LAY DOWN THE RULES

Your Baby & Toddler - - TALKING POINT -

It’s also ad­vis­able to set some ground rules be­fore you start dat­ing. Begin by com­mit­ting to be­ing hon­est with a prospec­tive part­ner about how much time you have for them, mak­ing it clear you are not as flex­i­ble as a child­less woman and that your child will al­ways be your first pri­or­ity. “Men who do not have chil­dren may not al­ways un­der­stand the de­mands of sin­gle par­ent­ing,” says JeanMarie. “And some men may de­cide dat­ing a sin­gle mom is not for them. Re­spect this and move on.”

Sinette says an­other im­por­tant rule to set is not to in­tro­duce your child to ev­ery guy you go on a date with. “This can be emo­tion­ally dam­ag­ing and con­fus­ing to your child,” agrees JeanMarie. “Be­fore al­low­ing him to meet your child, you need to es­tab­lish not only if your new part­ner is a good fit for you, but also whether he is a good fit for your fam­ily.”

To do this, she says, you need to dis­cuss key is­sues in depth with your new part­ner: “It is im­por­tant to dis­cuss the ex­pec­ta­tions which you both have for your re­la­tion­ship and the role he is to play in your child’s life. Dis­cuss whether you both would like to have any more chil­dren. If he has Ul­ti­mately, bring­ing a new part­ner into your life is bound to cause up­sets; some mi­nor, oth­ers pos­si­bly not so much.

“The child might be scared of los­ing you. This might cause sig­nif­i­cant in­se­cu­rity in them,” ex­plains Sinette. “She might have a change in at­ti­tude to­wards you and might also have changes in eat­ing, sleep­ing and be­ing

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