Navigating life after divorce can be challenging. You and your children have to learn to adjust to a new way of living. The learning curve steepens when you introduce a new relationship into the mix. To help this transition go smoothly, you need to consider how and when you’re going to introduce the new relationship.
During this time of transition, Tierney Law Group, divorce lawyers in Pleasanton CA, wants to be a source you can turn to. In this post, we’re going to share with you how to introduce a new relationship to children of divorce.
Tips for Introducing a New Relationship to Your Kids
Divorce can be traumatic for your children. The time after a divorce can be rocky as children learn to adjust to new schedules and routines. Therefore, if you’re considering introducing a new relationship to your children after your divorce, following these tips from a divorce attorney Pleasanton CA will help the process.
1. Give Your Children Time to Adjust
Children need to grieve the loss of their intact family. During this time, they need to adjust to the divorce. This includes processing their emotions.
Realistically, they need at least a year before you introduce someone new to them.
If you have concerns about this, a Pleasanton CA divorce attorney can provide more information.
2. Be Sure You’re Ready for This Level of Commitment
Introducing a new relationship to your children is a big step. Be sure you’re not rushing into something for yourself. Take a moment to consider whether you’re ready.
It will be more heartache for everyone, including your kids, if this relationship ends. Protect everyone by choosing the right time for introduction. If the relationship isn’t that serious, then leave the kids out of it.
3. Give Your Ex a Heads Up
It’s courteous to let them know that you are in a new relationship, since you’re co-parenting.
Giving them notice yourself will help them be prepared about how to handle your children’s reactions.
If you’re uncomfortable with in-person conversation, there are messaging apps that you can use to communicate information about your children. Also, a Pleasanton divorce attorney can help with the best way of having this conversation.
4. Prepare Your Children
Talk to your children about dating again. Let them know you may fall in love again. Ask them how they feel about that.
Reassure them that you will love them the same if you fall in love again. Some children may view the relationship as a rival. Let them know that this is not the case.
5. Plan the Introduction with Your Children in Mind
- Choose a neutral location- not at home
- Choose somewhere fun, lowkey, and relaxed- Maybe outdoors or at a kid-friendly restaurant where they can go play if they need space
- Make it a quick meeting
- Set them at ease
- Choose a time that’s right for them
- Make sure they are well-rested and not hungry
6. Check-in With Them Afterwards
After the introduction, talk to your children. Ask them for feedback about the new person. Let them share how they’re feeling. Again, reassure them that you’re putting their feelings first. Answer their questions.
Make It About Your Children
When introducing a new relationship to your children, make it about the children. Make sure their needs are met. Children of divorce need the reassurance that they aren’t being left behind. If you make their safety and comfort your top priority, they’ll feel safe and secure through this transition. If you have any questions about how to accomplish this, contact your divorce attorneys Pleasanton CA.