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Understanding The Dating Effects Of Single Parents On Their Children

Dec 14, 2007
The dating effects of single parents is a real parenting issue which can often be overlooked by those who are on the search for companionship.

Many parents underestimate their children's emotional needs during this intriguing time. Children often hide their feelings and won't express them until pushed into a corner either through frustration or unconscious neglect. The latter is hard to estimate especially when mom or dad are consumed with a new love interest.

So what are some of the dating effects of single parents on their children? There are two scenarios here. Obviously if one parent disappears from a child's life after being in a less than desirable relationship such as an abusive one, then the child may welcome a new parental figure.

However, if a parent moves out of the picture through divorce or death, then understanding the child's emotional needs is vital. Children who have experienced a harmonious existence where both parents were ideal role models, and then one of them is tragically lost through death can have a big impact on a child's life.

In other words, they may be happy to exist with the remaining parent and will resist the presence of someone new in the household. This is usually through some form of jealously on the child's part and has to do with the attention of the parent now being shared. They may become jealous of their mom/dad's new partner and could either withdraw from any activities as a sign of inner protest or go to the other extreme, and become a disruptive influence on the household.

Other dating effects of a single parent on their children could relate to feelings of abandonment, isolation and rejection. Insecurity issues can often surface because the child feels they are competing for their remaining source of affection. Schooling issues could be a spin-off as well.

So what can you do as a single parent to lessen the impact of such a change in your child's life? One of the best ways is to actually sit down with the child and discuss it with them. But this should only be done when you're ready to introduce your new partner to the family.

Ease your new relationship on the children over a period of time instead of lumping it on them in one foul swoop. Restrict the length of time your partner is exposed to the kids during the initial stages. You've got to realize this is a big change for a child and an enormous period of adjustment.

It's almost a case of letting the child grow into your new relationship and unfortunately, this will take time. Temper your own needs to a certain extent and put the child's needs first for a time.
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