When is it time to....

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2012
When is it time to....
Thu, 01-10-2013 - 3:51pm

When it is time to introduce your children to whom you are dating?

My friends daughter is in her early 30s single with two kids.  She goes on dates occasionally and has never introduced her kids to her dates.

She had a serious relationship for a while and introduced him after they had been dating for 6 months, sadly it didn't work out and the kids did ask about him for a few months after they broke up.

So my question is: Do you let them meet your dates, or wait until there is a relationship that will be on going before introducing him to your children?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2012
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 1:17pm

Thanks for your insight on this issue. With todays divorce rate so high, I am sure this is on the mind of many single moms and dads.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2012
Sat, 01-19-2013 - 2:38am

I believe it is more how you introduce him than when.  Personally, I like to go on a few dates, see if I have any chemistry with a guy, and then I let them meet my son as a friend.  It is just a friend of mine and we are going to the zoo together or luch and a movie, anything out and active. 

 I want to see what the dynamic is like between my son and the guy I am dating.  I have had it happen where I like a guy more because of a great interaction with my son and I have also had guys who I didn't want to see again because they weren't very interested in my son.  I don't want to get emotionaly invested in a guy just to have it not work because he isn't good with kids. 

That being said, I am careful to maintain it as a friendship for a while as far as my son is concerned.  Things would have to be very serious before I start to bring up the idea of him being more than a friend to my son - and even then I bring it up as a conversation where I make it clear that this is a decision the two of us (me and my son) are making.  He and I are the central unit, and we can choose to let this third person in if we want to... granted, it isn't truly his decision, but if he was hesitant I would want to know why.  Kids are intuitive... it is worth hearing them out.

  This worked well when I was single and my son was 2-4 and it has worked now that my son is 8-9.  And for that boyfriend in the middle... there was always a bond between my son and I that he never touched... so he came and went from our lives, but my son has bounced back because his true nuclear family hasn't changed.

Friends come and go in life... it shouldn't be overly traumatic for an emotionally healthy child to see someone a few times and not see them again.  It happens to them all the time with friends at school and their teachers or coaches every year - unless you push the guy as someone who should be important to the child a "new daddy" or if you let your child know how important he is to you... then real bonding might happen.  But kids are resiliant. 

As long as the stability of the relationship between mother/child is never questioned, and mom keeps reassuring the child that he/she is the most important person in her life - I think having lunch with mom's new friend isn't going to do anything except let mom know how he is with kids and if her kid likes him.  Let's be honest... if he isn't good with the child is there any point in continuing the relatinship as a serious relationship?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 01-10-2013 - 7:28pm

I think for little kids, they shouldn't be introduced to anyone unless the relationship is getting serious.  I don't think they would understand a revolving door of different people.  Even if you said someone was a "friend," how would you explain why a bunch of people aren't your friend any more?  If they are say high school age, then I think they understand the concept of dating more.  When I was divorce from 1st DH, my kids were 7 & 1--I met 2nd DH a few years later.  He was the only person I ever introduced my kids to.  Now unfortunately I'm divorced again, but kids are much older--23 & 17.  I wouldn't care about introducing someone to the 17 yr old even if it was a 1st date cause I know that he wouldn't be getting attached to that person.  He wouldn't care.