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Introducing a new partner to your children

In time, many separated parents will move on and start meeting new partners. Some children – particularly older ones – will be glad to see you happy and getting on with your life. For others, however, it isn’t always that simple, and your children’s reactions to your new partners may not be as positive as you would like. If your child has dealt with lots of changes in their lives, it might be helpful to delay making introductions to new partners.

Your child may feel threatened by a new partner, and start to resent them. They may worry that they’ll have to share your attention with this new person, or that they’ll be replaced in your affections. Don’t try not to force the relationship between your new partner and your child. Give everyone time and space to adjust to adjust to the new situation.

Avoid making introductions until you know the future of the relationship. Many children form very positive relationships with their parents’ new partners and can become attached to them. If your relationship doesn't last, your children risk being hurt at a time when they are already dealing with significant changes in their lives.

Before you start making introductions, talk to your child’s other parent. This may be a difficult conversation to have, but it will ultimately benefit your child if everyone is aware of the changing situation and can react accordingly.

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