Are you single, dating, and trying to raise good kids? Every year, almost two and a half million people become single. Statistically, most of these people have been married for up to ten years and have children. What they soon discover is – dating with children is a challenge.
If you or someone you know is facing this reality, here are some thoughts to consider:
* Develop a life
More than once, I have heard single people say, "My kids are my life." Although they are sincere and well-meaning, and have their childrens' welfare at heart, single parents need a life of their own. They need to develop interests and friends which sustain them as individuals and not become isolated, relying only on their children for meaningful interaction. Further, children need to see their parents have relationships, work, purpose, and dreams because they model the behavior of the people they love.
* Do not shop for a "parent"
Yes, it is important that the date or mate in your life is sensitive to your childrens' needs, and a sense of humor and patience is helpful. But if you are looking for someone to be a mother or father to your children, you will wind up compromising what is right for you and then no one will be well-served. Know what you want in a mate including values and character and your children will be fine.
Conduct yourself with dignity and high standards
Your children are watching you. What you think of yourself is the identity they will also wear. If you are suffering from loss, hurt, or a lack of confidence, do everything possible to develop your sense of self worth. If you do not build your inner strength, you may act inappropriately, seeking affection from people who are not good for you or your children.
* Resolve your past
Talking about your EX in negative terms is not good for you, your children, or your future dates. Work out your baggage. If you are bitter, cynical, despentent, or feel that there is no chance that you will ever be happy because of what someone did to you, this will poison all of your relationships. Seek help and grow.
* Talk with your children appropriately about what you are doing
Sharing your new interests with your children reassures them that you are learning to manage your life as a single. However, children should never be made to shoulder the burden of your depression, fears, or loneliness. If you are feeling this way, get a counselor immediately.
* Watch your self-limiting thoughts
If you feel you will never meet someone because you have children, you need to re-program your thoughts. You are thinking of your children as a liability rather than an asset. If you do meet people to date who do not want children in their lives, it is important that you confront that issue honestly and move on.
Your children can be the strongest motivator to get your life together. They can also help serve as a barometer of how to select someone to date who is kind. And most of all, since they will imitate you, they count on you to remember – you deserve a great life, great happiness, and a great love.