Monday, September 27, 2010

When to introduce the kids?

Our most recent Facebook poll concerned the kids. When is an appropriate time to introduce your children to the person you are dating? Here are some of the responses:

-After LOTS of prayer! but it all depends on the situation and the child as well. I am so protective of my son and want to keep him from getting attached if things don't quite work.

-Introductions should take place after the person you are dating has passed most of your qualifying "tests" and you and the person are pre-engaged, no matter the age of the children.

-Some think you can introduce younger kids sooner than older (teens) just because the older ones are more skeptical versus the younger, carefree kids. I disagree because that is actually a selfish view to have.

-Only if he or she is a keeper or it's serious, other wise it's too much confusion.

-When you are considering becoming engaged.

-Depends - you do not want to bring people you are dating into your childrens' lives just to have them leaving the kids abandoned again when the relationship doesn't work.

We were curious what the experts would say, so we inquired with Dr. Stephen W. Simpson, author, professor and Director of Clinical Training in the School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He had this to say:

"Tough question because a lot of it depends on the age of the child and the situation (i.e., divorce vs. death of a parent, etc.). In general, you want to hold off until things are relatively serious because, especially with younger children, having a parade of adults moving in and out of their life can be confusing, especially if they are filling in a parental role, even symbolically. On the other hand, it's not a great idea to try to hide things, especially once the kids get to be about 6 or 7, because they'll be able to figure out what's going on. If it seems like the child has a grasp of what dating means, the parent can explain that they are going out on a date, but they shouldn't have their date spend a lot of time with kids until things get serious. Once the kids reach adolescence, it's better to have open conversations throughout the process, but, again, not let them have much of a relationship with the other person until things get serious."

Dating in the 21st century is tricky. Stick with Cache' Connections. We're here to help you navigate the confusion, and to establish a new model for Christian dating.

~ Linda
Cache' Connections

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