Kids: working through a rainbow of emotions

THE EMOTION: JEALOUSY

When a parent moves into another relationship, a child may quickly become jealous. She may fear you are trying to replace the other parent. Many single parents are short on time. When that parent becomes involved with a new interest their child may feel there will be little time left for her.

THE SIGNS

The signs of jealousy are usually quite apparent.

  • The child may become competitive
  • The child may compare your new interest to her father or mother
  • The child may become overbearing in seeking your attention
  • The child may frequently interrupt any conversat- ions that you have with a new interest
  • The child may say outright, that you love or care for your new interest more than her

IDEAS TO WORK WITH

Many parents simply avoid dating to avoid this problem. That is not the healthy answer. Your child can have a say in your dating life, but she should not control it.

 

Make sure that you're not spending too much time with your new interest. Don't have that person over on days you normally spend with your children. Instead choose one day that you will all spend together. The rest of the time, meet somewhere. As your children grow used to another person in their lives, you can gradually increase the amount of time you all spend together.

After a few months, let your child and your friend do something together on their own. You may be surprised that they find common interests.

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