It is a big step in bringing someone special into your life and you want to introduce them to the children. There are a few things that you need to consider. When you are in a relationship as a single parent, it can be stressful to think about how your children will handle the news. When you are bringing someone new into your life, what are the things you really need to consider, not just for the sake of the children, but for yourself?
Is the Relationship Serious?
You cannot guarantee that your significant other will be your partner for life, but you have to ensure there is some sense of stability. If there are people walking in and out of your life, it can be very confusing for the children and can be detrimental to their attitudes toward relationships. It’s important that if you are introducing someone to the family that they are definitely serious. It’s certainly difficult in the modern environment, not just because of the pandemic, but because of the numerous red tape involved. For example, if they are from another country and they are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), a UK ILR application could take a long time to come through, and if your partner suddenly ends up having to leave, it is, understandably, going to be heartbreaking for you. But if the children become attached to them, and they suddenly have to leave, it could make things harder for you to bring someone into the family fold at all.
Rely on Routines
When you bring the person in for the first meeting with the children, it’s important to do it when there’s an activity that is part of the kids’ routine. This will keep them in a regime that makes for a better introduction. The best way to introduce them to your kids is to do the things you normally do and just have your partner tag along. However, you should avoid special events, like birthdays or school events, as these events are emotionally loaded.
Do Not Force Anything
You shouldn’t pressure anybody to be more affectionate, and you should definitely not push your children to offer a hug or a kiss or a handshake. But it’s important to give it some time, and give your children some space. Your children may not like your partner just yet, and that’s okay because if they feel pressure to instantly like them, there’s going to be a lot more friction.
Save Alone Time for Your Children
After you introduce them, you can relax, but it’s important to reinforce that bond between you and the children. You have to ensure that you feel like you, and when you bring someone new into your life, they could subtly change you, but it is important to reinforce those bonds with your children so your children don’t feel like this person is shaking the very foundations of your parent-child relationship, but also make sure that the partner understands this as well.