I think it's horribly unfair to children."Joe B., father of 7-year-old Cathy, was initially very careful about how much time the two of them spent with his girlfriend and her son.
The parents and kids enjoyed ski trips together, often in the company of other friends.
Neuman recalls, "This 13-year-old kid once said to me, 'I feel, now that my parents are separated, that Idon't exist.'"While most children don't articulate their feelings so strongly -- in fact, most shrug or say "okay"if asked how they're coping with a parental split -- therapists who work with children of divorce agreethat divorce makes kids question who they are, where they came from, and where their lives are headed.
That's not an argument for or against divorce, for or against dating.
Gary Neuman agrees that casually introducing every date to a kid is a bad idea; equally wrong, he believes, is minimizing the importance of a new love interest.
Children who "discover" that their parents are in loveoften feel betrayed when the situation reveals itself.
On one hand, there is consistent evidence to indicate that it might be.
As recently as 2004, Wallerstein asserted that divorce begets fewer marriages, poorer marriages, and more divorces—and that divorce is not an acute stress from which children recover, but a life-transforming experience.
It is an argument for honest, direct dialogue with kids about new relationships: Why Mom or Dad wants one, what Mom or Dad will doif a new relationship becomes serious, and how Mom or Dad's relationship with the child will be affected. had been divorced for six years when she announced to her children that she was thinking ofstarting to date again."They fell on the floor laughing," she recalls.
"They told me I was too old to date."Since then, Eva and her 13-year-old son have had many discussions about her relationships with menand his with girls.
remembers the conversation she had with her two sons following one of their regular visits with herex-husband.