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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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My 2 good friends from work are both finalizing their divorces.

Customer Question

My 2 good friends from work are both finalizing their divorces. They have known each other for years and after they both separated, have gotten together and are very happy as a couple. The male has 3 children (boys -15 and 11 into lacrosse, baseball and football and a girl - 13 into horseback riding). The female has no children and was only married a very short time. They are quite serious and would like to tell his children about their relationship as they could see themselves getting married in the not so distant future. His soon to be ex-wife is the type of person who would try to poison the waters about their potential new step-mother.

What do you recommend is the best way for them to discuss their relationship with his children and with the possible criticism from their mother?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
It is usually best to wait 9-12 months of dating to introduce children to the new partner as the boyfriend or girfriend. Since the children have already been introduced to her as a female friend from work, just let that remain how it is for now. They do not need to know anything more than that for now. You can not become too concerned about criticism from the mother. She is going to be jealous and feed her children all kinds of evil ideas about their possible step mom. So be ready. As long as the soon to be "new mom" is respectful, supportive, loving, and caring toward her new man as well as the children, then the children are old enough to see that their mom is being just vindictive and spiteful. If 9-12 months of dating have already passed, the children's dad can have a talk with his children alone and tell them that he is in love with ...and would one day like to marry her. Make sure they understand that their mom will always be their mom but his new wife will be their step mom and is in no way trying to replace their mom. Make sure that the children are free to ask any question that they feel necessary and be ready to answer it respectfully XXXXX XXXXXLaughing