Dating after divorce is difficult and things get complicated with the presence of children. This complication is so big that at times it discourages people to think about dating again. The effects of dating on children post divorce differs among children. The effects depend upon the developmental stage of the child. It is observed in some children that they get into a coveted mission to get their parents together and when this does not happen, and if the other parent start dating someone else, then all their hopes are shuttered and the negative effects start showing in them. Some of the common effects of dating after divorce are anxiety, confusion, betrayal, fear, jealousy and anger.
Given below are some of the most common effects of dating post divorce in children:
1. Reunion hopes: When any of the parent start dating, then regardless of the age of the children, all the hopes of parental reunion come crashing down and this leaves negative effect on the children. At times parents purposely communicate this message of reunion of the parents before the divorce to the children hoping that they will make the child understand but This would shatter their hopes instead!!!
2. . Those hopes are crushed when one of the parent starts dating leaving a feeling of betrayal on the child.
3. Mixed Emotions: Children face mixed emotions when one of the parent start dating. This triggers the thought that one parent has betrayed the other parent and might lead to anger. The thought of making adjustment again in life causes anger and stress among children. Grown up children feel embarrassed and ashamed at the thought of one parent getting attracted toward other adult. It is very important for parents to talk with children about their dating as early as possible . Talk about any of these feelings that the children are experiencing and assure them that they will not be left alone or deprived of the love they deserve.
4. Anger: It is the most common effect on children who are adjusting to life post the divorce of their parents. If any of the parent start dating then this triggers anger among them. This happens because children think that now with a new person coming in their life, they will have to readjust their life. The feeling of loss of privacy, abandonment and a new person sharing space in the house gets too big for the children to handle and brings out negativity in form of anger. Angers triggers among elder children when they observe that their parent’s rule of dating conduct differs from what they think is appropriate. It gets hard for the children to understand that the dating rule are different for children and for adult.
5. Dating instruction: Do not introduce the person whom you are dating with to your children until your relationship is serious and you are committed to the person. Introducing every person whom you go out on date with, will confuse the children. Doing so can also form attachment for a person who might not stay in their life for long. It also gets hard for the children to adjust to the fact that their parent is dating, and this can create unnecessary conflicts.
6. Cautions: Children often develop a dislike for the people whom their parent choose to date. This can be an obvious problem but it is very important for a parent to listen to the children’s point of view and take it seriously. A child should feel secure and respected with the person whom you date. Certain behaviors can make a child offended like teasing, disliked nicknames, inappropriate gestures and trying to pressurize the child to adjust with them.