A lot of single moms are often faced with this dilemma, and deciding on when and how to introduce your new partner to your kids can be daunting. Here are tips to make it easier. According to experts, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to it as children and family dynamics are unique. “Preparation is everything,” says Joburg-based marriage, family and trauma therapist Elma Bartlett. “Children should be gradually introduced to the idea of a new man in your life through open and honest communication. And this should be an ongoing conversation,” she says. Once you’ve decided that it is the right time for your kids to meet your partner, Bartlett advises that you keep these things in mind during the meeting: Honesty It’s imperative not to set unrealistic expectations for you and your new partner. Honesty and openness are paramount. Adjustment Despite making sure that everyone is prepared for the meeting, it’s important to recognise that the meeting could go either way. It’s essential for your new partner to know that your responsibility is to your children first. If they struggle with the meeting, it may be that they need time to adjust. Also, allow time for your children to heal and get used to the fact that their parents are no longer a couple. Reassurance Sometimes children worry about being replaced or abandoned. And some teenagers or kids may even feel jealous of the new relationship. It’s important the children are reassured of their place in their parent’s life and the new partner is not seen as taking their place. Affirm your own commitment to them. During the meeting their response should take precedent. Boundaries It’s important to set boundaries between you and the children. While they are your number one priority, they can’t dictate who you have a relationship with.
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