Co-parenting can be difficult when said parents are no longer together. Maintaining harmony as both parents move on in their respective dating lives, however, proves to be especially challenging for some.
So what are the ground rules when it comes to introducing one’s new main squeeze to your child, and does he or she need to also meet the other parent?
This is more or less a contentious topic, considering some parents tend to have existing baggage or unresolved gripe with one another. However, one thing’s for sure, when it comes to someone you’re dating meeting your son or daughter, that should not happen until you’ve properly vetted this person and truly believe they’re willing, able and, more importantly, ready to date someone who is also responsible for another little human being.
The responsibility of parenting can sometimes get lost when focusing on other things that don’t matter as much, and bringing someone else to the fold should be done with true discernment.
Now when it comes to your girlfriend or boyfriend meeting your baby’s mother or father, however, the reasoning is quite different. Yes, you want to know who may possibly be around your child, especially if the partner is living in the home, however, it’s important to ensure that the reason you’re introducing the two is to create harmony and peace for the sake of the child.
Where the problem lies is when the parent makes the meet and greet about them and not the child. Far too often, among women especially, parents use the nucleus that is the child as an excuse to have reign over the other parent and his or her dating life, to be nosey, and overall simply create unnecessary drama.
Before you demand that you meet the person your ex is dating, be sure that your interest is solely because of the child and not for any other ulterior motive. Be sure that you are no longer holding any grudge against your child’s father or mother. Using your son or daughter as a crunch only reveals that you have unresolved issues that you need to get a handle of quickly.
So here’s the verdict: yes you should introduce the person you’re dating to your child’s parent, but only when the relationship is on a serious level (and no a couple of months is not enough time). While you should use your better judgement, a safe time frame would be pass the six-month mark.
Of course, there are exceptions when you’re a parent. Sometimes daddy or mommy duties call when you’re actually around your significant other, however, if the person you’re dating truly cares they will understand that keeping their distance is best until it’s the right time. You don’t want your child to see people coming in and out of their lives like a revolving door. Children need stability. Remember, they are the focus.
(Photo: Michael Meyersfeld/Great Stock/Corbis)