From the start, Cathy said little about her father's growing relationship with a new woman."I didn't really want her to know much in case it didn't work out," he recalls.
remembers the conversation she had with her two sons following one of their regular visits with herex-husband.
Both boys were brimming with news about Daddy's new friend, Joanne.
Given the power to vote on the relationship, the children cast "no" ballots and told their dad that, per his earlier declaration, Joanne couldn't move in until after they went away to school. Neuman is creator of a divorce therapy program for children mandated for use in family courts by many states.
The story illustrates the confusion and anxiety children often feel when parents, eager for some measure of happiness and success in a new relationship, struggle over how much distance to place between their children and a newly developing romance."Seeing a parent date is an odd scenario for kids," says M. "It sometimes hammers home the message that our parents are never going to get back together."The power of the reunion fantasy is not to be underestimated, says Neuman, observing that some childrencling to the belief that their parents will get back together even after one parent has remarried.
Although the ultimate goal when dating is to spend alone time with that special someone, you shouldn’t feel obligated to start one-on-one dating right away.
Instead, form a "group date" to go to an event you'll both enjoy: a jazz festival, craft show, or baseball game, for example.
Already anxious about the changes in their lives due to the divorce, and often feeling closer to a parent than they did before, they may now feel that a trusthas been broken -- exactly at the point when trust and reassurance are most needed. Rather than forgo romance, Neuman and parents interviewed for this article suggest addressing children's concerns head-on before dating begins: Make sure the introduction of your new significant other takes place only after you've had a privateconversation with your child about the relationship.
Then, Neuman suggests choosing a setting where the focus will be on an activity, not "getting to know each other better." Meeting at a playground or going to see a baseball game will be easier for kids than making conversation with a stranger in a restaurant.
But despite such late-night chats and an occasional "flurry of activity" on her social calendar, Eva hasno interest in introducing any man to her sons."Some of the people I've met have said, 'Why don't my son and I meet you somewhere?