Children First: Parents with new partners - KOTA Territory News

Children First: Parents with new partners

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After a marriage ends, starting over with a new partner can be a challenge, especially when children are involved. So how do parents handle introducing their children to their new significant other? and when is a good time? Jill Albers faced this very situation when her nine-year marriage ended. She began dating seriously six years after her divorce.

Albers says it took her time to begin again because she was focused on her daughter. "I'm not a single person, I'm a parent. My focus was getting her raised. It was tough enough to throw somebody else in right away," said Albers.

But there came a time when Jill Albers began dating and she eventually had to introduce her daughter, Tayler Albers, to her now-fiance. "She came home early from a friends, we we're going out I asked her if she wanted to come along and we did. It wasn't really arranged it just happened," said Jill Albers.

Tayler says meeting her mother's new boyfriend was nerve-wracking, but things got better. "I was a little bit nervous because he was like somebody new to me," said Tayler  Albers. "It was a little bit hard at first because I mean I was just with my parents for so long before. But it got easier over time."

 Dr. Eric Traub, a clinical psychologist, says he has some advice for parents who find themselves introducing their children to new partners.. "Make sure that you can see this relationship being serious and a long term," said Traub. He says there can be consequences when bringing partners in and out of children's lives. "Having them connect to someone and then having the person leave their life, that could really disrupt their attachment," said Traub.
 
The doctor says parents should not force relationships on kids. "I don't know if there's a magic number, or the perfect amount of time that has gone by, I think what's important is to go slow and make sure its natural" said Traub.
 
And Taylor Alber's says kids like her should try to look on the bright side. "You just need to think about how it's just adding on to your family, it is accepting more people into your family," said Tayler Albers. "It's more people that'll love you and take care of you."

Dr. Traub says one way to alleviate some of the pressure children might feel when being introduced to their parent's new partner is having the meeting in a group setting.

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