Take some time to think through the needs of your children.
It is certainly possible to start new relationships and help your children make the adjustments to the changes that come.
• Give your children time to adjust to their new situation.
Sometimes parents try to take care of their own feelings of loss by dating shortly after beginning to live apart, but this is one of those times when considering the needs of your children should be a priority.
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It may take a year or more before your children have a chance to settle into and become comfortable with all the changes divorce has brought. Waiting to date gives you the opportunity to move through any feelings of loss, anger, or fear that can be helped by attention and time.
• Don’t expose your children to people you are dating until you have a pretty good sense of the relationship’s potential. However, having your children develop relationships with people who may not be in your lives for long is not only emotionally difficult for them, but could also potentially impact how they develop their own relationships later in life.
Your children should have the room to go and do other things besides interact.
• Be honest with your children about when you are getting ready to start dating. Don’t give your children control over when you start to venture into that world, but in general, let them know your intentions and ask for their feelings about it.
• Let your children know that your new relationship will not take time away from them.
Your children need not have the burden of being an intentional or unintentional messenger.
• Children are often open to new adults in their lives.