It reaches a moment, after divorce, when love finds you again and you embrace it. For a while, you might hide this from your kids as you gauge whether this new relationship is for the long run. Once you establish that they are the one, the pressure of having them meet your family and you theirs begins to creep in.
Introducing someone new into your child's life to replace your former partner has to be one of the most challenging moments in parenting. They are still coming to terms with the absence of a once present figure in their lives and might not be ready to have another person fill in those shoes.
Naturally, you want each party to accept the other without a struggle which might not always be the case. Luckily, you can make this introduction smooth using the following tips:
Talk to your new partner about your children
It is likely that you have already talked to your new partner about your children. However, before the actual meeting, ensure your partner knows what to expect with your child(ren). This makes the process easier as they will know what tickles their interest and use that to win them over. It could be their favourite activities to do, a celebrity they like and basically anything that will give them an upper hand.
Talk to your kids about your new partner
Do not just show up with someone out of the blue and make the introduction. That will not go well. Start by dropping hints about someone else being in the picture to your children and let them know that you have started dating. You can also find opportunities in your every day activities to discuss you getting back to the dating scene. Make them understand that your new partner makes you happy and address any concerns your children may have. This makes their first meeting go much smoother.
Don't make it too formal
As much as it is an important moment, the best way to approach this tricky situation is through a fun activity rather than a formal meeting where everyone is seated and serious. Let them play together and allow the kids to see his/her playful side. This tends to ease the tension that will definitely be present.
It doesn't happen in a day
Do not expect your kids to open their arms to a stranger with the first introduction. Give them time to absorb the reality that you are moving on, and that the other parent is not coming back. Besides this, ensure your new partner is consistent so that they can get an assurance of his good intentions for you and them.
Kids usually hope their parents reconcile and get back together as one happy family. When this is not the case, they might see this new partner as a rival. It is upon you to make them feel safe around your partner. Listen to their fears and thoughts on the issue and reassure them of your love and support.
Whatever the outcome of the introduction, understand both parties and work towards finding what is best for them and yourself.