Single parent dating do's and don'ts

Wendy Walsh, PhD Relationship & Parenting Expert, shares advice for single parents on what to do and not to do when beginning to date in order to protect their kids
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Single parent dating do's and don'ts

Dating as a single parent is a very complicated thing, to say the least. There are a lot of people's feelings to be concerned with. I think it's important to understand that probably one of the most dangerous thing for kids is to have a revolving door of parental figures in their lives. They need to know that you're stable and you're there for them first. For that reason, I recommend that single parents date totally in private. If you're one of the lucky single parents who has another involved ex and your kids go away to his/her house for weekends or a week at a time, then you do have that time when you can begin to date. But if you have your children a 100% at a time, you're going to have to make some hard decisions - are you going to pay for baby sitters and child care? Are you going to find ways for children to have sleepovers so that you can have time alone for your romantic time. I don't think you should introduce your children to a potential romantic suitor until the two of you have made a commitment there, at least going to be boyfriend or girlfriend, at least in a committed relationship. Because children feel afraid. They've already, in their mind, lost one parent and now they might have this other person coming on to the scene that might be taking away the parent that's already there. Plus, kids can really complicate things, because let me tell you, they can be very smart at manipulating and making that guy hate you after they act. They know how to get mommy close. So I think it's important that you leave adult time to adult time. And even if that means taking a break from dating until your kids are little older and on their feet, then that's what I recommend.

Wendy Walsh, PhD Relationship & Parenting Expert, shares advice for single parents on what to do and not to do when beginning to date in order to protect their kids


Expert Bio

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Wendy Walsh, PhD

Relationship & Parenting Expert

Dr. Wendy Walsh was nominated for an Emmy Award for her work as co-host on The Dr. Phil spinoff, The Doctors TV show. She also hosts Investigation Discovery Network’s “Happily NEVER After,” as well as being part of Dr. Drew’s Behavior Bureau on HLN Network. On CNN and 9 Network, Australia, she breaks down the psychology of sex, love, gender roles, divorce, parenting and other human behaviors. Dr. Wendy is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at California State University, Channel Islands. She holds a B.A. in Journalism, a Masters degree in Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and is the author of three books and numerous publications, including The 30-Day Love Detox. She appears regularly on The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, The Steve Harvey Show, The O’Reilly Factor, Inside Edition, The Katie Couric Show, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and The View.

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