Single moms have one of the hardest jobs in the universe!! I salute you: you are my heroes! So today I have four key dating tips for single mothers to help your life run smoother. The first tip is to keep your dating life away from the kids. Studies show that a single mother’s dating behavior affects the sexuality of her adolescent children. Children raised by a single parent engage in sexual activity sooner and more frequently. Also, if the kids get involved with a guy you are seeing who is a fleeting presence, they can be hurt when he leaves.
Second, once you start dating one guy exclusively you can introduce him to your children, but be sure he enters the family system as a positive, prizing and giving figure. Bringing a man into your family means a certain loss for your children—a loss of the cushy family unit in which they did not have to share you – so make sure that when your boyfriend is around they have engaging and fun activities to do. I cannot stress this enough! You want your kids to associate good things with the new man in your life.
Third, before you introduce the guy to your kids, make sure you tell him all the “good news” about your children–the fun, warmth and special gifts that each child brings into your life (no complaining about the problems you have with the kids). And tell them about how much fun this guy is–tell them about interesting parts of him and his world that would make them look forward to meeting him.
And fourth, if he truly is the One and you wind up marrying, the best way to divide up parenting duties is to have him be more nurturing and you more of the limit-setter and disciplinarian. If you have kids or teens that at times act out of control, it may be tempting for him to step in, confront them and break out of the nurturing role. Do not allow this—instead have him be neutral with the kids and function behind the scenes as your supportive secret weapon. He can be a sounding board and adviser on how to deal with your children’s problems and issues. Of course, he still needs to back up any rules you set. This teaming and division of roles will help your child settle down and make for a more happy family unit. You don’t want to be torn between your kids and your guy!!
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Here’s to more love,