I often am asked to comment on whether it is okay for a parent to begin dating after their divorce. Regardless, divorce and dating is a challenging topic.Parents are rightfully worried about how this process will affect their children and often acknowledge the separation of parents has been painful for their children. Understanding how to balance your child’s perspective with your own needs may help you make good decisions about introducing a new adult into your family. Even young children need to know that mommy or daddy needs to spend time with other adults.I think it would be safe to assume that this is due to the stress and financial burden divorce inflicts upon couples. The Institute for American Values study found that almost eight out of 10 couples who avoided divorce were happily married five years later. Of these, close to half will also see the breakup of a parent’s second marriage.” (Furstenberg, Peterson, Nord, and Zill, “Life Course”) Many couples divorce, and then remarry without knowing the true cause of their marriage problems in the first marriage.This is why the second marriage divorce rate is even higher than that of the first marriage!Here’s are some statistics specifically about the effects of divorce on children…– Studies in the early 1980’s showed that children in repeat divorces earned lower grades and their peers rated them as less pleasant to be around. Cherlin, Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage –Harvard University Press 1981) – Forty percent of children growing up in America today are being raised without their fathers.While you do not need to go into detail, pretending that you are spending time with platonic friends can be problematic.
When divorce rips the child's world apart, the fear of abandonment becomes a reality.Leah Klungness, co-author of The Complete Single Mother, states that post-divorce dating can be stressful for children.Don’t assume that kids will understand the need for a “crazy phase” of dating.It is often difficult to know how a child will react to a parent who has announced that she is dating.If your child’s behavior seems to shift after the announcement that you plan to date, spend some time with your child.Aside from losing mom or dad, parents work and finances are limited.