Dating with young children


Why do single parents feel guilty when they do things for themselves, like dating? Bryson: Parents, in general, feel responsible for their kid’s happiness, and to some degree it’s healthy. Of course we want to do that as much as we can; but ultimately, we’re here to nurture our children and give them the experiences they need.

Single parents often have an additional burden, especially if the child doesn’t spend much time with both parents.

Kids can be great bonuses to meeting someone new and they can also be nightmares just as easily.

When a man gets older he realizes that the chance of meeting a childless woman thins dramatically and the question of “how” may come to his mind in dealing with a child that isn’t his.

Here’s a snippet of conversation between a single parent and their 17-year-old. ”“It’s a long story.”“What do you mean it’s a long story? It’s an almost standard conversation between parent and child about dating. ”Many of us — the dating divorced — find ourselves experiencing a very interesting role reversal as we head out the door on a weekend evening.

But I’ll probably be back late.”“Who are you going out with? Someone you don’t know.”“Where did you meet this friend? Such are the joys of dating when you have an older teen/young adult under the same roof, watching as you come and go, watching (or at least wondering) with whom you go out and with whom you might come back. Why do you continue to annoy me with these questions?

Culver City psychotherapist Janis Rosenberg cautions the divorced to “go slow” when they begin dating and says it’s hard, especially for teens, to see their parents as sexually active people.“While many children might wish their parents would get a social life, it’s important to be sensitive and monitor their reaction to your dating activities and your dates,” Rosenberg says. With online dating sites, there’s the risk we might see our children’s profiles — or they might see ours! Internet-savvy children can wander through our web activities the same way they once searched in the closets for Christmas presents. My own response to friends who have asked about my new single life has been to say that it reminds me of dating in high school, but there are important distinctions: No one worries about school nights, we all have smart phones and no one’s a virgin.