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There are no firm rules here, and a lot will depend on the reasons for the original family breakdown, and if there have been other stepparents in the child’s life.
Children, however, seem to like consistency—and that means whatever rules they’ve been living with before their stepparent showed up should be the same rules they keep having to follow.
Most of the evidence suggests doing otherwise, especially if the child is over the age of 6.
Of course, this all depends on the strength of the relationship, the age of the child, and dozens of other factors.
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.
Parents figured that a new adult in the home would help them put some much needed distance between the family and the last romantic partner who was there, whether that person was the children’s biological parent or not.
Second, parents expected a new romantic partner to help firm up the hierarchy in the family, putting the children back in their place and mom or dad back to being less of a child’s friend and more a parent with rules and expectations.
Being dumped with a babysitter rather than snuggling up to watch Friday night movies with mom can make kids blame the new love interest for robbing them of their parent’s attention. Online dating has made it easier to meet people, but that doesn’t mean kids should be subjected to the instability that an active dating life brings with it.