Introducing your children to your new partner

Family Enjoying Meal Around Table At Home Together/ iStock

Introducing your children to your new partner is a big deal. Check out our tips for successfully navigating this difficult situation.

The number of single parents is increasing in South Africa. According to Little Life, roughly 30% of households in South Africa are headed by a single parent.

But being a single parent doesn’t mean you have to stop dating. Various online platforms offer single parents the opportunity to find love again from the comfort of your own home.

But for those who have children, new relationships can come with the challenge of getting your kids to like your partner, especially if you are planning to make things official.

So if you are thinking of introducing your children to your partner, we have put together a number of factors that can make the process easier:

– Prepare your kids
It is very important to prepare your children before they meet your new partner. Do not just rock up with them and introduce them as your new partner. It is also a good idea to judge from your talk with your kids if they are ready to meet, because them meeting when they are not ready might make the whole situation go south.

– Assure them that the new partner will not be taking anyone’s place
Most children ideally wish for their parents to be together, especially if they have a good relationship with both of them. Sometimes the thought of a new person coming into their lives may fill them with fear, especially if they feel the person will try to take their biological parent’s place. Affirm your children; let them know that nobody can ever take their biological parent’s place.

– Let your children know you will still love them no matter what happens
Because some children associate attention with love, it may be important for you to let them know you will always love them and your love for them is a different kind of love than the one you have for your new partner. Also let your children know they will always be a part of your life and even if your new relationship results in marriage, you would never abandon them for your new partner.

– Ask your children to have an open mind about your new partner
Let your children know how much your partner means to you and how much them getting along would mean to you. Ask them to be kind to your partner and ask your partner to be kind to them as well.

– Do not force the relationship
Let things work themselves out. Do not force your children to like your partner and do not make them feel guilty about their feelings towards him/her. Give them time to get to know your partner better.

Have you ever had to introduce a new partner to your children? How did it go? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.

Image courtesy of iStock/ monkeybusinessimages