Dating after divorce is very hard, because now you have to schedule your time between home, kids and your new special one. Your old wounds are healed and you're lucky with your new boyfriend, but now your kids have to know and accept him. How should you introduce your new boyfriend to your children?
When it comes to having a plus one to your family, you shouldn't hurry up and force the things. There are chances that your kids will love your new boyfriend and will accept him as a father, but only in case you make everything very slow. And begin with the conversation about your future with your special one.
You have to know for sure that you and your boyfriend are willing the same things. For instance, you want to make him a part of your life, while he regards you like a person to date only. He may be not ready for something bigger and doesn't plan to live with your or have kids together. Or may be he would like to move in and eventually play a role of father to your children. If you have the same plans for the future, only then you can take some actions.
Introduce him like a friend. Your children love their father, no matter what you think about him. And they won't be able accept your boyfriend, if you immediately introduce him as a potential “new dad” to them. The best way is to let your children get acquainted with your boyfriend just like with a friend of yours.
Schedule a group meeting, because it's the safest way. Invite your friends, whom your kids already know, and your boyfriend will be among them. You should have several more group meetings before you start activities with your friend and kids only.
The first “family” activities shouldn't be like a whole day in the Disneyland or a camping weekend. Start slow, a two-hour meeting will be fine. Choose something rather simple, like a dinner with pizza. Don't show any affection towards each other, still it's too early.
When should your kids see that your friend means something bigger to you? It depends on how your children accepted your boyfriend. If they are comfortable with him and like him, in 4 or 5 months you can hold hands and kiss in front of your kids. It's the time when you can tell your children that this man is your boyfriend.
Don't let your relations interfere in your usual routine. You're used to read a story to your kids before they go to bed or spend weekends with them, and kids love it. But with the appearance of your boyfriend in your life you shouldn't spend less time with your kids. Schedule your dates when the kids are already in bed or sleeping over at your parents, otherwise your children will feel less loved and start being jealous.
Explain your children, that they have one dad and one mom, and they will always have them. But addition of a new person makes family bigger and better. This way you will prepare your kids to accept your boyfriend into the family they're used to.
And as you begin to settle a new family, you have to discuss a lot of rules. You, your boyfriend and children have to understand many things that concern money, discipline, education, expectations etc. Merging two families is a big deal so make sure that everyone is happy in this new environment.
So, how long can introduction of your boyfriend to your family last? It takes at least one year, and the longer the process is, the more successful it will be.
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