It’s understandable that as a parent, you might be worried about the outcome, but it’s important to know that your kids are likely feeling the same way.
Answer: It’s advisable to tell them you’re dating as you begin to do so.
Teens don’t want to feel out of the loop, and letting them know you will begin dating will assist them to manage the changes in their emotional lives.
I have two teenagers, 13 (a son) and 15 (a daughter).
They both live with me, although their father lives in the next town and my son often stays with him. When should I tell my kids that I am dating and when should I introduce them to this new person in my life?
Be sensitive to how they’re feeling about this shift, and Divorce Help for Parents cautions that there could be similarities in your situations—you can use this as a talking point.
Since your teens are also likely dating, it is important to talk with them about how it may be awkward to have a parent dating at the same time.
The first thing you should consider is the age of your children when you discuss dating with them.
If they are still very young and don’t quite understand the concept of dating or relationships, that doesn’t quite mean you’re off the hook—you just need to adjust your language to suit their level of comprehension.
It’s important to send some key messages in that conversation: I’m taking this dating thing slow, I’ll typically date in a way that will not take away from our time together as a family, you’ll be the first to know if I ever develop any genuine feelings for anyone.
How much you want to discuss your date with your children depends on your relationship with them.
Likewise, a piece at Family Share recommends that you spend time preparing your children well in advance of meeting your new partner, and then when it happens, don’t rush things or immediately seek approval.“Spend short intervals together and let the exposure build over time. “Because they feel safe in their relationship with mom and dad, they are less likely to be threatened by a new adult entering the picture.”Suffice it to say, this is just another reason to keep the post-divorce relationship with your former partner civil.