A smooth first meeting between your child and your new partner
Photo of Attorneys T. Noel Brooks and Jesse Baez walking outside.
Photo of T. Noel Brooks and Jesse Baez

A smooth first meeting between your child and your new partner

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2022 | Family Law

Once you have found a partner whom you love, you may feel nervous about introducing them to your child. Other concerns you might have in mind are whether to tell their other parent. Virginia child custody law has some protections in place if the other parent has a reasonable objection to your new partner.

The timing

You may want to temporarily hold off on introducing your new partner if your child is going through a difficult time. Grief over a lost pet, loved one or another situation could make the news more challenging for them to handle. How long it has been since your divorce is another important factor to consider. Children find it upsetting when one of their parents gets into a relationship too soon after the divorce.

The location

It’s best to choose a location where everyone will feel comfortable, such as your home or a park. Your children will feel more at ease in a familiar place. Introducing your child to your new partner at a restaurant is another suitable strategy. You may want to choose a restaurant that your child likes so that they don’t have the stress of a new location on top of meeting your partner.

Planning an activity

If you want to do something together, then choose an activity that everyone will enjoy. An activity could help your child relax and develop positive feelings toward your new partner. Examples of things you could do include playing basketball, playing a board game, eating at a restaurant and going shopping. Before the activity, you might want to set aside time to formally introduce your partner.

Prepare for an emotional reaction

It’s not possible to know for certain how your child will react. Some may be calm, but others could become angry or sad. Even if they are normally an upbeat, outgoing person, they might be distant during the meeting. You may want to be patient and understanding of their feelings, especially because it’s the first meeting. If you think that they’ll struggle a lot, then you might want to keep the introduction short.

Approaching introducing your child to your new partner with a compassionate and understanding mindset will help it go more smoothly. Children aren’t likely to immediately develop a bond with them. It may take time for them to warm up.