Dating after divorce teenage children
Truth be told, younger children (under age 10) may feel confused, angry, or sad because they tend to be possessive of their parents.Renowned researcher Constance Ahrons, who conducted a 20-year study of children of divorce, concluded that most children find their parent’s courtship behaviors confusing and strange.She found that the young children she studied worried about how their parent’s dating process was going to affect them.Children between the ages 5 and 10 were more possessive of their mother than older children.Introduce the new partner as a “new friend” and not the new “love of my life.” Sensitivity Counts.Children may have more trouble adjusting to their fathers’ dating relationships than their mother’s.More Online Resources: Click here to read a great article from the Boston Globe that includes a list of guidelines surrounding dating after divorce Tips, Resources, and Warning Signs for Divorced Parents: The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) presents a great article on divorce and your children A Family Education article featuring individuals experiences with post-divorce dating and their children A great review of dating, remarriage and children based Constance Ahron’s longitudinal study from Missouri Research: Anderson, E, et al (2004).
Teenage children are entering a new world of dating behavior that may include sex, and will look to their parents as models of behavior. Research has shown that single parents’- and especially mothers’- attitudes and behaviors on sex and dating influence their children’s attitudes and behaviors.
Specifically, single mothers’ dating behaviors directly influenced their son’s sexual behaviors, and indirectly influenced their daughter’s sexual behaviors by affecting her attitudes on sex.
Parents should talk about appropriate behavior for adults and adolescents before either side starts an intimate relationship.
With the US divorce rate still lingering around 50% for first marriages, many children have experienced their parents’ divorce by the time they are eighteen.
And most adults are out and dating again within a year after their divorce, sometimes dating several partners before remarriage.
On the other hand, adolescents may appear more accepting of your new partner than younger children, but they may still perceive that person as a threat to your relationship.