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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

5 Reasons why your boyfriend should meet your child as soon as possible: Advantages of introducing your boyfriend to your child

Is it okay for my child to meet my boyfriend?  When should my child meet my boyfriend? How long should I wait before introducing my child to my boyfriend? What are the advantages of introducing my child to my boyfriend?

Introducing your boyfriend to your child
There are advantages and disadvantages to everything. It is crucial that you look at the pros and cons to everything before making any decisions ESPECIALLY ones which involve your child.

Although highly debatable, there are many who believe that the sooner your child or children meet your boyfriend or current partner - the better. It is hard to set a timeline on anything in a relationship because all relationships differ but the following "advantages" to early introduction should be noted.

Advantages / the positive side of introducing your boyfriend to your child:

Single Parent dating
  1. Balancing dating and parenting.
    Introducing your partner to your little one allows you to "kill two birds with one stone" in other words. You will then be able to spend quality time with your partner without sacrificing time you could have been spending with your child. Instead of having to get a sitter or dropping your child off for a date, you can now have family dates: at the beach, park, family friendly restaurants, resorts etc. You will be able to enjoy the joys of dating without sacrificing parenting or making your little one feel like they have to share your attention or compete for your time.
  2. You can monitor interaction.
    If you plan on having a long term (if not lifelong) relationship with this person, he will inevitably become a part of your child's life. You will need to see how he interacts with your child, whether or not he's comfortable around children and whether or not he's actually open to or interested in having a long term relationship with a single mother.
    If he isn't comfortable with children but trying, you will be able to see that too and practice is usually the only way he will be able to feel a little more comfortable.
  3. You can get rid of the "bad fish" sooner than later.
    There is no point in hanging onto a man who you are worried might be "scared off" by an introduction to your kids. If the idea of a "fatherly / male role model" scares him off then he is definitely not the one for you. You need someone who is open to the idea and willing as much as enthusiastic to become a part of your child's life. If it is something that he shows absolutely no interest in then he is clearly not in it for the long haul. Why waste your time with someone who is not going to be willing to stick around anyway?

  4. Strengthen bonding.
    If you have been lucky enough to meet "the right guy" and he is interested in being a part of your child's life as he should be; then you need to allow them to start building a relationship and forming a bond as soon as possible.
    They will need time to become acquainted with each other. Your child will need time to ease into the idea no matter his / her age. There could be no worse idea then introducing your child to someone when you're engaged or just about ready to get married.
    Allowing them to grow into each other will allow you to have more of a "family-like" relationship.
  5. Your boyfriend is "just another person / friend"
    When you decide to introduce your child to your boyfriend, you would obviously maintain a PG date (no over the top affection, making out, kissing, etc). I'd expect that you'd respect your children (which would be the case whether or not you were with their biological father). With this in mind, your boyfriend would be no different then any other friend or relative. A major concern in introducing your child to your boyfriend early on is that should your relationship end, the break-up may be experienced by the child as a sense of loss. Considering the fact that you spend time with other relatives, friends, etc and your child is around them, when these relatives or friends stop coming around or aren't as major a part of your life, it would then affect your child negatively too - which it generally doesn't. 
Being a single mom is not easy. A lot goes into balancing parenting and dating and there are many things to consider as the relationship progresses. A single mom needs an understanding partner who is willing to understand her situation and accept her and her child as somewhat of a packaged deal. There are challenges to introducing your boyfriend to your child during the early stages of your relationship but they can be worked around and dealt with.

Always remember to do what is best for your child and to put him / her first.
You might also want to read:
Dating as a single mother: How to balance Parenting and Dating

photo credit: Ojas' First Shoot via photopin (license)photo credit: IMG_2149b via photopin (license)photo credit: Father and daughter via photopin (license)
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