One of the toughest things for a parent to do is how to introduce a child to a new partner and his children. For one thing, the child’s first fear will be that he might not be loved and cared for as before and that he will be alone – that his parents will be spending more time with each other than with them – and that his mother will be too preoccupied now with her new friend and his children to give him the attention he has always received.
For a child, fear of being alone after a divorce or separation is high up on the list. The child might also believe that his father won’t have much time for their activities anymore and not come and see them at games and school concerts, or their. It is an uncomfortable and lonely time for a child. There are, however, things you can do to ease the process.
Fears and tears
There are several things to look at when introducing the children to one another. Remember, this is new to your partner’s children too. They will feel out of sorts, they might be shy, or even jealous that their father has another woman in his life. A child always wants his own mother and does not want to share her with other kids.
• Spend extra time with your kids. Suppertime is a good time to talk when everyone is relaxed and the children all have a chance to speak. Don’t make more of your child than the other kids. Treat all of them equally.
• Give your kids extra attention at night when you put them to bed. Individual time allows the child to tell you freely what is bothering him.
• Come to terms with the fact that despite everything you are doing, there will still be hiccups as the children adjust and get used to one another. There might also be jealousy.
• In your private conversations with your kids at bedtime, tell them that nothing will change in their lives. You have met a nice man, you are happy, but will not forget you.
• Have outdoor activities where the kids can play together and get to know one another.
• Treat all the kids with respect and the same amount of affection. If there is one in the group who is sullen and moody, pay special attention to him or her.
• Don’t interfere with how your partner reprimands his children.
• If your child is rude to the other children, deal with it there and then.
• If one of the kids does something out of rage, speak to him or her and remind everyone of the rules of the house.
• Go to church together as a family even if the kids are at your house for the weekend.
• Always try to have meals together as a family. A family who eats and pray together, stay together.