When a suggestion is placed on my page for me to blog about, I try my best to create a story around what was proposed. This weeks suggestion was, When is it the right time for your date to meet your kids? I found this to be touching and a good topic of discussion. With most families in the US being blended, it is about time we recognized that no matter what our marital status may be, we should still act as responsible parents.
Let’s start by stating the most important fact. To a child, Mom and Dad are their entire world. Understanding this is key to moving forward. Coming from a broken home, where mom and dad divorced and remarried, I think it is safe to say that I understand the feeling of having someone new enter into your world. It is a delicate situation and should be treated as such. I think the best way to deal with this is to, as a rule, bring in all new faces gradually. Your children will constantly meet new people, but in what context. Having “friends” in your life creates new and interesting experiences, but introducing someone in a more permanent way should be done in phases.
Phase 1: This is my friend.
Your child doesn’t understand romance. Make sure that a person is there to stay before showing any intimate affection towards them. Until you are sure that they are there for the long haul, treat everyone around your children the same. At this phase, your partner should have very little say in the life of your child.
Phase 2: This is my “Special Friend”
This should only happen after a long period of consistent behavior. If your partner has shown a consistent interest and love for your child, your child will grow to trust them and see them as more than your friend. They will become more like family. Still in this phase, tread lightly. You are your child’s protector.
Phase 3: This is FAMILY.
After months or years of constant involvement, your partner is now ready to become a part of your child’s daily life. It is now okay for you to trust that they are there for not only you but for your child. Always remember that no matter how long this takes, you need to feel as though they are here to stay and that your child can trust in them. You should still always remember that your child trusts in them because you do. As long as everyone involved takes special care of this relationship, this child has the possibility for a beautiful blended family.