Regardless of why two people divorce, one thing is for certain, it is not the fault of the children. But they do have to deal with the disruption to their lives, the stress, and the two new directions that their parent's lives have taken. It is understandable that your children will be reluctant to open themselves up emotionally to a new person in their father's life. The initial introduction is often uncomfortable for everyone. Even if you do have custody, their mother can still be involved in their life and create further conflict.
As you rebuild your life and perhaps start a new family, your children are struggling with how these changes affect them, and they are unsure about the role of this new person in your life. Do not expect too much from your kids in the early stages of this new relationship for them. This scenario is a complete departure from what they know and are accustomed to. Here are some tips on how to make things easier on them, and perhaps, avoid some conflict and hard feelings that might be difficult to overcome.
Be Prepared for Questions
It is best to not introduce your children to a new girlfriend until you are serious about her. They are going to have questions about her, and if you don't know the answers, it can create a lot of confusion and misunderstandings. You should have a good idea about how you will respond when asked about your feelings for her and what she means to you. It is a good sign when they are interested in knowing more about her. Encourage questions and be ready with your responses.
Keep Initial Meetings Upbeat and Simple
Plan the first meeting at a kid-friendly location where you know they will be comfortable. Their favorite restaurant, park, or playground will have them in a familiar and pleasant environment. If you feel they are receptive to the idea, invite her to play some games with them. School activities like your child's athletic competitions and choir concerts should be later, after they are more comfortable with her being part of the family. They may get questions from other kids and teachers about the new person. You do not want them caught off guard or uncomfortable speaking about the person you are dating.
Get Good Advice Every Step of the Way
At Kenny Leigh and Associates, we know that the well being of your children is the top priority for you at every stage of separation, divorce, and going forward. If your child custody arrangement must be determined by the court, our experienced professionals will help you through the entire process. Courts are historically biased against fathers. That is why you need our team of attorneys who specialize in fighting for the rights of men in divorce and child custody matters. Contact us today to discuss your unique situation in more detail.