Sex and the single parent: What should your kids know?

Sex and Single Parents

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Keeping your sex life private around your kids is hard enough when you’re married and the fact that you even have one is implicit, albeit unimaginable to most children. For single parents who are dating that topic becomes even trickier. How much, if anything, should your kids know about the people you date? When is the appropriate time to introduce a new partner to your children? Should you even admit to your children that you’re dating or wait until it gets serious with someone? We do not want to give too much information to our children but do not want to appear that we are hiding something from them either. Finding the balance between giving children enough information to feel empowered without overwhelming them is tough and there are no easy answers, but here are some guidelines:

  • Go slow: Wait several months before introducing a new partner to your children to be certain the relationship is serious and lasting. The children have already experienced some degree of loss with possible abandonment issues so best for them not to become attached to someone that may also leave their lives.
  • Share minimal information: Kids should know that you are meeting people and dating only in the most general sense. If they ask questions, keep the information shared to a minimum, even if you are excited about a prospective new relationship.
  • Rethink sleep-overs when kids are home: Give serious consideration before having a sleep-over in front of your children as your children are taking in your values and morals and will likely emulate those. Make other arrangements for your children overnight and no need to advertise the fact that you slept out or someone slept over.

Going slowly and easing your children into the idea of you being in a new relationship are the keys to a smoother transition. When the decision is made that you are ready to introduce a new mate, choose events that are fun and comfortable for your child. Sporting events, movies, playing in the park, or any situation where conversation is not forced and somewhat optional are best.  In time the setting can grow more intimate, such as dinner at home, and they can get to know one another better and allow the relationship time to develop. Delaying your own gratification for the sake of the mental health and well-being of your children needs to be your priority and will help them adjust more easily to your new relationship.

Author Bio:

Miriam Longobardi

Twitter @writerMimiLong

NY Modern Love column

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