After your divorce from your child’s parent, a new relationship may be the furthest thought from your mind. However, almost all individuals who go through a divorce will eventually remarry. Therefore, it is important to note how a new relationship will impact your minor children from a previous marriage. Your Orlando Divorce Attorney has compiled information regarding the effect a new marriage may have on your child.
When a parent engages in a new relationship after a marriage, many children may experience the same emotions they endured during the separation of their parents. While watching a new family form, they are reminded of the one lost. This feeling of loss may cause a child to become more attached to a parent in order to seek security, become jealous of the new partner, or question where they belong in the new family being formed. It is important to be able to recognize these emotions or actions in your child and openly discuss them. The most important step you can take is to reassure your child that they are still important, no new relationship will overshadow the bond that you two share, and you will make time specifically for the two of you to show the child they are special in your life.
Another relationship that will be affected when a new relationship or marriage occurs, is the relationship between the new step parent and the child. The child may resent the new step parent and view them as a reason for the demise of their original family. The child may also compare the step parent to their other parent or feel as though they are betraying their biological parent when spending time with their step parent. In these situations, it is important to check in with both the step parent, child, and biological parent to ensure every party is on the same page. Ensure the child that, the divorce of the parents was only the choice of the parents and no other parties were responsible; they can enjoy and love both their parents and step parent equally with no ramifications; and comparisons are normal during the initial transition to adding a parent, as children do not understand the complicated family dynamics. However, they will subside as the parties and families gain a new normal and process the transition.
Finally, with a new relationship and family member, comes a change in family dynamics, house rules, schedules, or chores. Children thrive in consistent environments, therefore, making significant changes all at once can hinder their development and cause emotional out bursts. It is important to add new elements slowly over time and discuss each new addition openly with the child. Further, it may be necessary to provide the child with a space of their own to reassure them of a consistent place they always will have to go back to. Reassure the child of their place in the family and allow them to come to you with any concerns or questions during the transition.
While a new marriage may be exciting and filled with joy for you and your future spouse, it is important to recognize and acknowledge the feelings of others involved, especially the children in your life. Therefore, ensure you take steps to remind them of their place in your life and in the new relationship.
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