Bruce Sallan: When is it time to introduce your kids to your new "friend," someone you've dated a while, and when is it okay for them to sleep over? One is relatively simple, in this dad's opinion, the other more dicey.
It's easy when you have split custody; date, have sex, do it all when the kids are with the ex. It's not so easy if you have the kids all the time (as I did). Then, the choice is a secret life or earlier introduction than the therapists all advise (and, remember, every therapist has a dysfunctional family, so why are you listening to them). It's not good for the kids if you are not happy. So, as with most things in life, there's a middle ground on when to make that introduction.
This is one of those areas where moms and dads differ. Many moms choose to be the martyr, denying their kids the possibility of a good male role model in the home and subjugating their own needs. I don't think a parade of dates is cool, but neither is delaying the rest of your life.
We know when someone is just a date or a potential partner. It's not about how long you've seen them; it's about how well you know and trust each other. An arbitrary amount of time is foolish. When it feels right, introduce them. And, prior, let them know you're dating. It's part of life; will part of theirs, so why keep it a secret. As for sleeping over, I'm less open to that. Not so fast; on this you need to know it's monogamous and both of you hope it's going the distance. If you have to do it in the car, for a while, great, you'll get extra exercise and rekindle that youthful spirit that probably has been dormant too long anyway.
But hey, what do I know, I'm just a guy.
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|Bruce Sallan gave up his showbiz career a decade ago to raise his two boys, full-time, now 13 and 16. His internationally syndicated column, A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW, is his take on the challenges of parenthood and male/female issues, both as a single dad and now, newly remarried, in a blended family. Join Bruce's A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW fan page at Facebook. To contact Bruce, visit his new website brucesallan.com.|