Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Frienship, Dating and Relationships (Part 6)

"Dating and the Single Mom/Dad"

Dating is crucial when there are children involved in the situation. I think that before one introduces someone they’re dating when they are a parent, shouldn’t be taken lightly or too soon when throwing their kids into the equation. Because when or if the relationship doesn’t work out, not only are you breaking up with the person, if you have introduced them to your children, they are also breaking up with them. Kids are innocent in this and they shouldn’t have to get their little hearts broken each and every time their mom/dad ends a relationship. Not only is this being irresponsible but it also gives a bad impression to your children, especially when the kids are older. For instance, if a boy child sees his mother dating and bringing home different men every time he looks around, he may start resenting his mother or think that she is easy. He may place all women in this category and treat them as such. Let’s face it, kids talk and the older they are, the more they talk about. His friends may put thoughts in his head making him think that his mom is a slut. If a girl child sees her father bringing home  different women all the time, she may think that it’s okay if a boy down the road treats her like a piece of meat. She may even think that if she doesn’t give herself to every one of them, they won’t like her. Or she may think that she shouldn’t be with only one boy at a time, resulting in her eventually getting a bad reputation in the future. Bottom line, not everyone you date should be introduced to your kids, period.

If your kids don’t like or get along with the person in your life, don’t blow it off. Observe and see just why they feel the way they feel. Whether we believe it or not, children are more insightful than we give them credit for. If you really see something more developing between you and the one you are in a relationship with, then the both of you should sit down with the children to form a few rules and regulations. Equal time and energy that is put into your relationship should also be done where your kids are concerned. That way, they will see and know that no one is trying to take you away from them and that they are important too. Trust me, children know when they are not wanted or treated fair. Hell, look at what happened to Cinderella? She did everything to please her evil ass stepmother only to be treated as a slave, but what happened to her in the end? She got double for her trouble. Seriously, don’t neglect your children. They will be there to help pick your heart up off the floor when you are left alone. You do not want your children to think or feel that someone is more important than they are. This will stay with them even when you don’t think it will, leading to many rebellious habits to pay you back in the future. Boys can start treating women like dirt and girls can look for love in all the wrong places. As parents, we do not want this type of behavior from our children.

When one becomes a parent, life changes completely. Even if we are not adults when it happens, it forces us to grow up and take responsibility for our actions. Many people think that when they have children at an early age that they can just grow up with their kids, trying to become their best friend. Parenting doesn’t work like that. I’m not saying that you and your kids cannot be friends; I’m saying that the line will be tested time and time again bringing you back to the parenting level. Being a great parent means being a friend when your child becomes an adult and starts his/her own family. They are kids. Being cool, down to earth and your child’s best friend will eventually bite you in the ass. The respect is lost and you will be looked at as the bad guy. Bottom line, you are a parent. Act as such! They should remain kids and innocent as long as possible. Too many kids have been stripped from their youth. Don’t do the same thing to your own. Let the man/woman know before you start dating that you do have children and that they come first in your life. If he/she mean you or your children any good, they will only respect you and want to get to know you more if they intend to be a part of your life on a more long-term basis. If they try to make you chose, then they are clearly not the one for you or should never meet your children. Who does that? Yes, they have people out in the world who do just that and nothing good will even come from them being in your or your kids’ life. Take it personal, we all deserve someone who will fall in love with our children before they fall in love with us. So, when is the right time to introduce your children to your man/woman? No one knows for sure. Trust your gut on this. You will know when the time is right for all involved. Too many single parents both man or woman allow people to come in and turn their worlds upside down. There are more cases than not where children are taken advantage of by mommy’s or daddy’s new boy or girlfriend. As I said before, children are innocent and should remain that way.  

Think about it for a minute. How did you grow up? How did your parents treat you? If you had both parents in the same home, lucky you and even that isn’t always a good thing. If you didn’t, you already know where I’m going. If you were put in situations you know you shouldn’t have been, you should want better for your children. You should want to be a better parent than your own. It’s no one’s fault the way you see fit to raise your kids, but do it as best as you can. Teach them great values and morals. Teach them to love themselves, appreciate their worth but more importantly to respect themselves. They will grow up to be better human beings with those qualities. Having a solid home foundation will reinforce those values in their future. More times than not, children who are taught to love, care for and respect themselves, go on to lead successful lives in a positive way. They are not so easily influenced by peer pressure, low self-esteem and allowing anyone to take advantage of them. They will know their self-worth and become leaders instead of followers of others.

Loving your children should be your first action and priority as a parent. Show them love each and every day, even when you have to chastise them for doing something to defy you or that they know they shouldn’t have done. Yes, they will probably be upset with you at the time but they will get over it, and love you for it down the road. When it comes to relationships, respect yourself, respect your home life and respect your children’s privacy and innocence. Don’t allow anyone to come into your world and interrupt your parenting skills or good judgment. Being alone sucks but it is better to be alone than to put your children through avoidable chaos in the end. The childhood phrase of life is essential to how they will grow up and the adults they will become. Don’t jeopardize it for them by putting your needs in front of theirs.

Don’t allow someone who isn’t their mother/father to try and take their place. Being divorced and in the dating world can be tricky when it comes to that. Many parents don’t know how to be alone after being with someone for years. It takes time to heal and get to know you and your children without having another person there. Sometimes we don’t have a clue of our kids’ personality, hobbies or other wonderful qualities because of the stress in a marriage/long-term relationship. Whether you know, believe it or not, divorce and separation will affect each child differently. Some may resent you or your ex by leashing out, just to get your attention. Let’s face it, if divorce or separation happens, sometimes the children become invisible because of selfish reasons. Have a line of communication with your children from conception. That way as they get older and wiser, it doesn’t become an issue. If something is going on at home, talk to them about it. See how they feel. Many children, especially teenagers become runaways because they feel left out, unloved or simply forgotten. Don’t give them reason to think that way. Talk to your children about everything. You will know when and what they can handle. I have a two year old and a fourteen year old. (Yeah, I know. What was I thinking?) I have talk with both of them and they will understand. The two year old surprises me speechless on a daily basis with some of the things he says. The insight that my daughter has is astounding.  She is her own person. She doesn’t worry about what her peers say or do. She is strong-minded, smart and intelligent. I worry but not as much about her going down the wrong path when she is away from me because of the things we have talked about. I know that she will grow into a very successful woman and make someone a lucky person someday.

So, whether you are married, single or divorced, talk with your children. They will respect you more and trust your judgment instead of learning the hard way about different obstacles in life such as: peer pressure, sex, drugs, alcohol and dating. Don’t have them a bad impression of what a relationship should be. Dating should be fun, exciting, the best time of being single. Don’t complicate it by overstepping boundaries or putting anyone in a foreshadowing situation. Make sure he/she is someone you see yourself being with on a more permanate level than just having a good time with, before introducing them to the special someone is your life. Don’t rush it either! When he/she comes along, you will feel butterflies each and every time you see or hear from them. Your kids will love him/her when you do decide the time is right to introduce them and all persons involved will know when the fit is perfect, special, unbreakable. So, again I stress, take your time before involving your children when you are a single parent, in the dating world. Starting over is hard but sometimes it’s worth it when we have children, who are watching our every move, listening to our every word. We are their heroes, role-models, people they want to become. What would you do if Superman was your favorite superhero and suddenly lost his powers? This will change everything that you loved about him. The same thing goes for when you have children. Don’t have them reason to change their perception of you. Life will be better from it, trust me!

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