Any change in a child’s life is stressful and brings up a lot of emotions. It can be especially difficult for them when it comes to meeting their mother’s new partner. If you see that your child is not finding himself in this situation, help him cope. Here are some ways to make the whole process of getting to know and accepting each other go fairly smoothly.
Divorce can be a relief for everyone, but it can also be a painful situation for the child. A big factor in this is that the child does not fully understand the complexities of human relationships. It can be even more difficult for a child to come to terms with a new reality when both you and dad were previously equally committed to raising the child. And he faces an even greater challenge when you decide to introduce him to your new partner. How can you help him find his way through all of this without hurting his feelings at the same time?
The absolute basis is always the conversation, but you must remember to adapt it to the age, but also to the character and personality of the child. A conversation with a toddler will be completely different from a conversation with a teenager. The child will not always understand why and for what reason the mother wants to live with a man who is a stranger to her. It may turn out that he would even like the new partner, but blames him for this situation and for turning his life upside down. That is why it is so important to have a proper adult approach and to work through the anger, jealousy and lack of acceptance.
Visits to a psychologist used to be a reason to be ashamed, fortunately it is not so today. It is worth seeking help from a specialist when you need it. If you do not know how to reach your child so that it does not feel hurt and so that it accepts its new partner, go to a child psychologist. This way you can talk calmly, understand each other’s needs and reduce the stress you are experiencing. You will also be able to ensure that your relationship will be as good as possible despite the new, difficult challenges.
Do not make your child your confidante, do not require him/her to take sides or even be your mediator.
It will be easier for the child to accept the mother’s new partner when both you and your ex-husband can deal with your negative emotions and treat each other with respect. He will not feel guilty that by accepting his partner, he is “betraying” his dad. So, before you introduce him to your new heart’s choice, get all things in order. Don’t let your child feel even a little rejected.
Also, be sure not to create chaos in your child’s life by introducing him to every man you meet. After a few dates or a few months you may find that the relationship has no future and it is better to break up. Introduce a person into your child’s life whose feelings you are sure about and know you want to build a lasting relationship with. There is no need to hurry, observe your child, his/her behavior, emotions and remember that nothing should be done by force. Reassure your child that you love her unconditionally, she is the most important and she is not competing with your partner at all.
main photo: unsplash.com/Leo Rivas