Single Parenting and dating
This can be either a seamless transition or a rough patch depending on how it is approached by you, the parent. Dating is difficult, period, add an overly attached child and a rebellious teen, and it can easily scare off a suitable and possible good suitor. Maybe even more so in interracial dating. A large percentage of this is not only based on the fact that most children (including adult children) fantasize about their biological parents getting back together and being a family, regardless of reality – but also fear. When parents date, it often creates anxiety in children, teens and ex-partners. The changes that may occur due to children feeling jealous and insecure about their place in your heart and life can impact the rest of your lives in a big way. Teens and even pre-teens have been known to let their grades suffer in school, become more rebellious, sullen and deliberately uninvolved in any type of family event. It is dependent, though, on the child and your previous type of relationship that you shared with him or her. Because the majority of children choose to suffer in silence, it is your duty as the parent to try to ease them into this new and exciting phase of your life. These four simple steps are simple and easy to follow or to keep a look out for.
Listen to them. This rule is very general and whether you choose to start dating again or not, all parents really should, even if it is negative. They are persons and they have a right to an opinion. Try not engaging in a shouting match and attempt then and there to bring them over to your side, it isn’t about that. It’s about letting your child know that they aren’t losing you to anyone. Try to insist on eating dinner together without distractions at least 3 times a week, it’s the perfect time to find out, what’s going on in their heads. Helping them to express their anger or fear without an argument is the goal.
Kids are not adults, even if they are taller that you. Most parents, single mothers especially, tend to overshare adult issues with their teens. Though it seems like a good idea to make your child your friend, certain issues should be left to be discussed when the child is an adult, not 14. Your child is not your therapist don’t burden him or her, furthermore it can backfire when it’s time to discipline them or starting dating. Dating discreetly helps a lot until things are serious anyway especially if the children are young and are dealing with abandonment issues already.
You should never forget who the parent is. Although you should expect and insist that your children are respectful to all adults. Never allow your date or someone who you are newly seeing exercise authority over your child. This will only lead to the “you are not my father scenario”, which can be better avoided until after the person is established as a serious suitor and has slowly began to integrate into the family.
CHECK, CHECK and Check again. It is in caps because it really is that important. An alarming amount of child molestation takes place with persons that are welcomed into the home. This is another reason for not introducing your children to this person until you have not only checked his background but also gotten to know him as well as possible. The first sign of unease or a bad gut feeling, run. As a parent you are not only responsible for your own happiness but also for your children’s safety.
Remember being single is not a sickness or a disease. If a person is attracted to you, having a child should not stop them from approaching or going after you. Never apologize or regret being a parent, your children are a part of who you are. They are however not you, and you deserve happiness, too, so, though single parenting can have its own set of challenges and is very demanding and exhausting, keep in mind that you deserve love and affection as well.
And remember to not limit your search specifically by culture and race – try interracial dating!