Give yourselves lots of time before introducing a new adult (and her or his children) to your children. When we’re in the honeymoon stage of a new relationship we often think, “ because I like Dave I know my girls will.” Be sure you’re past the honeymoon stage of the relationship before introducing Dave as a potential new member of the family. Be cautious of quickly filling the hole left by the last relationship with a projection onto the new partner of someone you believe will dispel your fear and loneliness.
- Let your kids talk on and on and on about how much they wish you and Mummy/Daddy would get back together. Let them see you cry about the end of the first family. Let them cry and rage. Let the grief process happen.
- Have a conversation with your kids about whether they’re ready for a new step-parent. Give your children and your new partner full choice of degree of closeness. Just because you’re in love doesn’t mean they will be. Don’t push “happy families.”
- Give your partner full choice to not take on any caretaking roles if they wouldn’t be fulfilling and meaningful.