Dating with a child
Why do single parents feel guilty when they do things for themselves, like dating? Bryson: Parents, in general, feel responsible for their kid’s happiness, and to some degree it’s healthy. Of course we want to do that as much as we can; but ultimately, we’re here to nurture our children and give them the experiences they need.Single parents often have an additional burden, especially if the child doesn’t spend much time with both parents.It can be discouraging for a single mother to hear people say that it will be hard for her to find a man - at least until her offspring achieves a level of independence.It’s the kind of thing that other single parents tend to say - or at least the ones who haven’t undertaken to find a new partner after a split.But the truth is that things really can work out differently - a recent survey suggested that 92% of men would be ready to take on someone else’s children: in fact, they rather like the idea of a ‘readymade’ family.The survey went on to suggest that 40% of relationships involving a single parent actually result in marriage. Parship psychologist Nicole Schiller feels that single parents are more in need of encouragement and motivation than advice.
Tina Payne Bryson to discuss strategies to help single parents successfully navigate getting back into the dating world.
And anything you do for yourself feels like it takes away from their world. If we don’t give ourselves experiences that refuel us, adult activities that make us happy, it will be much harder to do the good work of parenting.
What effect do outside activities like dating actually have on children in Single Parent homes? Bryson: When you add up all of the factors that determine whether your child is going to be happy and mentally healthy as an adult, the most important question to ask is, "Have they had a secure attachment with a loving caregiver who perceives and meets their needs a majority of the time? The concern that most parents should have is, "Am I taking care of myself enough to respond to those needs in a positive way? Ironically, we probably SHOULD feel guilty when we stop tending to our own needs. What if your children express a negative reaction to your interest and participation in meeting new people? Bryson: The first thing is to authentically and honestly talk with your child, and you can even do this with very young children in an age-appropriate way. "Mom’s going to spend time with friends, because it’s good for me.
"Before throwing yourself back into the dating ring, check out these do's and don'ts for dating with kids!
Pre-mommy dating never required a special schedule and child care considerations.