Children love, look up to, idealize and even posses their parents to an extent where they might not be able to view their parents in a light which stands in opposition to their ideal expectation of them.
But children can be taken into confidence and made to understand that parents are imperfect individuals and are capable of making mistakes, but no matter what they do, their love for the children will remain constant and undivided.
It is important that parents understand the psychology of their children, address their issues with adequate empathy and gain their confidence, so that it becomes easy for both the parent and the children to allow another individual to be a part of their circle.
The effects of dating can be unpleasant provided there isn’t enough trust between parent and child.
The entry of an unknown adult into the family can cause feelings of awkwardness to surface within your child. Awkwardness is amplified when your date is of the opposite sex to that of your child/teenager.
To get comfortable with a stranger can be tough for your kids, especially when the stranger tries to perform the role of a parent.
Respect requires time and effort to be gained; hence your date’s approach at disciplining your children too soon, can not only lead to feelings of awkwardness but also of resentment.
Like I mentioned under the previous heading, resentment grows when a strange adult suddenly appears out of nowhere and tries to establish their dominance over the family and over your child.
Your child and your date need to share a mutual respect for each other, which will form only when your child is able to develop trust in your date.
To be able to develop trust can be a time consuming and difficult process, which both your date and you should allow your children.
Your date should not assume the role of a substitute father/mother to your children but instead try and be an empathetic friend to them.
INSECURITY AND JEALOUSY
Displays of affection towards your date in the proximity of your children can cause them to feel jealous and insecure. They might feel as though their position in your life is being or has been replaced by your new date.
Jealousy may manifest itself in several ways, such as:
Your children might cease to respect you, because they feel that they have lost their value in your life so they don’t find the need to be answerable to you any longer. Just as you have found your joy in life, independent of them, they too will go looking for what’ll makes them happy, independent of you.
You might see a change in their lifestyle, food habits, behaviour, etc.
INCREASED ATTENTION SEEKING
This is another way in which jealousy tends to manifest in your children. Instead of rebelling against you, they will crave your attention, especially when your new partner is around.
CONFUSED DISPLACEMENT OF LOYALTY
Your child may suffer this condition where they can’t figure out as to whether they should support you or negate your relationship because when they support you, they feel as though they’re betraying the other parent.
Your child might start doing drugs or drink alcohol excessively and then cause harm to the self when they can’t express their state of feeling left out.
CONTENTMENT AND PLEASURE
Often your new partner will bring excitement and enthusiasm in your child. They feel happy at the prospect of having a new parent. Happiness is common when the child is more supportive and understanding of you or if your child and your ex-spouse do not share a very close relationship.
Looking forward to a new parent may also come about when the child has been brought up by a single parent till date.
Single parent dating may thus draw either positive or negative responses from your children. But whatever the responses may be, being prepared to face them and dealing with them accordingly will strengthen and create an affable relationship between you and your children.