appropriate sexual activity if their childhood included a stream of your lovers that spent the night?If we focus on our children’s needs following a separation or divorce, we will hopefully slow down and keep our perspective as new relationships bloom.
With the US divorce rate still lingering around 50% for first marriages, many children have experienced their parents’ divorce by the time they are eighteen.