Parents dating during divorce
Hadfield figures that no matter how difficult it can seem, it is likely better for kids to still have contact with their parents’ romantic partners even after the romance ends.
Of course, this all depends on the strength of the relationship, the age of the child, and dozens of other factors.
How do we help kids through these transitions and avoid instability? Kristen Hadfield, a post-doctoral fellow I supervise at the Resilience Research Centre who has been doing research in the US, Ireland and Canada on mothers, stepparents and kids. First, parents are cycling in and out of romantic relationships at a higher rate than ever before.
All those online dating sites are doing what they were intended to do.
While most parents tend to cut off ties with their former lovers, it’s seldom that simple for the kids.
In general, though, if the kid and the ex-partner were close, then parents should do what they can to make it easy for their child to stay connected.
In truth, most ex-lovers are not going to want the contact.
That seems to be the best time to share what’s happening. If you’re fortunate enough to go from dating to moving in together and forming a blended family, what role should the new stepparent play?
As I mentioned earlier, custodial parents often want the stepparent to be a real parent with responsibilities for the kids.