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Old 12-12-2010, 05:45 PM
 
208 posts, read 242,286 times
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I have a question for single parents/ex-single parents/remarried parents, how did you go about things in the early days of involving a new partner in your lives? Introducing everyone, interactions etc. What were your kid's reactions? Anything that you think put everyone more at ease, or was a bad idea?

I've been a single dad for 6+ years, the kids are 16, 13 and 7. I've never introduced any women to the kids, there hasn't been one I really felt serious enough about to do so - for a good while there wasn't time for 'one' at all (my youngest was just a baby at the time, 3 kids is busy to start with, then there was all the ex legal stuff, dealing with company developments at the same time etc etc). And to be honest, my ex kind of put me off women for quite a while....no offense. My older two children and I also went through a lot of psychological stuff during the early years, they were young kids deserted by their mother so...that all took time. We went through a pretty hard time. My youngest obviously has a different experience of her leaving him, he has no memory (but lots of questions, and still questions now and then), my older two have memories. I've also obviously been pretty protective about them, and having someone else leave their lives again (but I've also grown to think that these are relationships that are going to happen in their lives whether I protect them or not).

These days, mentally we're all pretty good. We had some good counselors who made us something like 'normal' again (as close as they could get ). But that's our history.

And there is a woman, and she knows the background, and I'm keen for her to meet the kids and she is too. And, this time round, it feels right to do that with her.

The older two of course know/understand I've seen women since but I haven't shared a lot, in the last couple of years I've had conversations here and there with my oldest. And right now my 16 year old is on to me completely. I got off the phone the other day and she said "what was that?" I asked her what that meant and she just said "ooohhhoohhhhoooooooooo" (in a lovey kind of way). She's on to me. She tried to bribe me for information by saying I could ask any question in return about her new boyfriend but I told her that I already interrogate him every time she leaves me alone in a room with him.

...so I don't think she has a problem with the idea.

I was just wondering how other parents have approached this. Any advice? Any advice for the different ages? Starting things off? Her and I figure that she'll come along when we're all going out somewhere, casually...

I don't know if 'nervous' is the right word, but I feel a bit 'nervous' over it all given the kids and I have been close, tight, alone for so long.
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:16 PM
 
13,974 posts, read 15,070,083 times
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before you introduce them just tell them this is your friend. that yes, you do like her and she likes you but for now she is just a good friend. take it from there, you can watch and see how the kids react towards her. be open with them that you two are just hanging out and no one can predict the future. let them know they can ask questions or they can tell you what ever they think.

if they like her and don't feel threatened after 6 years they should be ok with you having a friend that is of the opposite sex. they don't need to know its a romance till you are more sure of what they think or for that matter what you and your lady think and feel
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Rockwall
678 posts, read 1,329,850 times
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I would call a family meeting with the kids. I would start by telling them how much they mean to you. Also what a joy, even with the difficult times you've been through, it is to be their Dad. Talk about how you've enjoyed seeing them grow and mature over the years. And keep it positive and fun. Talk about how when they were younger, caring for them kept you busy all the time. And now that they older, and more independent, you are going to be dating.

And answer their questions honestly. If you've been secretly dating your friend, now would be the time to come clean on that. Kids want their parents to be truthful so they can trust them.

Then I think you should "date" for a while to let your kids get used to that. Then plan an outing for everyone.

Best wishes and let us know how this turns out.
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:02 AM
 
208 posts, read 242,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hothulamaui View Post
before you introduce them just tell them this is your friend. that yes, you do like her and she likes you but for now she is just a good friend. take it from there, you can watch and see how the kids react towards her. be open with them that you two are just hanging out and no one can predict the future. let them know they can ask questions or they can tell you what ever they think.

if they like her and don't feel threatened after 6 years they should be ok with you having a friend that is of the opposite sex. they don't need to know its a romance till you are more sure of what they think or for that matter what you and your lady think and feel
Thanks for the ideas, yeap on the no one can predict the future comment, and being open to questions and what ever they think. And yes good point, they don't exactly need to know it's a romance from the start (which will make my 16 year old laugh and tease me about my 'friend' but I'm sure she can be made to play along).
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:28 AM
 
208 posts, read 242,286 times
Reputation: 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly8 View Post

I would call a family meeting with the kids. I would start by telling them how much they mean to you. Also what a joy, even with the difficult times you've been through, it is to be their Dad. Talk about how you've enjoyed seeing them grow and mature over the years. And keep it positive and fun. Talk about how when they were younger, caring for them kept you busy all the time. And now that they older, and more independent, you are going to be dating.

