New beginnings are a threshold for happiness and new exciting possibilities. It is a good decision to move on. But, it is always difficult to move on when your children are also in the equation.
We start questioning our decision when our children have a hard time adjusting to the new dynamics. It should not have to be an either-or situation for you. When we bring home a fish, we don’t just plop it in the fish pond. We let it sit in the water for a while, let it adjust, and then complete the transition.
Here is how you can help your child with your new partner.
Don’t beat around the bush.
Kids are super observant, it’s like their superpower. If you have found a new partner, the chances are that your child already has an inkling about it. There is no point in delaying it. Moreover, it is going to shatter their confidence in you if you wait so long that they get to hear it from someone else.
You do not have to tell them complicated and intricate stories. Be as direct as you can be with them. They are going to highly appreciate it. And when you are straightforward with them, it is going to greatly help them in understanding the entire situation.
You are not doing a crime. There is nothing wrong with it. Therefore, you don’t have to hesitate when you are telling your kid. It will also send a message to your child that it is alright and there is no harm in accepting it.
Let them know that their opinion is not being dismissed.
When you tell your children that you have found someone, do not forget to ask them what they think about all of this. Be prepared for whatever they say. Listen to their opinions with an open mind.
While having a conversation with them, be sure to talk to them like how you would talk to a mature person. You will be surprised at the level of maturity your kids can exhibit. Your children are as mature as you treat them.
Moreover, when you ask your child’s opinion they are going to feel that they are being kept in the loop. When your children are part of a decision-making process, they accept that decision wholeheartedly. Because in a way it is their decision too. They are going to be very receptive to this new change when they feel like they are also a part of it.
The downside of not including your children is that they will feel neglected and abandoned. They are going to resent your new partner for it and wish that things went back to the way they were before.
Let them get to know each other.
There was an old man who lived down the street from me. He lived alone. And for no reason at all, I was terrified of him. I had never met him or talked to him ever in my life, but still, I was scared to death to even walk past his house.
One day, I had to go and retrieve my ball from his house. I was very afraid, but getting the ball was very necessary. Before meeting him I had an entire horror movie ready in my mind. However, what happened next shocked me. He was the most polite and kind person I had ever met in my life. We went on to become the best of friends.
The point of sharing this anecdote was that kids have a wild imagination. And it is the fear of the unknown that creates a wall of ice. So, in this context, if your child never gets a chance to meet your partner they will never know how they are.
Your children will get to know your new partner as a person. And when that happens, they will have a chance to have a wonderful relationship.
Don’t undermine their other parent.
Universally speaking, every child loves their parents equally. For them, their parents mean the world to them, both of them. So, if they see one of their parents talking bad things about another parent, think of the trauma that they will go through.
Do not put your child in a position where they might have to choose between the two of you. If you berate their parent, they are not going to be warm and welcoming towards your new partner.
Your kids are going to create negativity around you and your new partner. You are sowing seeds of misunderstanding and resentment in the future.
No matter what differences you have with your partner, your child does not need to know about it or get caught in the crossfire. Keep your issues as partners different from parenting.
Answer all their doubts.
One of the universal facts is that children ask questions. But, it is so that they can process a situation better. The world is big and confusing for the little ones, asking questions is what makes them comprehend better.
As parents, it is our job to answer their questions to the best of our abilities. It is going to help them wrap their head around this new concept. Be as direct as you can and explain it in a way that is simple for them to understand.
Keep telling them that your love for them hasn’t been reduced through your words as well as actions.
All our children ever want from us is love. And if they think that your love for them has reduced, they are going to be shattered. We never stop loving our kids, but they also should get to know this.
It will not hurt you to tell them once in a while that you love them. Especially when the circumstances around them are suddenly changing, hugs and kisses will be highly appreciated. Even one hug from you in the morning will make their entire day.
Such a change is going to be difficult for your child. Show them some compassion. Try and be as understanding as you can. Patience is of the essence.