Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Tips for dating with children...

Being a single mom, I have to admit that I don’t put myself out there a lot. It’s a case of “I’m scared I get rejected” and “I don’t want my son to get hurt.” There is also the question of will they still want to be with me once they know I have a child. So I put together a few tips for both parties on how to date with children.

Dating tips for single parents

Be honest from the start

Many times we are scared to say we have a child cause we don’t want to spoil anything, but we need to be honest, so that we know if the person will stay or not.

Make sure the person is responsible and loves kids

Dating someone who is irresponsible is never going to work. If things get serious down the line you might have to ask them to watch your kids, and what happens if they are irresponsible? You wouldn't want them hurting your kids.

Understand that you are allowed to date

Just because you have children, doesn't mean you are not allowed to date. We are human beings, we need and crave attention, and that is perfectly fine.

Know that all guys aren't accepting

No matter how hard you try and convince yourself that the person will learn to love your kids, if they don’t like the idea of you having kids, its better just to walk away.

Don’t introduce your child to every person you date

You might think that children don’t understand but they do. Believe me. Letting them meet all these “partners” will make them confused. My cousin is like that. Her son doesn't know who his father is and it’s so bad that he even goes up to strangers at shops and asks them “are you my dad?” That just seems totally unfair.

Don’t go on dates just to find a parental figure for your children

If like me, your child’s father decided he wants nothing to do with them, don’t try and find a father figure to replace what isn't there. Unless a person wants to be that figure, you are only going to cause havoc in the relationship.

Find your balance

Life is hectic but we need to find a balance between your children, your work and your new partner.

Don’t ever choose your partner over your child

That is the most selfish and cruel thing you could ever do. My mom unfortunately did it to me when she and my dad split. I can promise you it scared me for life. As young as you are, you feel not good enough, and that is something no child should feel. Your child needs to be your #1 priority.

Tips for dating single parents

If you don’t want to date a person with children, make it clear at the very beginning

Please don’t lie to spare the person any pain. What is going to cause them pain, is by making them believe you don’t mind and then when they introduce the children, you leave. Be honest from the beginning.

Understand that the child will always be a priority

Unfortunately unlike dating a single person, dating a single parent, you have to understand that the children comes first. Any responsible mother will never just leave her child with someone just to go on a date. Please try to understand and work around the single parent’s schedule.

Get to know the children

When you finally get introduced to the children, take the time to get to know them. Be friendly and don’t try to monopolize the parent when the child is in the room. Respect the children, this is hard for them.

When things get serious, don’t act like the authority figure

As much as you want to, their parent is their authority figure. If something about the way the child is acting bothers you, speak to the parent rather and decide together if you can reprimand the children.

Be accepting that the children’s other parent will play a big role in their lives and yours

Unfortunately this is inevitable. You will have to deal with the other parent. So rather than think about your ego, think about the children and the atmosphere you want to create. Also think about how they will look at you if you treat their mom/dad with disrespect.

Don’t ever run the other parent down in front of the children

Again I promise you now, if the children hear you talking about their mom/dad in a bad way, they will lose all respect for you and will in turn hate you. I was there with my step dad, he always ran my dad down because I wouldn't call him dad and didn't like him, and till this day I have no respect for him.

Don’t expect them to call you mom/ dad unless they want to (never force them)

Children are weird little things. They have a mind of their own and forcing them to do something will never work in your favor. Give them time to get to know you and make up their own mind if they want to call you mom/ dad.

Be loving, to both parent and children

This is not only hard on you but on them too, so be loving and kind. Make them feel like you want to get to know them better and be their friend. Also love their parent and you will score brownie points.

Some of the points I made above is from my own experience with my mom and step dad. I wish they had seen these tips maybe then things would have been different.

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