And answer their questions honestly. If you've been secretly dating your friend, now would be the time to come clean on that. Kids want their parents to be truthful so they can trust them.

Then I think you should "date" for a while to let your kids get used to that. Then plan an outing for everyone.

Best wishes and let us know how this turns out.
I haven't exactly been secretly dating but I haven't shared a lot, my 16 year old knows bits and pieces, my 13 year old doesn't pay much attention to when I dump him to go out, my 7 year old happily trots off to hang out with his grandparents and doesn't really ask much either.

My 16 year old was looking for more information last night, so we talked a little - she has definitely picked up on things so yes, it is time to be more open. And then she told me "aww dad that's cute"...."ummm..thank you?"

I don't think anything's going to bother her at all. I asked her if she thought her 13 year old brother knew anything. And she just said "really? you really think he might have noticed something?" Yes, ok, I agree that 13 year old boys are not the most perceptive creatures on the planet...

I don't know if I have to do the whole dating family meeting, like I said the older two already know parts of it. But those are good ideas for things to say around the whole issue of, you guys are fun but I'd like someone more my age aswell. I definitely will talk with them before we plan something, I won't tell them while we're looking for a park...
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Rockwall
678 posts, read 1,329,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb03 View Post
I haven't exactly been secretly dating but I haven't shared a lot, my 16 year old knows bits and pieces, my 13 year old doesn't pay much attention to when I dump him to go out, my 7 year old happily trots off to hang out with his grandparents and doesn't really ask much either.

My 16 year old was looking for more information last night, so we talked a little - she has definitely picked up on things so yes, it is time to be more open. And then she told me "aww dad that's cute"...."ummm..thank you?"

I don't think anything's going to bother her at all. I asked her if she thought her 13 year old brother knew anything. And she just said "really? you really think he might have noticed something?" Yes, ok, I agree that 13 year old boys are not the most perceptive creatures on the planet...

I don't know if I have to do the whole dating family meeting, like I said the older two already know parts of it. But those are good ideas for things to say around the whole issue of, you guys are fun but I'd like someone more my age aswell. I definitely will talk with them before we plan something, I won't tell them while we're looking for a park...
So your 16 year old teases you? Smile and tease back. Take a deep breath, relax and have fun with it. Ask her if she wants to double-date. You are a healthy (hopefully) human being. Having romantic feelings for someone is nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of. This will be an example to them of what a healthy adult friendship/relationship looks like.

I still suggest being truthful. It's what you expect from your kids right?

Last edited by Dragonfly8; 12-13-2010 at 10:32 AM.. Reason: Spelling
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:08 AM
 
208 posts, read 242,286 times
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She was actually being sweet when she said "aww that's cute". But yes, she does also tease. It doesn't really bother me, I can get her back. Ha, maybe I should suggest a double-date, maybe a movie, I can sit on one side of her boyfriend and whisper in his ear "I dare you to touch her..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly8 View Post
I still suggest being truthful. It's what you expect from your kids right?
Well yes, of course. I think it's very important and I'm probably being a little hypocritical there.

And yes, I would like them exposed to a healthy adult relationship, the older two do have memories of the unhealthy version.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:14 PM
 
Location: colorado
2,788 posts, read 4,494,950 times
Reputation: 3331
Quote:
Originally Posted by jb03 View Post
I have a question for single parents/ex-single parents/remarried parents, how did you go about things in the early days of involving a new partner in your lives? Introducing everyone, interactions etc. What were your kid's reactions? Anything that you think put everyone more at ease, or was a bad idea?

