Starting over after a failed relationship can be nerve racking by itself. Dating with kids after a break up or a divorce can be even more of a challenge. You may have spent a lot of time working up the courage to move on from your last relationship. If your previous relationship involved your child’s father that could further complicate the decision to break up. When it finally happens it can seem like the best day of your life. Until your child begins to act out and in some cases flat out tells you that your new boo is not for you.
It can be unnerving as a parent because you may feel that you know best and feel that your child’s perspective is not a valid one. In some instances considering your child’s point of view could save you a lot of time and heartache in the future. Still not convinced? Here are 5 reasons your kids hate your new boyfriend.
1. He’s trying too hard.
Maybe you’ve been dating for a couple of months and have just recently decided that it’s time he meets your kids. At the first meeting he abruptly tells the kids, “I’m with your mama now and oh, you can call me step dad.” That is an instant turn-off and it starts you down the wrong road if he is interested in having a good relationship with your children. The transition of their two parents not being together to this new person who jumps right in and decides to start giving out rules is a definite recipe for disaster. He should take his time and allow things to properly fall in place. If he is going to be around, there is no need to be so quick to start assigning titles, especially those that have yet to be earned.
2. He wants to discipline your kids.
It began with handing out rules. Now he has decided when the children, ‘get out of line’, he will be the one to straighten them out. That is not a good look. It can cause division quickly with not only your new relationship, but in your co-parenting relationship. That is a fast track to encouraging your child to rebel. Discipline and consistency go hand in hand. If you have been the person to discipline your kids that should continue. If in the future that would change it might be best to allow that later down the line definitely not in the beginning.
3. He’s creepy or inappropriate.
If your kids make observations about your new man’s behavior toward them that may seem strange, pay attention. It may be hard to hear, but consider how awkward your child may feel. Personal space is a very important thing to kids and if your child tells you that he makes them uncomfortable, listen. Unwanted touching or even inappropriate comments made toward your children are red flags that should be addressed. The worst thing you could do is to take your man’s word over your child’s.
4. They don’t want to accept the new normal.
In a perfect world, this new dude that mama is dating will disappear never to be heard from again and mom will forgive and reconcile with dad. The reality is that that is not going to happen and whether it is a co-parent situation or not it is important to make it clear to the children that this is the ‘new normal’. Some children may always have that wish in the back of their heads that mom and dad will get back together, and that’s ok as long as reality is eventually accepted. Depending on the child’s age this could be a lesson of life. A lesson that life is an ever changing thing and it’s ok.
5. They don’t believe he’s good for you.
There is something to be said for a child’s intuition. It definitely comes from a pure place. If the child is not upset by the new normal, not jealous or angry about your new relationship, but still tells you that they feel something is not right, listen. Being in love can cause all types of blinders to go up, especially in the honeymoon phase, but the child is not blind to what is seen or felt within them.
Love is a beautiful thing and it is just as beautiful when it is shared as a family unit. Although transitions are hard and can take time, it’s important to consider the feelings of your children… Welcome to the reality of dating with kids…