Introducing your kids to a new partner can be quite tricky. Especially if this is the first serious partner since your divorce from their other parent. You’re left to figure out when to tell them, how to tell them, and cope with the reaction. Every child is different, and there’s no telling how they’ll take the news. But, if you’re serious about this person— it’s inevitable. So we’re going to help you navigate the process. The rules to follow, the steps to take, and common missteps made by the masses.
Introducing Your Children to a New Partner
First things first, discuss it with their other parent
It is important to make sure that before you even consider introducing your new partner to your kids— you make their other parent aware. You both, together, must pick a timeline to adhere to. It’s always a smart move to set a time limit on meeting the kids. Whether you and the other parent set that at four months, six months, or a year— you must honor this. If you’re considering breaking the rule, think about how you’d feel if the other parent did the same.
Tell your kids alone, then introduce the two of them
You don’t want to bombard your kids, and you don’t want them to feel threatened either. Introducing your kids to your new partner as you’re telling them you have one can be a bit overwhelming. You want to introduce the idea, let it simmer, then introduce the partner. Your children need to be reminded that this person is not a threat. While that might feel silly to you, and impossible—your child is going to have to adjust to the idea first. Honor that need.
When you introduce them, keep it light and natural
Introduce them, give them a little time to acquaint themselves, and be there if they need you. Every parents hope when introducing their children and a new partner is that they’ll quickly become friends. While it doesn’t always happen like that, try to facilitate that atmosphere. This starts with what we talked about before: telling your kids alone.
It’s pretty intimidating for a new partner to meet your kids, not just the other way around! Set them up for success by preparing them too. Keep it light, low-key, and don’t set expectations. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst— and understand that it might fall somewhere in between. We wish you luck!