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Should Your Date Meet Your Kid?

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Guest blogger Single Mom Seeking says she stresses over if--and when--to make the introductions.


As a single mom who has dated off and on since my baby's first birthday -- Mae is now a second grader -- I'm still trying to master this. I wish I had a clear-cut answer. But I don't.

Here's one no-brainer rule (which, ahem, I've broken): Don't introduce your kid on a first date. Or a second, or a third. Another one is: If you had a miserable date, tell your girlfriends all about it -- not your kid. (I haven't broken that one yet.) But what happens after you've been seeing a guy for a couple of months, and he seems like a winner?

I've read every dating guide for single parents. The most common advice is: "Keep your kids out of it." Easier said than done. When you have a wee little one who's more interested in mashed bananas than mommy's boyfriend, this is easy-peasy. But at age 8, Mae knows what "dating" means. She wants to know where I'm going on Friday, and with whom.

I'm honest. I tell her, hoping that when she's a teenager, she'll keep me posted on her dates, too. While I keep my sex life private -- like any married mom does -- I don't ignore her curiosity.

Recently, after she'd asked a slew of questions about my evening plans, I asked if Mae wanted to meet the new guy. Her answer? "No."

Do you introduce your dates to your kids? When?

For more from Single Mom Seeking, click here.

next: Best. Husbands. Ever.
4 comments so far | Post a comment now
isabelle June 20, 2008, 10:47 AM

I have been separated for two years and divorced for two months. I have dated, but have not met the right person. My son has met no one. NO one. I firmly believe that it is in a child’s best interest not to meet the person unless the relationship is serious. Having said that, I do not believe that dating people even begin to get to know each other until 6 months into it, and that it takes at least 12 mos. to know if it will last. I am not going to quote studies on romantic relationships or child development. The research is out there. And responsible single parents need to do educate themselves. This is not about double standards , this about reality. Date all you want (:))!, but get a babysitter and keep it to yourself. Sure you can be honest and say you are dating, but I really prefer to tell my son that I am going out to dinner w/ a friend- it is not a lie, and it sits much better w/ him. Your child takes it much more to heart than you do- it effects their sense of security and trust. A child’s main focus is on their parent, school, friends etc. They are not emotionally ready to take on your love life, not should they. We are not trying on new sweaters here. Dating is serous business as single parents. And quite frankly, lets prioritize- parenting comes first. Dating should be a happy second. And the person you end up w/ should have respect and appreciation for parenting ! :)
I love this blog. It’s very nice. Thank you !
Isabelle Clark, LICSW.
ps If the dating becomes serious, you can start by beginning to share storis about your child w/ partner, slowly introduce in a child friendly place as a friend- keep that going a few month and then see how it goes. The key is to slow down everyone- I know that’s not easy in our fast paced culture. But it’s really important.

Hip_M0M September 15, 2008, 4:38 PM

Great article, SMS. I agree with much of what you said and hope I can be honest with my son when the time comes without involving him in my emotional ‘affairs of the heart.’

Especially since he’s a male, I think it’s important for him to realize that men do not come and go. His dad left so I don’t want him to get the impression that having a man in my life is “supposed” to be a temporary thing.

Am I reading into the psychology of this too much?

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