August 10, 2007, Newsletter Issue #162: Dating for Single Parents

Tip of the Week

As a dating relationship gets more serious, singles have to decide when to take it to the next level. For dating single-parents, the first step in this process is introducing a serious dating partner to your kids. The second step is to see how this dating partner handles your kids. The first criterion for judging a potential mate is how they treat you. If you are a single-parent, an equally important criterion is how they treat your children.

Itís not easy for the new boyfriend coming into this situation. Single mothers and single dads have their own patterns as a mini-family that a new boyfriend or girlfriend is trying to fit into. All kinds of new dynamics can emerge, competition, jealousy, alliances. These are normal but itís incumbent on the adults to handle them and respond with maturity and patience.

If your new partner is short-tempered with your children, feels prematurely entitled to a role as authority-figure or disciplinarian, to say nothing of if he or she mistreats your child, itís your job as a parent to challenge that and interrupt it immediately. Protecting your children is one of your top responsibilities as a parent. That includes protecting them from any boyfriend or girlfriend in your life. If they donít adjust and change based on your feedback, thatís a sure sign that this relationship is not one to stick with.

Youíre a package deal. Any new boyfriend or girlfriend has to know coming in that being with you means treating you right and doing the same for your kids.

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