I've been a single dad for 6+ years, the kids are 16, 13 and 7. I've never introduced any women to the kids, there hasn't been one I really felt serious enough about to do so - for a good while there wasn't time for 'one' at all (my youngest was just a baby at the time, 3 kids is busy to start with, then there was all the ex legal stuff, dealing with company developments at the same time etc etc). And to be honest, my ex kind of put me off women for quite a while....no offense. My older two children and I also went through a lot of psychological stuff during the early years, they were young kids deserted by their mother so...that all took time. We went through a pretty hard time. My youngest obviously has a different experience of her leaving him, he has no memory (but lots of questions, and still questions now and then), my older two have memories. I've also obviously been pretty protective about them, and having someone else leave their lives again (but I've also grown to think that these are relationships that are going to happen in their lives whether I protect them or not).

These days, mentally we're all pretty good. We had some good counselors who made us something like 'normal' again (as close as they could get ). But that's our history.

And there is a woman, and she knows the background, and I'm keen for her to meet the kids and she is too. And, this time round, it feels right to do that with her.

The older two of course know/understand I've seen women since but I haven't shared a lot, in the last couple of years I've had conversations here and there with my oldest. And right now my 16 year old is on to me completely. I got off the phone the other day and she said "what was that?" I asked her what that meant and she just said "ooohhhoohhhhoooooooooo" (in a lovey kind of way). She's on to me. She tried to bribe me for information by saying I could ask any question in return about her new boyfriend but I told her that I already interrogate him every time she leaves me alone in a room with him.

...so I don't think she has a problem with the idea.

I was just wondering how other parents have approached this. Any advice? Any advice for the different ages? Starting things off? Her and I figure that she'll come along when we're all going out somewhere, casually...

I don't know if 'nervous' is the right word, but I feel a bit 'nervous' over it all given the kids and I have been close, tight, alone for so long.

I know exactly how you feel..Ive been there
When I meet someone I get to know the first..If I think there is going to be a relationship then I will have him meet my kids. I dont like to rush anything, I dont want to get hurt or the kids get hurt.
I tend to keep my home life private and will only bring home what is good.
My last bf I dated for awhile before I told my kids about him..My kids fell inlove with him..Were not together anymore..but I say get to know the person first..and if anyone want to have a serious relationship with you remember your a package deal...
I say invite her over to have dinner with you guys and watch a movie afterwards..
Good luck
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:32 PM
 
Location: colorado
2,788 posts, read 4,494,950 times
Reputation: 3331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly8 View Post
So your 16 year old teases you? Smile and tease back. Take a deep breath, relax and have fun with it. Ask her if she wants to double-date. You are a healthy (hopefully) human being. Having romantic feelings for someone is nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of. This will be an example to them of what a healthy adult friendship/relationship looks like.

I still suggest being truthful. It's what you expect from your kids right?

I have to totally agree with you...My ex his daughter who is 21 would get mad and throw a fit if her dad and I showed any attention..He wouldnt tell her thats how a healthy relationship is. he would only say oh she is just a teen and thats how they act..I wasnt going to waste my time competing over a jealous 21 yr old. So I ended it.
My kids were never rude or embarrassed when we showed attention to each other..I wanted them to experience and see people inlove and how they treat each other.
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:08 PM
 
208 posts, read 242,286 times
Reputation: 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepgirl27 View Post
I know exactly how you feel..Ive been there
When I meet someone I get to know the first..If I think there is going to be a relationship then I will have him meet my kids. I dont like to rush anything, I dont want to get hurt or the kids get hurt.
I tend to keep my home life private and will only bring home what is good.
My last bf I dated for awhile before I told my kids about him..My kids fell inlove with him..Were not together anymore..but I say get to know the person first..and if anyone want to have a serious relationship with you remember your a package deal...
I say invite her over to have dinner with you guys and watch a movie afterwards..
Good luck
I'm with you on the not rushing things. We are along the way of getting to know each other, to the point where it seems that introducing her seems like the next logical step. That point where I'm sort of thinking, ok, well if this is going to go further then there's some people you need to meet. And she's not afraid of there being 3 kids somewhere.
I was wondering about her coming over but I was also thinking 'home turf' (although I don't have any specific reason behind thinking that). We had been thinking activity/event out somewhere.

I do wonder the most about what my 7 year old might think because he's the one who's had the most of my time, and that's all he's known. But that's probably more of an 'in time' thing.

Thanks for the reply Jeepgirl27.
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