Whether we want to admit it or not, children are going to experience instability as their parents go in search of romantic partners.Parents who get into these relationships may have very different expectations for how things should be than the men and women who they’re bringing home.After all, they didn’t choose to break up and can become very upset when they lose contact with another caregiver, especially if they had begun to like having that person around.It’s even worse if the child’s parent says disparaging things about her or his ex-lover.That’s normally my advice too, but it seems kids in Hadfield’s study didn’t like being lied to and sometimes resented their parent’s new lover when they were finally introduced.
All those online dating sites are doing what they were intended to do.
Most of the evidence suggests doing otherwise, especially if the child is over the age of 6.
There’s 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.
Kids, Hadfield says, may actually mistrust the new partner more if they feel like he or she was the reason their parent lied.
As if that’s not complicated enough, parents are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.