Dec 16

My Kids Dislike My New Partner, What Should I Do?

When it comes to a new person in your children’s life, there are many things for you to consider and think about.  The first is to see if your children are making valid claims about how your partner is behaving.  If your child hates your new partner there could be a reason behind it.  If there is no apparent reason, then there are many things that you must consider and try to understand before you can fix what is going on.


Consider Your Child and Their Feelings

Children who have parents that are separated constantly feel torn between the two of them.  They have to deal with all issues that cause stress on both parents.  If their parents are fighting, even if they are trying to keep it from the children, the children are going to know.  This can cause them to have a number of different feelings.  You need to try and understand the feelings and issues that they are facing.


Common Problems That Cause Kids to Dislike the New Person in Their Life

There are a number of common problems that happen when there is a new person in the child’s life.  These problems can be addressed and worked out so that you can find happiness in both your new relationship and with your children.


The Other Parent is Turning Against You

While everything might be going well in your home, there are things that can happen with the other parent that can make living with your child difficult.  The new person in your life is going to have to understand that when your ex is doing things out of jealousy that there is going to be a reaction from your child.  In many of these cases, the other parent is simply jealous that someone else is with you and that this person is going to be spending a considerable amount of time with their child.  The way that you can solve this with the child is to talk to them about it. Let your child know that you are not trying to replace the other parent with the new person in your life.  Allow them to understand and work through their feelings.  Creating an open dialogue can really help with you being able to ensure that what is said to your child is appropriate.  Just make sure that you handle things properly so that your child will keep talking.


Discipline Issues are Tough


Another thing that can make a child dislike your new partner is different expectations or punishments.  If you have allowed things to go one way and are suddenly changing them when someone new comes into your life, your child is going to resent that new person.  You child will also dislike the new person in your life if you are having them do too much of the disciplining.  If they are the one that is primarily punishing your child, your child is going to feel like they are against them and this will cause further complications in their relationship.  The first thing that you should do is establish boundaries with your child that are very clear and healthy.  Then you should establish boundaries and discuss expectations and consequences with your new partner so that your child is better able to understand what is expected of them from everyone involved.  If you can get your ex on board too then it is going to be even better for your child.  The fact is that this might not always be possible.


Issues with Jealousy

Your child is likely to become jealous of the new person in your life and the time that you are spending with them.  So, make sure that you are clear with your children about how much you love them.  Do not stop doing things alone with your child.  Do family things together as well, but make sure that you still spend some doing things alone with them.  If possible, encourage your new partner to do things alone with your child as well.  This will help them to establish a good relationship with one another.  Your child will feel insecure and could end up acting out if they do not feel like it is a priority for you to spend time alone with them.


Violation of Privacy

While all children appreciate privacy, this one is something that you will have to deal with more in the tween/teen years.  Make sure that you understand what the boundaries should be.  Talk to your new partner about your child’s privacy and how important it is for them to have a space and time to themselves.  If you are unsure of how your child feels, talk to them.  Let them know that you respect their right for privacy but that you also do not want them to feel alone.  Allowing your child to come to you and reaching out some, but not too much is a delicate balance that can be achieved over time.


Speaking Poorly About Their Other Parent

No matter what you are going through, it is never okay for your new partner to talk bad about the other parent to your child.  This needs to be one topic that is off limits to them.  If this happens, the best thing to do is to pull your new partner aside and discuss with them why this is not a good choice.  The only result of this is going to be the child resenting your new partner and there being issues and problems in your household.  Being able to stand up and admit when this has happened that it was wrong can go a long way with a child too.

Your children can learn to love the new person in their life.  It is going to take time and effort from all adults involved.  If things are tumultuous with your ex, you need to make it clear to your new partner what they are getting themselves into.  If they cannot handle things with your children, then they are not the right person for you.  Mistakes will be made from all parties involved but it is how you handle these mistakes and how you talk to your child that is going to matter in the long run.

Dec 16

How to Tell Children That Their Parent is Gay

When you are going through a divorce and you have children, they should be your main priority.  One of the biggest things that can throw a rock in a marriage and turn a child’s world upside down is when one of their parents is gay.  While you might think that this is something that could affect your child in a negative way, you should understand that children are resilient, especially when parents take the time to talk with them about issues.


Coming Out to Your Children

There are actually three different waves of coming out that need to happen if you have children.  The original step in this process is to come out to those whom you are closest to.  The second step is for the spouse to begin to understand and deal with this.  This can cause a great amount of pain for them so it can be a lengthy process and one where the spouse needs to take some time.  Once the spouse has had the time that they need to cope, it is going to be time to talk to the children.  You need these other things to happen first so that there is time to process and determine how you are going to tell your children.

Explaining your sexual orientation to your children is one of the most complicated things for a family to deal with.  One of the reasons is that each phase has to happen and has to be dealt with on a different time line.  As each family is dealing with things, they also have a completely different set of perspectives.


Talking to Children Under 6

There are many things that are different with how young children comprehend this situation.  They are simply not capable of understanding the sexuality part. There are simple phrases that you can use like explaining that daddy now loves Bob or mommy now loves Sue, rather than mommy and daddy loving each other that way.  You have to make sure that children understand that you both still love them and that they are in no way to blame for things.  You have to explain that some families have a mommy and daddy, some families have two mommies or two daddies, some children are raised by grandparents, and yet others are in foster families or adoptive families.  Make sure that you tell your children about different home types so that they understand that they are not alone and that this is just a new type of normal.


Talking with Older Children

As children get older, they are able to understand sexuality more.  This means that the parent can briefly explain to the child that they no longer feel the same way that they once did.  The parent does need to reassure the child that marrying their parent was not a mistake.  They also need to make the child feel wanted and make sure that they know that they were not a mistake.  Parents need to remember to be honest with questions that their children have.  It is important that they try to help their children understand their sexuality and why they have felt a change.


What Effect Will Coming Out Have on My Children?

Coming out to your children is going to have some effect on them.  Children are going to be effected when their parents get divorced.  They will have even more to deal with as they understand that the divorce was in part because one of their parents is gay.  This is something that will be especially hard on children in junior high as this is the time when homosexuality is hardest on children.  Thankfully, today the topic of homosexuality is more mainstream and something that is more easily accepted.  This means that children today have a much easier time then children would have in the past.  That does not mean that there are not times when other kids might be cruel or mean to them.

By being able to take time to understand your own feelings and emotions before talking to your kids, you are going to be more likely to have a supportive conversation that they can understand.  You want to remain honest while talking with them and make sure that you offer support to them if they are struggling.  It might also be necessary to hire someone for your children to talk to so that you can ensure that they are dealing with their emotions in a healthy way.