When Mom has a boyfriend and Dad's remarried, parents must stay focused on the needs of their child. Bringing a new person into the family can threaten the child's sense of security and belonging. Parents who have successfully incorporated a mate have managed by listening to their child when s/he expresses concerns or fears about their changing world. They are observant and watch their child's behavior. For example, an irritable mood for a year can denote depression in children. They are supportive and consult with professionals if the need arises.
Successful parents realize that kids love their parents, married or not. When divorce rips the child's world apart, the fear of abandonment becomes a reality. Aside from losing mom or dad, parents work and finances are limited. Dating and remarriage further threaten their world, they are asked to shift loyalties and accept a surrogate. While we parents look at dating and remarriage as rebuilding our lives and securing our futures, our children face sharing their parents with more spouses and often more kids - huge changes that rock their world. Consequently, children often come out losing some of their parent's attention and protection in the shuffle. It is no doubt that a child might view mom or dad's dating as intrusive, competitive and destructive.
Talk with your child. Assure him or her that a new person in your life does not replace his or her other parent. Reinforce your words with action. Dating and marriage does not mean that your relationship with your child will be a lower priority, spend as much time with your child as you can. This new person is your companion, but you will always be you for your kid.
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