So ask yourself, do you really want your 15-year old doing exactly what you are doing?Wouldn’t you prefer to let them slowly discover their sexuality rather than throw them into the deep end of the pool? Even if a parent is dead, has abandoned them or is in prison for life, children often resent attempts by step-parents to parent them and see such things as manipulative efforts to replace a parent.Seriously, though, when is your child ready to date? "At this age, kids use dating labels but aren’t ready to have much direct one-on-one interaction beyond maybe sitting together at lunch or recess," says Dale Atkins, Ph D, a family therapist in New York."Most of the activity happens in a pack, and communication takes place between friend groups." By 8th grade, dating probably means talking on the phone and hanging out, usually in groups.
You don’t want to introduce your children to who you are dating, but you do want them to know that you are dating again and are not getting back together with the ex.
As a child psychiatrist, I have treated a large number of children who were harmed by the poor choices their parents made while dating.
I also saw parents do quite a few disturbing things while I was recently single and dating, but you don’t have to give up on dating with children; and you don’t have to be a spinster to protect your children if you are smart about it.
The best thing to do is to be the child’s friend and then let the child decide what form the relationship will take.
Parents sometimes subtly (or not so subtly) try to push the unpleasant parts of parenting, namely the discipline, off on the step-parent.
You’d be surprised at how many single mothers go on long rants on their dating profiles about how their children already have a father and how they are not looking for a new father, blah, blah, blah.