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I think it's horribly unfair to children."Joe B., father of 7-year-old Cathy, was initially very careful about how much time the two of them spent with his girlfriend and her son.
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From the start, Cathy said little about her father's growing relationship with a new woman."I didn't really want her to know much in case it didn't work out," he recalls.
"My daughter pretty muchknew we weren't just friends. She made some comments to my roommate at the time, but not to me.""Don't ask, don't tell" dating policies are often the unspoken rule of parents who plan to keep their romanticlives separate from their children's lives, or who fear that introducing a new love interest who might not"stick around" will simply give their children a new reason for heartache.
Parents may joke that it’s an experience they want their child to have -- just not until somewhere around the age of 30. A 6th grade girl may say, "Jacob is my boyfriend," but what does that mean?
Seriously, though, when is your child ready to date? "At this age, kids use dating labels but aren’t ready to have much direct one-on-one interaction beyond maybe sitting together at lunch or recess," says Dale Atkins, Ph D, a family therapist in New York.
He once waited up for her when she was out on a date and asked, "How did it go? Later, the two discussed her difficulty ending the relationship.
The child urged herto say goodbye to the man she'd been seeing, and Eva is now moving toward doing so, in part because she was so impressed with her son's observations.
It is an argument for honest, direct dialogue with kids about new relationships: Why Mom or Dad wants one, what Mom or Dad will doif a new relationship becomes serious, and how Mom or Dad's relationship with the child will be affected. had been divorced for six years when she announced to her children that she was thinking ofstarting to date again."They fell on the floor laughing," she recalls.
"They told me I was too old to date."Since then, Eva and her 13-year-old son have had many discussions about her relationships with menand his with girls.
The reasonis simple: A child's own identity is very much tied to that of his family.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating